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Latest PhDs awarded by ARC East Midlands

We're delighted to announce that eight outstanding students have completed their PhDs this academic year, with funding from ARC East Midlands.

A heartfelt congratulations to Dr Louise Howe, Dr Cate Bennett, Dr Lois Dugmore, Dr Daniel Griffiths, Dr Ali Drewett, Dr Kay Bridger, and Dr Serena Cox on their outstanding achievements. We extend our warmest wishes to each of them for their future endeavors!

The PhD research covered a range of topics aligned with our ARC themes, focusing on building community resilience and enabling independence, and mental health and wellbeing. Key topics included:

  • Evaluation of training therapists for research interventions
  • Understanding home carers' views of reablement
  • Exploring the mental health experiences of immigrants
  • Investigating the social barriers to pre-exposure prophylaxis use
  • Examining of autistic communication and involvement in mental health hospital settings
  • Exploring psycho-social factors impacting return to work following traumatic injury
  • Exploring women’s experiences of participating in birth trauma Facebook groups
  • Exploring ways in which community navigation promote well-being

Dr Louise Howe conducted a realist evaluation of a training programme to enable therapists to implement a complex rehabilitation intervention in a research setting. Working as a Lecturer in Occupational Therapist at the University of Lincoln, Louise said: “Thank you so much to ARC East Midlands for funding my PhD research into the use of training therapists in complex intervention RCTs. Using a realist evaluation approach through interviews and observations I explored how therapists take new information and theory and use it to deliver a rehabilitation intervention for people with dementia. The findings identified how to enable therapists to deliver interventions in research settings, to develop their skills with more complex participants and remain delivering the intervention with fidelity over time."

Dr Cate Bennett focused on understanding home carers' views of reablement, and critically evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of delivering a strength-based, reablement competency training to them. Speaking about her achievements, Cate said: “The NIHR ARC East Midlands funding my PhD has opened doors for me professionally and has given me the opportunity and space to grow personally. I have learnt so much academically but more importantly, I have been able to embed my learning into my practice as a social care clinical academic.”

Dr Lois Dugmore explored the mental health experiences of immigrants from Poland who access mental health services, while resident in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Currently working as a Consultant Nurse at the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), Lois said: “This was an amazing opportunity to work with local polish migrant service users and local polish organisations. I am grateful to LPT charitable funds who supported this project”.

Dr Daniel Griffiths investigated the social barriers related to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and explored ways to overcome them. The goal was to develop practical approaches to boost PrEP use, ultimately helping reduce the transmission of HIV.

Dr Ali Drewett's research explored autistic communication and involvement in mental health hospital settings.

Dr Kay Bridger's thesis examined the psychological impact of traumatic injury and its effects on work identity.

Dr Serena Cox's research focused on women’s experiences in online support communities following traumatic childbirth.

Dr Rebecca Clarke's PhD explored the ways in which community navigation promote well-being.  

Since 2014, ARC East Midlands has awarded 44 PhDs and funded 47 PhDs since 2019. This highlights our commitment to supporting cutting-edge research in our community.

Interested in applying for our PhD studentship?

Open, competitive call for PhD funding

ARC East Midlands is currently welcoming applications through a competitive process for PhD funding. We have up to three full-time awards up for grabs, starting in Autumn 2024. Proposed PhDs should complement the ARC’s portfolio of applied research and address our local (5) Integrated Care System’s research priorities and/or the NHS Core 20+5 improvement approach.

Learn more:

PhD studentship on acquired brain injury in childhood

ARC East Midlands is co-funding a PhD studentship based at the University of Nottingham, in partnership with the Eveline Walker Legacy and the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. This project looks at acquired brain injury in childhood, utilising innovative data science methodologies. Available from October 2024 for three years (full time study) or up to six years (if part time study).

Learn more:

PhD studentship on dementia research

An open, competitive call for a PhD studentship in dementia research. The proposed PhD should be for applied research, and focus on either young onset dementia, access to care and/or technology. It should complement the ARC’s existing portfolio of applied Dementia research and ideally, address our local (5) Integrated Care System’s research priorities. One award is available, to commence in Autumn 2024. 

Learn more:

Published on: 8 Feb 2024