Manchester Cancer Research Centre PhD training and fellowship scheme

PHD TRAINING SCHEMES

We offer a range of clinical and non-clinical PhD projects via our CRUK Centre:

Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre

The Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre PhD Scheme is highly competitive. It seeks ambitious, motivated students and clinical fellows who aim to launch and develop a career in world leading cancer research.

In addition, the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute offer several PhD projects every year through their own separate scheme.

PhD projects in all aspects of cancer research are offered through our academic partner, The University of Manchester. Current vacancies can be found through FindAPhD.com.

We currently have two MCRC projects available, closing on Sunday 16 June (Gilmore) and Sunday 23 June (Sutton):

Please note that interviews for the below projects will take place on Tuesday 9 July.

 

Economic issues in the delivery and organisation of services for early detection of cancer
Lead supervisor: Professor Matt Sutton
Co-supervisors: Dr David Shackley, Dr Jonathan Stokes, Dr Rachel Meacock
 
Technological and service innovations are leading to earlier detection of cancers to reduce the treatment, morbidity and mortality burdens associated with late diagnosis. This will change the volume and composition of patients presenting to services, and will require increases in service responsiveness, re-alignment of financial incentives and changes to the workforce.
 
This PhD will address three of the key economic issues raised by earlier detection of cancer. It will consider how: 
(i) waiting times standards influence when care is provided, to whom and with what outcomes; 
(ii) changes to the way that care providers are paid affect the amount of care provided, to which types of patients and with what cost consequences for the NHS;
(iii) a shift to earlier detection of cancer creates changes to the types of workers that the NHS will require.
 
These topics are highly policy relevant and the findings of these studies will be expected to have national and international impact, as well as stimulating a new research agenda for the future. 
 
The student will be supervised by a team of health economists and cancer experts and will be based within an inter-disciplinary research group. They will gain expertise in the use of applied econometric techniques and non-experimental evaluation methods and experience of using large, linked administrative and survey datasets. The studentship includes funding for training courses and for conference attendance and dissemination.
 
The PhD studentship will equip the student with transferable and generalisable skills in applied economics and with expert knowledge in the economics of early detection of cancer.

 

Breast cancer risk assessment and screening for young women at high risk: Developing care pathways and assessing feasibility
Lead supervisor: Professor David French
Co-supervisors: Dr Sacha Howell, Dr Louise Gorman
 
Breast Cancer (BC) is the commonest cause of death in women under 50 years with the incidence increasing exponentially through the 30s and 40s. For women at pre-screening ages (30-45), BC is less common but more frequently lethal (77% 10year survival <40 vs 87% >50).  At least 70% of women who develop BC do not have a family history and thus are not known to be at risk. Reaching these women represents a major unmet need. 
 
The present research forms part of a programme of work to produce a breast cancer risk prediction system that can be accessed by all women as they turn 30 years.  These women will be able to access an electronic platform that explains BC risk assessment and facilitates risk questionnaire completion and facilitates collection of DNA from saliva, to allow BC risk assessment.  Those women with high enough risk, or in whom a dense mammogram would result in entering NICE defined moderate or high-risk groups, would be invited for low dose risk assessment mammography.  Overall BC risk and suitability for NICE defined screening and prevention programmes discussed.
 
This PhD studentship focusses on developing acceptable care pathways for this new approach to early detection of breast cancer, and an examination of psychological impact.  Building on PPI work it will involve interviewing GPs to develop care pathways that “fit” with usual practice.  It will involve producing new materials for engagement and communication of results, using materials developed in PROCAS/PROCAS2 at templates.  Interviews with women will ensure that materials are acceptable and comprehensible.
 
The PhD research will finish with evaluation of the effects on this approach on outcomes such as satisfaction, anxiety and informed choices, to establish its feasibility.  This will also involve a larger questionnaire study and further interviews with healthcare professionals and participating women.