Postgraduate research opportunities Dunhill Medical Trust Project 3: Eye Drop Design for Older People with Sensory Impairment

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Key facts

  • Opens: Friday 6 May 2022
  • Deadline: Sunday 26 June 2022
  • Number of places: 1
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Funding: Home fee, Equipment costs, Travel costs, Stipend

Overview

Medication non-adherence is a growing public health concern, specific to the elderly population. Eye drop instillation is a notoriously difficult task for the older person, yet essential for the management of common eye conditions, such as glaucoma. This project will develop proof-of-concept packaging for simplified eye drop administration, optimised for simple and reliable delivery of metered eye drops without the need for fine motor skills.
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Eligibility

Candidates should have, or expect to achieve, a minimum 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK, in a relevant subject, and be highly motivated to undertake cutting edge research in this field. Candidates with a background in engineering, product design, or other subjects of relevance to the topic, are encouraged to apply. Others will be considered if additional experience is relevant) and/or relevant work experience either in the design of services or technologies or in the health and care sector (not limited to pharmacy context). Candidates should be highly motivated to undertake cutting edge research in this field.

Please note that the studentship covers UK fees only. While non-UK applicants can apply, they need to specify in their documentation how they will fund the difference between the home UK and international fee rates.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

Older people are disproportionately affected by sensory impairment (SI) (hearing and/or visual) and  more likely to use multiple medicines and to live alone. Pharmaceutical care aims to promote the safe and effective supply and use of medicines.  Older people with SI (OPwSI) are at high risk of harm and therapeutic failure.  Healthcare settings, consultations and services need to support the complex needs of the growing number of older, community-dwelling citizens to facilitate their ability to live at home for as long as desired.  These Studentships present a novel opportunity to derive inter-disciplinary solutions, common challenges experienced by OPwSI and their pharmaceutical care.

Summary

Medication non-adherence is a growing public health concern, specific to the elderly population. Managing medication despite the physical limitations inevitable with age has been identified as one of the strategies for effective self-management of medication.  Eye drop instillation is a notoriously difficult task for the older person, yet essential for the management of common eye conditions, such as glaucoma.

This project will develop proof-of-concept packaging for simplified eye drop administration, optimised for simple and reliable delivery of metered eye drops without the need for fine motor skills.  The candidate will join the vibrant Department of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Strathclyde, under the supervision of Dr Mario Ettore Giardini, with co-supervision by Professor Margaret Watson, at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS).

The candidate will access state-of-the-art electronic, optical, software, and mechanical design and prototyping facilities, and will have the opportunity to develop research and transferrable skills through the training programmes offered by the University of Strathclyde. He/she will have the opportunity to disseminate the activity through high-profile international conferences, publications, and networking events. Year 1 will involve a first implementation of a functional prototype. Year 2 will progress into an iterative refinement of the prototype in strict liaison with the appropriate patient and professional stakeholders. Year 3 will be dedicated to finalisation of the designs, determination of the limit performance.

Further information

This studentship is part of a cohort of four studentships called The Pansophy Cohort: Multidisciplinary solutions to age-related challenges of pharmaceutical care. The cohort is funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust.

Dunhill Medical Trust studentships:

These PhD studentships are part of a wider research programme, SIPA2 Project. A bespoke Patient and Public involvement (PPI) group will be created for the purpose of supporting and advising the PhD cohort throughout the three-year period.  Funding is available to establish this group and included meeting attendance and preparation, travel and subsistence.  Additional funding is available to support annual PPI engagement events in addition to the engagement that will be undertaken as empirical elements of the individual projects.

The University of Strathclyde has an Age-friendly Academy the members of which will be invited to contribute to the development of the PhD projects and to consider participation in the PPI group if relevant i.e. the group will comprise representatives of OPwSI.

The PhD students would be expected to join the Strathclyde Ageing Network.

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Funding details

Each studentship is worth approximately £73,000 (including fees, stipends and support costs).

Funding towards:

  • Support (travel, equipment, etc) costs £3300/year
  • Home fee £4613/year
  • Stipend £15,999/year (increasing annually)

Please note that the studentship covers UK fees only. While non-UK applicants can apply, they need to specify in their documentation how they will fund the difference between the home UK and international fee rates.

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Supervisors

Dr Mario Giardini

Senior Lecturer
Biomedical Engineering

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Professor Margaret Watson

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

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Apply

Applicants should send a covering letter explaining why they would be suited to this PhD project, a full Curriculum Vitae and the names and contact details (including email addresses) of at least two academic referees by email to Dr Mario Ettore Giardini (mario.giardini@strath.ac.uk)

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 5 July via teleconference.

Number of places: 1

This is studentship is part of a cohort of four studentships called The Pansophy Cohort: Multidisciplinary solutions to age-related challenges of pharmaceutical care. The cohort is funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust.

Candidates will be reviewed by the academic team running the Scheme and ranked in terms of fit to the PhD.

To read how we process personal data, applicants can review our 'Privacy Notice for Student Applicants and Potential Applicants' on our Privacy notices' web page.

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Contact us

Dr Mario Ettore Giardini (mario.giardini@strath.ac.uk)