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Two PhD Studentship opportunities in Global Burn Trauma

26 July 2017

Two fully-funded full-time PhD studentships are available in Global Burn Trauma

Burn injuries disproportionately affect people in poor countries and regions where there is chronic or acute conflict. They also disproportionately affect women and children, especially in SE Asia where burns are the only form of trauma more common in women. Unfortunately access to appropriate treatment is limited and survival rates are much lower than in rich countries. This also means that there are far more complications resulting in an enormous burden of death and suffering from physical deformity, disability and the psychological and social consequences of these traumatic injuries.

The Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy & Research (CGBIPR) at Swansea University has recently been awarded a grant from the National Institute for Health Research to establish a Global Health Research Group for Burn Trauma in partnership with the International Network for Training, Education and Research in Burns (Interburns). This research group will address the disparities in burn care and prevention around the world by developing appropriate solutions that are deliverable in the real-world environment of poor countries and regions in conflict. This means building an evidence base as to what is effective and achievable in the treatment and prevention of burn injuries. Implementation science is key to what is perhaps the greatest barrier in the global health field: the ‘knowledge to action’ or ‘knowledge to practice’ gap - the gap between what is known to be effective and what is actually practised in a real-world context. The incidence and impact of burn injuries has been greatly reduced in high income countries in Europe and North America through a range of proven strategies for prevention and care.

By harnessing the academic approach of a University Centre with the in the field experience and international network of a globally recognised charity and non-government organisation (NGO), we will be able to ensure that the link from knowledge creation to delivering real change is robust and timely. This means improving services and outcomes for burns patients in some of the poorest and most conflict affected regions of the world. This project will include:

  1. Building robust partnerships with national and international academic departments, global institutions and clinical burns services.
  2. Developing a portfolio of high quality evidence-based research to identify and address the key priorities in global burn injury, with particular focus on resource-poor settings.
  3. Advocating for effective, evidence-based regional and national policies for burn prevention and treatment.
  4. Working in partnership with key policy-makers, funders and philanthropists to increase resource allocation to tackle the ’forgotten global public crisis’ of burn injuries.
  5. Utilising implementation science and knowledge to action theory to support the scaling up of proven interventions and promote their integration into national health strategies.
  6. Creating a global hub for aspiring clinicians and researchers dedicated to global burn care to exchange ideas, share innovations and work in an inspiring and interdisciplinary environment.

Our experience in this field is extensive and includes quality improvement, training, research and capacity-building programmes in a range of countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Nepal, the Palestinian Territories and Syria. We have a well-established reputation based on work to date and collaborate with a range of leading international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation, academic institutes in Europe, Asia and Australasia, local and regional burns organisations, and government bodies such as Health Ministries in a number of countries.

We are now seeking two enthusiastic, committed PhD students to join our expanding team and undertake high impact research that will contribute to the understanding of burn injuries in the resource poor environment. This could be related to primary prevention, gender inequality in burn injuries, rehabilitation and outcome assessment, health economics, emergency and or mass casualty management or any other area deemed relevant.

What is provided:

  • The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax-free stipend of £14,553 p.a. for three years (subject to satisfactory progress).
  • Applications are welcome from International Students on the understanding that the difference between the fees awarded and the international fee rate would be met by the successful applicant.

Who is eligible:

Applicants should have an MSc in a relevant discipline. Previous experience working in international development, or practical working in low resource environments desirable.


Please complete the research studentship application form

Applicants should use section 5 of the form (Supplementary Personal Statement) to supply a 1,000 word (maximum) research proposal outlining why you wish to undertake this research project, the current state of research knowledge, and possible hypotheses and research methods. Please also include a personal statement about your commitment to your chosen career and a CV (with contact details for two professional referees).

Please return to:

Mrs Katie Retallick, College of Human and Health Sciences, Room 221, Vivian Tower, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP.

Tel: 01792 295729



The application closing date is midnight, 18th August 2017. Interviews will be held in early September. The successful candidates will commence in January 2018.


For informal discussions about this opportunity, please contact:

NAME: Prof Tom Potokar, OBE



NAME: Mrs Maria Davis


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