Deadline: 2016-02-04
Value of Scholarship: Bath
Level Of Study: PhD

PhD studentship: The role of neuropsychological changes in the manifestation and treatment of chronic pain



We welcome applications for a full-time University PhD studentship to support and work in our Department of Psychology. Further details on our website.

The project

The studentship will consist of three projects.

Project 1

This is a clinical trial of a novel treatment for CRPS called prism adaptation. The student will compare the effects of two weeks of PA versus sham treatment in two groups of 16 patients using a longitudinal double-blind randomized design. Outcomes will be 1) pain and other indicators of well-being, and 2) computer-based tasks measuring sensorimotor integration, attention and other cognitive functions.

All project 1 participants will be enrolled by month 18. The last post-treatment research session will occur by month 30, after which the student will become unblinded as to the patients’ treatment conditions.

The student will also examine two possible triggers of the neuropsychological changes that underlie CRPS and related conditions: chronic sub-clinical pain and immobilisation.

Project 2

The student will measure cognitive changes in 100 people with chronic sub-clinical pain using web-based experiments (months 7-18).

Project 3

The student will test 30 people with cast immobilisation of their forearms (months 19-30).

The student will spend the first six months completing a literature review, obtaining ethical approval and recruiting participants. Pathways are already in place for recruiting CRPS patients, people with chronic sub-clinical pain and healthy controls. The student will establish new pathways for recruiting people with cast immobilisation of their forearms through hospitals in Bath and Oxford. The student will spend the final 6 months writing up the thesis.

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Eligibility

The successful candidate should:

1. fulfil the entrance requirements for a Department of Psychology PhD

2. have an interest (and preferably previous experience) in at least one of the following areas and the associated statistical methodologies:

  • cognitive psychology
  • psychophysics
  • longitudinal research

3. have a valid UK driver’s license (access to a car is also desirable but not essential)

The award

Funding lasts for three years and includes:

  • £14,057 (2015/16 rate) yearly stipend
  • Home/EU tuition fees
  • annual Training Support Grant

This award will be funded by a one of several studentships with their own terms and conditions.

How to apply

1. Apply online to study for a full-time PhD in the Department of Psychology

  • you must quote the project title in section 3.2 of your application: The role of neuropsychological changes in the manifestation and treatment of chronic pain
  • you do not need to upload a formal research proposal as this studentship is for a specific project

2. Complete the application form for an academic-led PhD studentship

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 12.00 noon (GMT), Thursday 4 February 2016.

Informal enquiries

For project enquiries contact Dr Janet Bultitude.

For application procedure enquiries email: [email protected] or tel. 01225 38 5233.

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