24/02/2021

4 PhD positions available at Glasgow Caledonian University - under MSCA ITN project: HEALTH CASCADE


HEALTH CASCADE is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks project funded by the European Union. The project is offering 15 fully funded PhD positions are available across Europe with projects in health care and technology to develop a new field of research called evidence based co-creation, four positions are available at Glasgow Caledonian University (Scotland).

The aim of Health CASCADE is to foster the next generation of highly-trained research leaders to develop evidence based guiding principles, novel tools and new technologies to make co-creation an effective tool to fight complex public health problems through a European Joint Doctoral Programme.

Co-creation is a novel approach to tackle complex global public health issues. However, to date there is no evidence to underpin co-creation and no scientific methodology to guide it and ensure it is effective.

POSITION #1 Methods in Co-creation

This project aims to develop evidence based theory and methods for co-creation of public health intervention. The ESR will work specifically on understanding what methods work for whom and when at each stages of the co-creation process. This will involve creating a taxonomy of co-creation methods and working with the other 14 ESR in the network to provide evidence on their feasibility, reliability and efficacy. The ESR will investigate the impact of different methods on the outcome and process of co-creation of public health interventions in different contexts including health care, schools, workplace and communities. This work will contribute to the development of guidelines for co-creation and of a training course.

The successful candidate will be based at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), one of the largest Universities in Scotland, with over 20000 students and core businesses of education and research. At the last UK research assessment, GCU ranked as the top modern university in Scotland by research power and in the top 20 in the UK for health research at world-leading and internationally excellent standards. GCU is 43th in the world impact rankings. Within the University, the School of Health and Life Sciences is the largest and is an interdisciplinary school with a strong profile of external research funding. The Centre for Living is the School’s implementation and applied science research centre. Its core objectives are to facilitate the translation of evidence into health care and public health practice, training of health care practitioners, and public engagement.

The main supervisor on the project will be Prof Sebastien Chastin (GCU). The candidate will also be supervised by Health Cascade team members from Foundation Blanquerna (Spain), and from Later Life training (Scotland). Later Life Training is a non-profit making company that designs and delivers training courses in evidence based health care.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to conduct an academic placement in Foundation Blanquerna (Spain), and non-academic placements with Later Life training and 3KQ (three key questions; UK). 3KQ are a company specializing in multi-stakeholder facilitation and consensus-building around difficult societal and environmental issues.

 

POSITION #2 Enabling technology in co-creation

This project aims to develop, experiment and validate open source disruptive technologies, platforms and tools to enable Big data, AI and knowledge management techniques to facilitate evidence based co-creation of public health interventions. The ESR will work specifically on understanding what open source technologies can be used at each stage of the co-creation process and to facilitate and govern the co-creation process. The ESR will investigate questions such as Can AI be used to analyse data collected during the co-creation process? Can AI help in ensuring that co-creation is democratic and that all stakeholders can have a voice and that the voice is represented? Can we use wearable devices to facilitate co-creation and what technologies can we put in place to facilitate co-creation remotely such as during pandemics. The ESR will investigate the impact of different technology on the outcome and process of co-creation of public health interventions in different context including health care, schools, workplace and communities. This work will contribute to the development of guidelines for co-creation and of a training course.

The successful candidate will be based at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), one of the largest Universities in Scotland, with over 20000 students and core businesses of education and research. At the last UK research assessment, GCU ranked as the top modern university in Scotland by research power and in the top 20 in the UK for health research at world-leading and internationally excellent standards. GCU is 43th in the world impact rankings. Within the University, the School of Health and Life Sciences is the largest and is an interdisciplinary school with a strong profile of external research funding. The Centre for Living is the School’s implementation and applied science research centre. Its core objectives are to facilitate the translation of evidence into health care and public health practice, training of health care practitioners, and public engagement.

The main supervisor on the project will be Prof Sebastien Chastin (GCU). The candidate will also be supervised by Health Cascade team members from the National Centre for Scientific Research Demokritos (Greece).

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to conduct an academic placement in National Centre for Scientific Research Demokritos (Greece), and non-academic placements with Neotrope (France) and Singular Logic (Greece). Neotrope is a world leader in wearble technology to measure psychological signals and Singular Logic is a leading provider of Enterprise Sortware Solution and integrated IT solution.

 

POSITION #3 Co-creation of lifestyle interventions in the workplace

This project will collaborate to co-create interventions aiming to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity with stakeholders (e.g. employees, managers, occupational health specialists) in the workplaces of small to medium enterprises in Scotland.

Sedentary behaviour is a waking behaviour with low energy expenditure in a sitting or reclining posture, and a wealth of evidence highlights the relationship between prolonged sedentary behaviour and a range of poor physical and mental health outcomes (i.e. mortality, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression). Replacing sedentary behaviour with physical activity of any intensity is associated with improved health outcomes, including reduced mortality risk. Office workers are particularly at risk because they spend up to 70% of their time at work sitting and not moving, with 30 to 50% in prolonged sitting bouts (≥30mins). Workplace sedentary behaviour research has typically focused on large organisations (≥250 employees), which may have enhanced access to organisational well-being policies and occupational health services. However, SME’s account for >99% of all business in the UK and 60% of total employment, and effective interventions in this population could be scalable to have public health impact. The working culture, processes and environment will vary greatly between SMEs in different industry sectors and public/private sector. Consequently, solutions need to be tailored to specific work contexts, and it is likely, that interventions will need to be individualised for each SME. Co-creation provides an excellent method to implement individualised interventions, however, conducting individual co-creation interventions in each SME is resource heavy (in terms of employer, employee and researcher time). To be relevant at scale, a model for tailoring and adapting local solutions (cascade model of scaling) and exploration of novel methods of streamlining the co-creation process are required.

