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PhD Opportunities

The All-Ireland Death Literacy Study: empowering communities to provide end of life care

School of Psychology | PHD
Funding
Funded
Reference Number
PSY-PHD-22-6
Application Deadline
3 June 2022
Start Date
12 September 2022

Overview

In partnership with the All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC), this PhD within the Centre for Improving Health-Related Quality of Life (CIHRQoL) in the School of Psychology at QUB aims to develop an understanding of death literacy across Ireland and make recommendations on how to support communities to become more death literate.

The population across Ireland is rapidly ageing, with the death rate in NI projected to increase by 46% by 2040 when it is proposed over half of deaths will take place in the community. Meeting the palliative and end of life care (EoLC) needs of these individuals represents an All-Ireland public health challenge. New public health approaches advocate fostering community participation and agency in providing EoLC, with recognition of the substantial burden of informal carers and the need for entire communities to provide support. The skills and abilities for navigating EoLC for oneself and others are known as ‘death literacy’, defined as ‘the knowledge and skills that people need to make it possible to gain access to, understand, and make informed choices about end of life and death care options’ (Leonard et al, 2020). Death literacy involves several different domains, including an individual’s ability to provide talking support or hands on care.
Last year, the first measure of death literacy, the Death Literacy Index (DLI; Leonard et al, 2021) was developed in Australia. This is a key outcome measure to determine the levels of death literacy at a whole population, workforce, and local level, and to measure the impact of local and wide-scale public health interventions.
The objectives of the proposed PhD project are i) to validate and optimise the Death Literacy Index for use in an All-Ireland population (including cross-cultural validation per region), ii) to provide population level benchmarks of death literacy, iii) to develop an understanding of the predictors of death literacy, and iv) to co-produce recommendations on how death literacy can be addressed for communities in Ireland. Accordingly, the PhD will involve a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The PhD supervision team includes Dr Lisa Graham-Wisener (primary supervisor), Prof Martin Dempster (secondary supervisor) and Dr Jenny Groarke (third supervisor).

Collaboration with AIIHPC
This PhD is in partnership with the AIIHPC. The PhD researcher will benefit from an opportunity to develop a substantial All-Ireland professional network outside of QUB, through collaboration with AIIHPC staff and its network members including researchers, clinicians, policymakers and service users, family carers, former carers and interested citizens. An important aspect of this work will involve collaboration with AIIHPC Voices4Care to establish a PPI advisory group, allowing the development of expertise in meaningful PPI involvement. The PhD researcher will benefit from AIIHPC’s recognised proficiency as a knowledge broker with training in how to develop a knowledge transfer and exchange strategy for their research, including support in how to effectively communicate with non-academic stakeholders. The PhD researcher will spend 3 months on placement with AIIHPC supporting Palliative Care Week (July-September 2023), allowing them to develop expertise in public engagement and apply their PhD research to a real-world setting. Lastly, the PhD researcher will become a member of the Early Career Research Forum, enabling them to extend their network of peers.

Funding Information

https://go.qub.ac.uk/dfeterms

Project Summary
Supervisor

Dr Lisa Graham-Wisener

Lecturer in Psychology


Mode of Study

Full-time: 3 years

Part-time: n/a


Funding Body
DfE funded CAST
Apply now Register your interest

Psychology overview

The School of Psychology has a thriving, well-resourced and engaged PhD community that is central to its research environment. Students are strategically appointed to research projects with the express purpose of enhancing research capacity and development in prioritised areas for which the School aims to enhance world-leading research.

MODE OF STUDY / DURATION

Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).

Course content

Research Information

Associated Research
The School of Psychology has a postgraduate research community of around 50 PhD students who are very well resourced and supported in their research.
The School has made extensive material investments in infrastructure, including two computer labs and access to several suites of dedicated research labs, to support their research.
Students are a central part of the research environment of the School and participate in School-level seminars and research meetings.
Students are expected and encouraged to publish during their PhD research and are supported in doing so through their research training.
Subject-specific postgraduate modules in research design and methods are delivered as part of the PhD training portfolio to complement the generic University training and further topic-specific research training is also available.
Other opportunities exist to attract funding from non-governmental sources. Current and previous PhD sponsors include professional services firms, international Governments, charities, and technology companies. We also welcome self-funding students on a full-time or part-time basis.
The School of Psychology at Queen's ranked in the top 10 psychology departments in the UK for research intensity in REF 2014 and provides an excellent environment in which to carry out PhD research.
One distinctive aspect of the PhD experience in the School of Psychology is the high level of spontaneous peer-support, initiative, and engagement among this community of Doctoral researchers. This is valued and fostered by the School through its support of the postgraduate conference and postgraduate week activities as well as wide-ranging involvement of research students across many aspects of School life.
Our PhD community also organizes numerous social events each year that are very popular amongst both staff and students. There is a range of sources of funding available for PhD students. Every year the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland (DEL) funds a number of PhD students to undertake research on pre-specified topics within the School of Psychology. These topics and the names of the associated supervisors are typically advertised online in December with a closing date in February. Last year's topics spanned research topics across Development, Social, Cognitive and Biological Psychology. Selected applicants are invited to interview and the successful candidate is offered a fully funded place with fees paid and an annual maintenance stipend for the three years of the PhD. Eligibility criteria can be found at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/delterms
Students who wish to self-fund or explore external funding sources are advised to peruse our staff webpages (http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/psy/Staff/) and to contact potential supervisors to discuss potential topics. Most students continue within academia to take up postdoctoral research positions, fellowships or lectureships in psychology. Some continue into clinical or educational psychology training while others take up research positions in the private and public sectors.

Career Prospects

Introduction
For further information on career opportunities at PhD level please contact the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Recruitment Team on askEPS@qub.ac.uk. Our advisors - in consultation with the School - will be happy to provide further information on your research area, possible career prospects and your research application.

People teaching you

Deborah Wells
Reader
School of Psychology
Email: d.wells@qub.ac.uk

Learning Outcomes

Course structure

-

Entrance requirements

Graduate
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,596
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,596
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £4,596
EU Other 3 £22,700
International £22,700

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Psychology costs

Depending on the area of research chosen there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

Bench fees

Some research programmes incur an additional annual charge on top of the tuition fees, often referred to as a bench fee. Bench fees are charged when a programme (or a specific project) incurs extra costs such as those involved with specialist laboratory or field work. If you are required to pay bench fees they will be detailed on your offer letter. If you have any questions about Bench Fees these should be raised with your School at the application stage. Please note that, if you are being funded you will need to ensure your sponsor is aware of and has agreed to fund these additional costs before accepting your place.

How do I fund my study?

1.PhD Opportunities

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