Two-year MPhil Studentship Human Error Detection in Medical Devices

MPhil Studentship in Human Error


Lingnan University, Hong Kong – Department of Sociology & Social Policy


Two-year MPhil Studentship (2013 – 2015)

Project title: Human Error Detection in Medical Devices

Supervisor: Dr. Simon Y. W. Li

Project description:

This is a UGC-funded (UGC stands for the University Grants Council in HK) research project that looks into one of the most important safety aspects in healthcare: detecting human error in the use of medical technology. The project seeks to understand how people detect their own errors (e.g. inputting the wrong dosage of a medication) when using medical devices (e.g. infusion pump) or software (e.g. electronic prescribing system). This project adopts an experimental approach for investigation (Li et al, 2008; Magrabi et al., 2010); experiments will be designed and human participants will be asked to carry out experimental tasks using simulated medical devices or software.

Your MPhil topic will be part of the overall research project but you will have the freedom to define your topic’s details. As part of the studentship, you will be given the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Simon Y. W. Li to gain research experience. The project involves collaborators from University College London Interaction Centre (UCLIC) and may provide corresponding research opportunities. You may also obtain teaching experience through teaching assistantship.


This MPhil research area is particularly suitable for students who intend to further their studies in applied areas such as: Applied Psychology/Cognitive Science, Human-Computer Interaction/Human Factors, Engineering Psychology, Cognitive Engineering, Medical Informatics.

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Li, S. Y. W., Blandford, A., Cairns, P., & Young, R. M. (2008) The Effect of Interruptions on Post-completion and Other Procedural Errors: An Account Based on the Activation-Based Goal Memory Model. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14 (4), 314-328.


Magrabi, F., Li, S. Y. W., Day, R. O., & Coiera, E. (2010) Errors and electronic prescribing: a controlled laboratory study to examine task complexity and interruptions. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 17, 575-583.


What the studentship offers

    • This is a two-year MPhil studentship with a monthly stipend of HK$14,000 (rate of 2012-13) to cover your living expenses. You will have to pay a normal annual tuition fee (for reference, the rate for 2012-13 is HK$42,100) and university accommodation fee. Lingnan University provides student hostels at a rate of about HK$4,800 – HK$5,500 per term (each academic year has three terms).


    • The studentship is renewable on an annual basis. Renewal of studentship in the second year is subject to good performance and the availability of fund. If admitted you will commence studies in September 2013.
    • This studentship is open to local Hong Kong and international students. For international student, if admitted, you might need to apply for a student visa to study in Hong Kong.


    1. Applicants should have a good first degree (upper 2nd class honour or above or equivalent) in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Behavioural Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Human Factors or related discipline.


    1. Good knowledge in designing and running experimental studies with human participants. Demonstrable experience (e.g. undergraduate thesis) in experimental studies would be an advantage.
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    1. Good knowledge of statistical analysis and common statistical packages such as SPSS.


    1. For admission to the MPhil Social Sciences programme, applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements and the programme-specific requirements. For details, please refer to our website.
    1. To be funded by this studentship, the topic of the MPhil research proposal must be directly related to the mentioned project.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should submit applications should contact us by email below.

You will need to submit a research proposal (approx. 2,000 words) and a personal statement with your application.

Application deadline: 30 April 2013

For enquiries, please email Dr. Simon Y. W. Li (

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