The use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for smoking cessation by pregnant smokers – PHD Studentship

NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands, Division of Primary Care – PhD Studentship

Applications are invited for a 3 year, full time studentship aligned to the work of NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands and the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham. A yearly stipend at current RCUK rates (£14,296) plus Home/EU tuition fees (£4,121) is available. The successful candidate will work into the CLAHRC’s Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) theme.

CLAHRC East Midlands is an international centre of excellence in applied health research. The CLAHRC seeks to improve patient outcomes by conducting research of local relevance and international quality. The PCD theme seeks to co-produce and implement applied research in lifestyle therapies to promote self-management and the prevention of chronic disease in specific high risk target groups.

This PhD will investigate the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for smoking cessation by pregnant smokers.  It will involve forming an international collaboration with relevant trialists to obtain individual patient data from all trials of NRT in pregnancy and analysing these data using Individual Patient Meta-Analysis and / or Trial Sequential Analysis methods to answer questions relating to the safety, efficacy and the importance of adherence with therapy.  The student encouraged to develop research questions to address, for example, with regard to the relationship between smoking (or NRT use) intensity and cessation. The supervisory team already has access to data from the two largest trials of NRT for smoking cessation in pregnancy (~ 1450 participants) and the student will not only benefit from training and support available from within the CLAHRC, but also those provided by the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies and the NIHR National School for Primary Care research. With additional funding it would be possible for the student to spend time studying in Paris. The proposed course of study would be an appropriate starting point for a career in epidemiological, statistical, health psychological or Tobacco Control research.

The supervisors will be Professor Jo Leonardi-Bee (Medical Statistics), Dr Ivan Berlin (Paris, SNIPP trial CI) and Professor Tim Coleman (Nottingham, SNAP trial CI). The successful candidate will be based within the Division of Primary Care at the University of Nottingham and, if desired, it may be possible for her or him to spend some time studying in Paris.  We are very experienced in providing individualised support to ensure that students fully capitalise on their time with us.

Informal enquiries about this studentship should be addressed to Prof Tim Coleman (  Tim would be happy to speak to interested applicants; if you would like to discuss your application, please arrange a time for this by contacting Ms Rosie Hunt (

Funding is conditional on successful Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.

Applying for the Studentship

Ideally candidates will possess a Masters qualification in a relevant subject such as Medical Statistics, Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Psychology; however, applicants with a 2.1 or higher Honours degree in a relevant discipline and who can demonstrate an interest in smoking cessation or tobacco control research will be considered.  The project will primarily require quantitative research skills and an interest in developing these further. Due to funding restrictions, the studentship will only fully fund Home/EU candidates only and will be available from September 2016 for three years.

Applications from international candidates would be considered if, at the time of application, candidates can demonstrate that they will meet the full cost of international student fees; currently this equates to £13,660 per annum or £40,980 for all three years of the studentship (e.g. by already having obtained a bursary from other sources).  We regret that it will not be possible to consider applications from non-Home/EU students without clear evidence that funds are available for all three years of study.

Applicants should send the following information to

  1. A Personal Statement (1000 words) indicating how your experience to date prepares you to undertake PhD level research.
  2. A current academic CV.
  3. Two academic references.
  4. Copies of your degree certificates and transcripts (sent as PDFs).
  5. Evidence of English Language proficiency (IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any element, or equivalent) if your first language is not English.

Please quote ref: CLAHRC PhD PCD2016. Closing date: 23.59pm on 20th May 2016. Applications submitted after this time will not be considered.

Interviews will be held in Nottingham on Tuesday June 21st 2016


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