The role of the peripheral retina in diabetic retinopathy: from basic science to town planning

students studying in the McClay library using laptops

Centre for Public Health

PhD Funded Studentship

The role of the peripheral retina in diabetic retinopathy: from basic science to town planning

Project Description

This project will investigate how the peripheral retina in patients with diabetes contribute to their visual difficulties potentially well before sight loss occurs. During the PhD studies, the student will work with patients with diabetes, with clinicians involved in the diabetic care pathway and will benefit from training on ophthalmic imaging and image analysis. In addition, enhancing the training experience will be possible via gaining additional expertise in planning for the built environment and how the environment affects people’s life.

Our cities, towns and villages can present numerous challenges to the seamless navigation of the visually impaired pedestrian. Poorly designed public spaces, cluttered footpaths and poor legibility can make places such hostile environments that the independent mobility of those with visual impairment is severely compromised. The present research aimed to investigate the physical and psychological barriers to access experienced by the visually impaired population. The student will work within several facilities including clinical setting, office and laboratory setting offering a wide variety of integrated training in several fields of study.


*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Department for the Economy (DfE) & Optos*

Eligibility for both fees (£4,327 for 2019/20) and maintenance (£15,009 for 2019/20) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: View Website

Entry Requirements 

Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant public health, psychology, economics, social sciences or planning and built environment subject.

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU

PLEASE NOTE: This project will involve Regulated Activity (working with children and/or vulnerable groups).

The successful applicant will be required to supply their details to the School Postgraduate Office in order for a criminal history check to be undertaken (Enhanced Disclosure Checks). The project will be conditional on the successful applicant being issued with a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure Certificate.


Dr T Peto

Dr N Galway

Prof Gregory Hageman

Closing Date

Closing date for application is: Sunday, May 26, 2019

How to Apply

Please refer to 'Entry Requirements' for specific admissions criteria.

Apply online via the Queen's on-line application portal .  Guidance is available on the University’s Prospective Student pages.

When applying for a project, please choose ‘MEDICINE’ as your subject area/School.

Please ensure you adhere to the closing dates.

If you have any further queries please contact:  or +44 (0) 28 9097 2619/2042.

Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Public Health, website for further details about the Centre

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For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.

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