The interventions developed will be evaluated in the short term (3 months) for changes in behaviour, and health and wellbeing at work. The aim of this project will be to use records of co-creation workshops, suggested and adopted intervention components, and the short-term evaluation of the intervention, to evaluate the of tailoring and adapting a core-intervention to provide an enhanced starting point for scaling future co-creation interventions in SMEs.

The successful candidate will be based at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), one of the largest Universities in Scotland, with over 20000 students and core businesses of education and research. At the last UK research assessment, GCU ranked as the top modern university in Scotland by research power and in the top 20 in the UK for health research at world-leading and internationally excellent standards. GCU is 43th in the world impact rankings. Within the University, the School of Health and Life Sciences is the largest and is an interdisciplinary school with a strong profile of external research funding. The Centre for Living is the School’s implementation and applied science research centre. Its core objectives are to facilitate the translation of evidence into health care and public health practice, training of health care practitioners, and public engagement.

The main supervisor on the project will be Dr. Philippa Dall (GCU). The candidate will also be supervised by Health Cascade team members from University of Gent (Belgium), as part of the Physical Activity and Health Research group, and from PULSO Europe (Belgium). PULSO Europe assists organisations in developing and implementing their (psychosocial) wellbeing strategies, policies and programmes, providing tailored solutions, working with key stakeholders, combining up-to-date scientific knowledge with a pragmatic approach to business needs.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to conduct an academic placement in University of Gent (Belgium), and non-academic placements in PULSO Europe (Belgium), and 3KQ (three key questions; UK). 3KQ are a company specializing in multi-stakeholder facilitation and consensus-building around difficult societal and environmental issues.

 

POSITION #4: What are the emotional and psychological effects of participating in co-creation?

The aim of this project will be to evaluate the experience, including the positive and negative emotional and psychological effects of participating in co-creation. It is expected that the project will used mixed-methods research, including observation, qualitative interviews and quantitative measurement using state of the art wearable device technology. This project will collaborate strongly with Neotrope (France) an affective computing and cognitive technology company that produces AffectTag, a light and mobile solution that senses physiological data and automates affects detection and recognition allowing Human Research companies and laboratories to objectively measure affects in both laboratory and ecologic environment.

This project will collaborate to co-create interventions aiming to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity with stakeholders (e.g. employees, managers, occupational health specialists) in the workplaces of small to medium enterprises in Scotland. Sedentary behaviour is a waking behaviour with low energy expenditure in a sitting or reclining posture, and a wealth of evidence highlights the relationship between prolonged sedentary behaviour and a range of poor physical and mental health outcomes (i.e. mortality, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression). Replacing sedentary behaviour with physical activity of any intensity is associated with improved health outcomes, including reduced mortality risk. Office workers are particularly at risk because they spend up to 70% of their time at work sitting and not moving, with 30 to 50% in prolonged sitting bouts (≥30mins). Workplace sedentary behaviour research has typically focused on large organisations (≥250 employees), which may have enhanced access to organisational well-being policies and occupational health services. However, SME’s account for >99% of all business in the UK and 60% of total employment, and effective interventions in this population could be scalable to have public health impact.

One potentially important aspect of conducting co-creation within SMEs is how the experience of participating in co-creation affects the emotional wellbeing of the participant. In an SME, there may be limited number of individuals from which to recruit participants and there may be potential gender and other imbalances in the workforce which influence who takes part in the co-creation process. There is the potential for inclusion of a management representative to induce power imbalance within the co-creation process, and there is a need for existing working relationships to be preserved outside of the co-creation process.

The successful candidate will be based at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), one of the largest Universities in Scotland, with over 20000 students and core businesses of education and research. At the last UK research assessment, GCU ranked as the top modern university in Scotland by research power and in the top 20 in the UK for health research at world-leading and internationally excellent standards. GCU is 43th in the world impact rankings. Within the University, the School of Health and Life Sciences is the largest and is an interdisciplinary school with a strong profile of external research funding. The Centre for Living is the School’s implementation and applied science research centre. Its core objectives are to facilitate the translation of evidence into health care and public health practice, training of health care practitioners, and public engagement.

The main supervisor on the project will be Dr. Philippa Dall (GCU). The candidate will also be supervised by Health Cascade team members from Fundacion Blanquerna (Spain), as part of the Physical Activity and Health Research group, and from Neotrope (France).

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to conduct an academic placement in Fundacion Blanquerna (Spain), and non-academic placements in Neotrope (France), and PULSO Europe (Belgium). PULSO Europe assists organisations in developing and implementing their (psychosocial) wellbeing strategies, policies and programmes, providing tailored solutions, working with key stakeholders, combining up-to-date scientific knowledge with a pragmatic approach to business needs.

Benefits

Eligibility criteria

  • At the time of recruitment the candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Must be within first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

Skills/Qualifications

  • Required skills and qualifications depend on the position. Please visit https://www.gcu.ac.uk/latestvacancies/jobs/ to see the specific requirements.
  • Excellent written and spoken English of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required
  • MSc in relevant disciplines 
  • Experience in researching or working in public health
  • Experience in co-creation or participatory design and research
  • Knowledge of other European languages (See position specific language)

Specific Requirements

At the time of recruitment the candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

Must be within first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

 

To see the full list of PhD positions please visit the project's website.