(Ethical issues, patients’ perspectives and trust in precision psychiatry)
We are pleased to invite UK and EU applications for a doctoral degree within the Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre and the Centre for Evidence Based Mental Health, in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Oxford. The doctoral degree will start in October 2019.
The focus of the research will be on the ethical issues around ‘precision psychiatry’, with a specific interest in patients’ perspectives and trust in treatment algorithms and the development of a ‘personalised’ approach in mental health.
Professor Cipriani’s group comprises clinical psychiatrists, research assistants, post docs, DPhil and medical students, researching how, by a more careful analysis of existing data, we can better tailor the choice of a specific drug to a specific person, to increase the chances that the drug will be tolerable and effective. Funded by the NIHR Research Professorship recently awarded to Prof Cipriani, the aim of this project is to develop an internet-based system which will help doctors and patients together choose the best antidepressant for each individual with moderate to severe symptoms of depression, considering together both the efficacy and the adverse events of these drugs. The doctoral student will also participate in the design of the clinical trial that will test the algorithm (i.e. organising focus groups with patients and carers, drafting the patient information sheet, and starting the ethics and approval process).
Prof Singh’s group, Neuroscience, Ethics and Society (NEUROSEC) brings together expertise in bio- and neuroethics, developmental and moral psychology, and philosophy. The team has an international reputation for its work in neuroscience and global psychiatric ethics and is uniquely situated within Oxford Psychiatry and Neuroscience, building collaborative research relationships with scientists and clinicians whilst maintaining a critical perspective and a portfolio of independent research projects. Professor Singh is also Co-Director of the Oxford Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities. The Wellcome Centre responds to a pressing need for ethics and humanities research to ‘rethink’ ethics’ for the 21st Century in the light of challenges presented by advances in neuroscience, big data, genomics and global connectedness, and by their convergence.
How to apply
You will need to apply for both the programme and this studentship via the main University of Oxford online graduate application form, and pay an application fee of £75. The application form, all supporting materials required for the programme (including references) and payment must be submitted by the appropriate studentship deadline. To access the application form and application guide please visit the University of Oxford graduate applications website.
Deadline for submission of applications: Friday 10th May 2019 by 12.00 noon (UK time)
Interviews will be held w/c 20th May 2019 in Oxford
Studentship Code: 19PSYCH04WEB
The scholarship funds a tax-free stipend (currently £14,777 per annum), plus university tuition and college fees, plus support for research expenses, conference attendance, and consumables. This is supported by a grant from National Institute for Health Research Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC-1215-20005).
Applicants should have at least an upper second class honours degree in bioethics or a relevant social science and previous research experience in mental health. Education to Master degree level is highly desirable.
Intellectual areas of interest should include the social and ethical dimensions of research and innovation in neuroscience and psychiatry, with a focus on big data ethics; evidence based mental health (ideally with a specific focus on depression); personalised medicine. The candidate should have a basic knowledge of applied statistical methodology, and have an interest in empirical research with stakeholders / public and patient engagement and involvement.