PhD Studentship: Healing the healer: embedding evidence-based nutrition and physical activity guidance in the NHS to improve doctorsí health and wellbeing

  • London
  • 31st May 2019

Employer: University of Westminster
Bursary: £17,009 per annum, tuition fee waiver and £2,800 per annum for consumables. Fee waiver only studentships are also available.
Contract Type: Full time, fixed term

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Westminster is pleased to offer Full Research Scholarships for prospective PhD students starting in September 2019. Located in the heart of London, the School of Life Sciences has an active research culture to which our well-established doctoral research programme makes a vital contribution.

The School incorporates well-established research programmes in Biomedical Sciences, Biosciences and Nutrition. Research in the School across these fields has an international reputation for excellence, as was confirmed by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Project background
Occupational stress on NHS health workers is ever increasing due to growing national healthcare demands and increased governmental pressures for saving efficiencies. Poor staff health costs the NHS £2.4 bn per annum from absenteeism; making staff wellness critical to the NHS agenda (NHS, 2018).

Amongst the key challenges is the burnout epidemic amongst doctors (Panagiotis et al. 2018) and work shift patterns that are associated with poor health and fatigue (Caruso, 2014). These together are strongly associated with reduced patient safety and inferior quality of care (Panagioti et al. 2018). Workplace health and wellness promotion initiatives are therefore, imperative to address the prevalence of burnout and improve health. Here, a holistic emphasis on nutrition, physical activity (PA) and psychological wellbeing is crucial given that medicine has traditionally neglected this area. Whilst the UoW is leading the way in developing and implementing psychological strategies (Cheshire et al. 2017); this project will elucidate the role of PA and nutrition in improving doctorsí well-being. It will dovetail ongoing work at the university to ensure that UoW becomes a leading authority on doctorsí health and wellness.

The PhD candidate will undertake action research using a mix-methods approach in order to design and evaluate the effect of a nutrition and PA interventions to improve the health and wellness of doctors. This programme will also enable the candidate to gain transferable academic skills and exposure to collaborative applied research, which will enhance the candidateís future career opportunities.

Supervisory Team:
The prospective PhD student will be supervised by Dr. Sanjoy Deb (DoS), Dr. Anna Cheshire (2nd supervisor), Professor Damien Ridge (3rd supervisor) and Emeritus Professor Dr. David Peters (Project advisor).

The project team are an experienced interdisciplinary research team; which includes, psychology and doctor research (AC and DR), GP clinical practise (DP), nutrition and PA (SD). The supervision team have an excellent track record of supporting doctoral students to publish in peer reviewed journals. The project team possesses strong ties with NHS trusts and relevant organisational bodies including, Primary Care Departments at Keele University and University of Oxford, the Royal College of General Practitioners, Guys and St Thomas NHS trust, as well as being members of the Practitioner Health Research Consortium. These collaborations will ensure project research questions are pertinent to the needs of society and also help support direct access to the end user (i.e. NHS doctors).

More information on the role, entry requirements and how to apply can be found at

Prospective candidates are strongly advised to contact Dr. Sanjoy Deb prior to making an application at

Supervisor staff profiles:
Dr. Sanjoy Deb:
Dr. Anna Cheshire:
Professor Damien Ridge:
Emeritus Professor Dr. David Peters:

Vacancy website address


BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.



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