PhD Research Studentship

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Luton, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 05 Jul 2022




Salary: Graduate bursary £16,062 per annum (Jointly funded by the University of Bedfordshire and the Early Years Alliance).

Fixed term: 3 years. Initially for 2 years for MPhil with a further year for completion of PhD

Closing date: 5pm, 5th July 2022

Start date: October 2022



The University of Bedfordshire are pleased to offer a full-time PhD studentship in the subject area described further below. This exciting new studentship has been made available through the collaboration of the Institute for Health Research, Early Years Alliance Luton and the Big Lottery Fund. The studentship is offered in the Institute for Health Research and will cover tuition fees, bursary per annum as well as research and conference attendance expenses.

The Institution

The University of Bedfordshire’s vision is ‘to create a vibrant multi-cultural learning community enabling people to transform their lives by participating in excellent, innovative education, scholarship and research.’

According to the latest Research Excellence Framework all of our research is internationally excellent in impact, and the majority is world-leading. 75% of research outputs are 3* or 4* - internationally excellent or world leading.

Currently, our staff and research students come from more than 15 countries to create a strong global research community. The IHR has strong collaborative links in the UK and also in Europe, Middle East, Asia and America. 

Our PhD School is a lively community comprising of a wealth of interests mainly in applied health and social care research but also in global public health, epidemiology, nursing, midwifery, psychology and related disciplines. Our aim is to provide a liberal and dynamic environment for PhD Students from around the world to explore their interests and evolve into becoming the next leaders in health research:

The IHR is also part of the East of England NHS Research Design Service (RDS), which receives core funding from the NHS National Institute for Health Research. To find out more visit

The candidate

The successful candidate will have experience in the health and/or social care sector and/or a very good, proven academic record. The studentship holder will be key in developing and maintaining local networks with an emphasis on harnessing the collaboration between the collaborating organisations.  

In this research study, the candidate will be working closely with the Early Years Alliance (EYA). The EYA is the largest and most representative early year’s membership organisation in England. They deliver care and learning to over 800,000 families every year:

Area of Research

The EYA are supported by the Big Lottery Fund to continue improving their Luton-based service (Flying Start: ), which supports children, regardless of background, to have the best possible start in life. Their Luton-based services focus on the following four wellbeing outcomes as priorities:

Improve perinatal mental health; Increase in breast-feeding; Obesity prevention and support; Learning, Speech and Development.

The Early Years Alliance (EYA) is the largest and most representative early year’s membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity representing 14,000 members and supporting over 800,000 families every year.

The EYA’s mission is to ensure that all children, regardless of background, are given the best possible start in life.

Study framework

The main aim of the research is to conduct a rigorous impact and process evaluation of this service.

Objectives of the research:

  • - Assessment of the impact of the Flying Start Programme on the above outcomes.
  • - Service user and professional experience and engagement.

Finally, the study will be conducted with a central question in mind: What are the lessons so far and how can strategic aims and organisational processes be shaped to facilitate barrier-free implementation in the future?

In consultation with the supervisory team - Dr Yannis Pappas and Professor Gurch Randhawa- the successful candidate will be responsible for developing the final project outline to ensure that it draws on the student’s interests, background and research expertise.

The studentship will include tuition fees for UK/EU students, a stipend of £16,062, research support and travel.

Entry criteria

  • A good first degree in health-related studies or cognate discipline.
  • Masters-level degree in a subject related to the project.
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their ability in English, typically B2 level English qualification such as IELTS 7.0.

How to apply

You may find more information on the School and the application process here:

For an application pack or any application queries please email: quoting the appropriate reference number. In addition to a CV, all applicants will need to send a cover letter with supporting information on their experience and skills and how these relate to the advertised PhD.

Term: The bursary will commence on the 1st October 2022, initially for two years for the MPhil stage with a further year for PhD completion, subject to satisfactory progress. The studentship is for three years and is available for UK and EU candidates meeting the Research Council criterion of having been resident in the UK for the previous three years.

For an application pack or any application queries please email  quoting the appropriate reference number.

It is expected that interviews will take place on 19th of July 2022.

For any queries please contact Dr Yannis Pappas, Institute for Health Research via email  or call 07742522603.

Institute for Health Research, University of Bedfordshire: PhD Studentship

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