Closing date: 30 June 2019

Next start date: 23 September 2019

Duration: 36 months

The huge and continuing increase in the number of people with dementia is having a concomitantly large societal and personal impact. Given that this is an incurable life-limiting disease, palliative and end-of-life care are core components of health service responses to it. An intervention that is effective in improving end-of-life care for this patient group will constitute an important societal advance.

This project aims to identify the needs of this group of patients and those who are close to them, to examine current clinical practice in response to those needs, and to develop an intervention designed to optimise clinical practice.

The project will be a collaboration between Bournemouth University and Yeovil District Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust. It will provide an important opportunity for ambitious candidates wishing to develop a clinical academic career.

Many people who have been living with dementia are admitted into hospital at the end of their life. This can result in a number of difficult scenarios. Family members and carers are often shocked to hear that a person is dying and may have difficulty accepting this. Clinicians may fail to recognise that a person is dying due to there being no clearly identifiable trajectory as people with dementia approach the final weeks and days of their lives.


  • To identify the needs of this group of patients.
  • To identify the needs of patients’ close others.
  • To identify current clinical practice in response to these needs.
  • To examine the hospital context to identify factors that may support or inhibit good practice.
  • To identify the mechanisms required to narrow the gap between needs and current provision of care.
  • To develop an intervention incorporating identified mechanisms, taking contextual factors into account.

The academic impact of this study will be significant. It will result in at least five major papers: a systematic review; a realist review; a results paper describing the development of the intervention; a protocol of the pilot/feasibility study; a pilot study results paper. The study is designed to prepare for a bid for a major research grant to carry out a full randomised controlled trial to establish the effectiveness of the intervention.

This studentship will provide the successful candidate with a wide range of training opportunities. At the completion of the study, the student will have had training in and experience of systematic literature reviewing, realist reviewing, qualitative research techniques, critical realist evaluation, and pilot randomised controlled trial design. 

This will be a demanding project that will require a dedicated student, though they will benefit from close support and guidance from a dedicated and enthusiastic research team. So, if you think you have what it takes to be a part of this state of the art research, this will be a great opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.

View full project description or make an application

Entry Requirements

Outstanding academic potential as measured by either a 1st class honours degree or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA). If English is not your first language you’ll need IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component).

Funding Notes

A fully-funded Studentship includes a maintenance grant of £15,000 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months.

Associated costs, such as for fieldwork and conference attendance, will also be met under the Studentship.

Funding Information

Application Deadline:

30 June 2019

Please see our website for how to apply:
Visit Website Add to list