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Researchers in the Academy of Primary Care

PhD scholarships

Current funded opportunities

Association of von Willebrand factor genetic variation and levels with cardiovascular disease outcomes

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the second most common cause of death in the UK and therefore a significant disease burden. von Willebrand factor (VWF) plays an important role in the haemostatic system and there is considerable natural variation in VWF levels; levels have been associated with clinical outcomes in single-centre acute coronary syndromes (ACS) patient cohorts, while high levels have also been associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction. In addition, VWF genetic variation independently influences VWF levels. There is therefore a timely opportunity to test whether VWF genetic variation and levels can predict CVD outcomes and inform personalised therapies for patient benefit.

This project aims to investigate the role that natural variation in VWF levels has in determining CVD risk, focusing specifically on clinical outcomes in a large multi-centre ACS patient cohort. Key objectives will:

  1. Identify VWF variants and variant haplotypes that significantly influence VWF levels and perform analyses in vitro to verify associations and determine the biological mechanisms involved.
  2. Investigate validated associations in ACS patients, determining how VWF levels relate to their clinical outcomes following treatment.

Closing date: 1 December 2023

Full details about the PhD and how to apply on

Diabetes and thrombosis: mechanistic links and novel interventional opportunities

Thrombosis is the occlusion of blood vessels by uncontrolled blood clotting. Being the cause of death for 70% of diabetes patients, thrombosis is a serious threat in diabetes. Blood platelets drive blood clotting and are hyperactive in diabetes.

Our data suggest that high blood glucose in diabetes patients causes oxidative stress, vesicle shedding and hyperactivity of platelets, which lead to uncontrolled blood clotting and increase the risk of thrombosis.

In this project, we will:

  • identify the molecular mechanisms linking high blood glucose with platelet hyperactivity;
  • establish novel in vitro and in vivo models of diabetes for the study of the association of diabetes and thrombosis;
  • study the effect of hyperglycaemia on haemostasis and vascular health;
  • assess whether dietary interventions can normalise platelet response in experimental models of diabetes.

Closing date: 6 December 2023

Full details and how to apply on the University of Hull website


Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures - Dissecting the climate, water and health nexus for people with disabilities

The University of Hull Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures is an interdisciplinary research centre exploring humanity’s relationships with water in the green-blue regions of the world, past, present and future.

It pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area – the green-blue humanities – and equips a new generation of PhD students to take this agenda forward and transform our understanding of humanity's relationships with water.

A funded 4-year PhD studentship is available in Hull York Medical School to start in September 2024 or January 2025. This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious, talented and enthusiastic researcher to conduct interdisciplinary research in order to advance thinking within the area of blue-green humanities.

Climate change has complex relationships with water cycles and related extreme events, health and disease, which are governed by levels of exposures and vulnerabilities. Different peoples with different vulnerabilities face multiple stressors with synergistic effects that are aggravated by climate change - with the most vulnerable and least resilient populations (e.g., some people with disabilities) worst affected. Building on our recent work around the roles of climate change, sanitation, hygiene and water in human health, in this project you will investigate the climate-water-hygiene-health nexus for people with disabilities.

We aim to incorporate human and planetary health as new metrics of accountability (a new ‘currency’) at the centre of ‘health in all’ climate strategies, particularly for some of the most vulnerable, that is, people with disabilities. You will investigate how supported behavioural change strategies can lead to disease prevention approaches that benefit societies as a whole, and are cost- and health-effective. You will explore the relationships between disabilities and accessibility to clean drinking water and hygiene standards, using the UK and Ghana as case studies.
Climate change has been labelled as the greatest public health opportunity this century and you will contribute towards realising this for people with disabilities.

Join our webinar for more information

A free webinar on Monday 27 November at 6pm gives you the opportunity to meet centre leads and PhD supervisors from the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures and ask your own questions about the programme. Book your place.

Closing date: 24 January 2024

Full details about the PhD and how to apply on the University of Hull website


Developing and testing a psychosocial intervention to promote spousal communication for mutual problem solving among Black men diagnosed with prostate cancer and their partners

Prostate cancer affects 1 in 4 Black men and is now regarded as a couple’s disease because men and their partners experience significant psychological and emotional distress after diagnosis and treatment. This novel PhD will address this gap in the evidence base by developing and testing an intervention to promote open communication for mutual problem-solving among Black men diagnosed with prostate cancer and their partners in the United Kingdom.

Supervised by an experienced supervisory team, the project will involve collaborative working with a patient and public involvement group, NHS Trusts, Black community organisations as well as multidisciplinary teams of researchers at the Hull York Medical School and Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research, University of Hull.

Closing date: 15 February 2024

Find out more and apply on

University of Hull research cluster: Wound care: prediction, prevention and profiling

Wound care presents a substantial burden to the NHS, affecting 3.8 million individuals with direct and indirect NHS costs of £8.3 billion annually due to prolonged hospital stays, increased morbidity and mortality, extended recovery periods, and compromised quality of life for affected individuals. The urgency to tackle this problem is further driven by an ageing demographic and the significant rise in the number of people with diabetes and obesity.

This project will be part of a University of Hull PhD cluster to investigate four fundamental aspects of wound care: 1) Harnessing AI for remote diagnosis and sustainable practices; 2) Automated assessment of wound perfusion; 3) Exploring novel SSI prevention interventions; 4) In-depth profiling for precision treatment. Each of these projects will also address multiple Vascular James Lind Alliance priorities.

Find out more and apply for these scholarships on the University of Hull website:

Closing date: 15 February 2024

Self-funded projects

If you would like to propose your own research project, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Supervisors will be happy to work with you to devise a project that can encompass your own research interest whilst still supporting the strategic research priorities of their own research group/centre and that of the Medical School.

Prior to submitting an application, please contact a potential supervisor directly to discuss possible supervision of a self-funded project leading to one of our postgraduate research degrees, including MSc by thesis.

Explore the areas of research in the and find the contact details for the academic members of staff.

Contact us

If you have any questions about any of our advertised projects, please contact the named supervisor in the first instance.

If you have any queries on how to apply or any other queries, please email: