2 PhD Studentships in Medical Humanities, University of Sheffield

Start: October 2013

Application Deadline: 20th June 2013

More Info: http://mhs.group.shef.ac.uk/studentships

Medical Humanities Sheffield (MHS) would like applications for 2 PhD studentships commencing 1 October 2013. The studentships are attached to the medical humanities projects outlined below.

Medical Humanities Sheffield is a new interdisciplinary research and teaching Centre at the University of Sheffield devoted to sponsoring research and teaching at the interface between medicine and the humanities. The studentships accordingly offer exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary research, and offer direct opportunities for engagement with patients, bringing the Humanities and the worlds of medicine into direct conversation.

Applicants are invited to choose from the seven projects on offer, make contact with the supervisors, discuss the project, consider their suitability for the work proposed, and make a formal application. For further details about the studentships and the application process contact Prof Phil Withington (p.withington@sheffield.ac.uk) or Prof Ian Sabroe (i.sabroe@sheffield.ac.uk) for general enquiries, and the supervisors for project-specific questions.


1.      Biopolitics, disability and culture. Supervisors Prof Dan Goodley and Dr Esme Cleal. This project focuses on the historical and cultural development of the use and meanings of disability terms such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Details can be found here

2.      Technology, disability, and identity. Supervisors Dr Nicky Hallett and Prof Ian Sabroe. This project provides direct clinical contact to use self-writing techniques to analyse and understand the impact of modern technology on the patient response to diagnosis and treatment of a severe lung and heart disease, pulmonary hypertension. Details can be found here

3.      Psychological interventions in psoriasis. Supervisors Dr Andrew Thompson and Prof Andrew Messenger. This project provides direct patient contact to develop psychological models to intervene effectively in the treatment of social anxiety in patients with psoriasis. Details can be found here

4.      The socio-economic effects of geography on oral health. Supervisors Dr Sarah Barker and Dr Dimitris Ballas. This project explores, in part using modern simulation models similar to some gaming programs, how geography affects a particular dimension of health. Details can be found here

5.      Communicating risk to patients. Supervisors Steven Ariss and Gareth Walker. This project looks at how clinicians communicate with their patients, using conversation analysis to understand the communication of risk in type 2 diabetes and whether communication styles alter patient decision making. Details can be found here

6.      Empty bodies. Supervisors Dr Julia Dobson and Prof Mary Vincent. This project takes a cultural and historical perspective on what makes a human body, and how experiences of bodies in different contexts, from the theatre to religious parades, inform our understanding of humanity. Details can be found here

7.      Impact of expressive writing in patients experiencing fits. Supervisors Prof Markus Reuber, Prof Brendan Stone, and Dr Ian Brown. This project seeks to make a direct test of whether expressive writing techniques can be used to make a positive impact in the lives and healthcare of patients experiencing fits from either epilepsy, or the related syndrome of non-epileptic attack disorder. Details can be found here


A full 3 year studentship for UK/EU students (including fees at the UK/EU rate and maintenance at £13,726pa) is available.  International students are welcome to apply but they must be able to pay the difference between UK/EU and International fees.


Make contact with the supervisors and determine that the projects you are interested are suitable for you, and that the supervisors are willing to support your application.

Obtain a brief email or letter of support from the supervisors of the project(s) you are interested in. There is no restriction on the numbers of projects that you can be considered for.

Submit in one email (excluding references) to s.watkinson@sheffield.ac.uk by 20thJune 2013 the following documents:

  • A covering letter explaining which projects you are applying for and statement as to why you are suited to each project (no more than x1 side of A4 per project)
  • A CV
  • Supervisors email / letter of support
  • Two references (please ask your referees to email s.watkinson@sheffield.ac.uk their reference clearly including your name in the subject line or include them in your email)
  • Degree transcripts

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews scheduled for the morning of Monday 8th July 2013.

Comments are closed.