PhD Studentship in HIV Epidemiology/ Medical Statistics

Updated: 4 days ago
Location: London, ENGLAND
Deadline: 28 Jul 2017

UCL Department / Division
Institute for Global Health
Duration of Studentship
Three years
£16,553 per annum
Vacancy Information

The Institute for Global Health is seeking applications
from candidates for a three-year funded PhD Studentship in Epidemiology/Medical
Statistics commencing in Autumn 2017 (although there is some flexibility), to
be based at the Royal Free Hospital site within the HIV Epidemiology and
Biostatistics Group.

Please submit your CV, a supporting statement, and the
names and contact details of two academic referees to Lydia Clinton
(  If you have any
queries regarding the vacancy, please contact Dr Colette Smith or Dr Fiona Lampe

Studentship Description

The studentship will involve an epidemiological analysis of
data from the Royal Free HIV Research Database. This contains information on
all HIV-positive individuals who have ever attended the Ian Charleson Day
Centre outpatient clinic at the Royal Free Hospital. It is one of the largest
clinics in the UK, with approximately 3000 individuals attending annually. The
Royal Free HIV Department serves a wide demographic mix of individuals. In
particular the three major demographic subgroups that are affected by HIV in
the UK are well represented: men who have acquired HIV through sex with other
men, and men and women of black African ethnicity who have become HIV positive
via heterosexual sex.

The Royal Free HIV Research Database contains comprehensive
information on many aspects of HIV care and treatment for all HIV outpatients
seen at the Royal Free, including demographic information, details of
antiretroviral treatment, laboratory tests and major morbidity and mortality.
Previous and ongoing projects address questions concerning HIV prognosis and
management; in particular the use and effects of current treatment, development
of toxicities, and trends over time in morbidity, mortality and treatment
response. The database has recently been expanded to additionally collect
information on socioeconomic status, as well as information on in-patient
hospitalisations, outpatient attendance, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry
(DEXA) scan results, interactions with other health care professionals prior to
HIV diagnosis, non-HIV medications and pregnancy.

Another linked study, the ASTRA questionnaire study
( contains detailed socio-economic and lifestyle data for a
subset of individuals, and this could also be used to address research

The exact research questions to be addressed in the PhD
will be adapted depending on the student’s own research interests. Potential
questions could be related to one or more of the following:

Association of demographic and socio-economic factors with treatment
responses including treatment discontinuations and interruptions


(ii)      Predictors
of (HIV-related and non-HIV related) clinic attendance patterns and

(iii)     Association between infrequent HIV clinic attendance
and treatment outcomes

(iv)   Burden of non-HIV medication and association
with HIV outcomes

(v)     Designing,
setting up and carrying out a case-control study of factors associated with
treatment failure, with a focus on social and lifestyle factors

(vi)    Developing a
structural equation model (SEM) to determine the relative importance of
demographic, socio-economic, lifestyle and HIV-related factors on treatment
non-adherence and outcomes

(vii)    Estimating
costings for use of healthcare resources amongst people living with HIV

There may also be opportunity to be involved in the
analysis of larger multi-centre cohort studies to which the Royal Free HIV
Research Database contributes data, or to develop and conduct their own small
primary research project in the clinic. The student will have the opportunity
to develop and write up a number of papers for publication based on the
analyses undertaken.

Person Specification

Applicants should hold a first or upper second class
honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. mathematics, statistics,
epidemiology, science) and an MSc in a relevant subject (e.g. medical
statistics, epidemiology). Excellent skills in quantitative research
methodology, statistical methods, analysis of large and complex datasets, data
management, and the use of statistical software are all essential. Although
there is flexibility with regard to which statistical package is used for
analyses, a large part of data management will use SAS, and so knowledge of or
willingness to learn this package is essential. Applicants should also have
excellent oral and written communication skills.

Please note that due to funding restrictions the
post is open to UK/EU citizens only

Contact name
Dr Colette Smith
Contact details
UCL Taking Action for Equality
Closing Date
28 Jul 2017
Latest time for the submission of applications
Interview date
1st August 2017
Studentship Start Date
Autumn 2017
View or Apply

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