Digital Innovations in Healthcare and Education

PhD opportunities 

The School of Health Sciences offers a vibrant and stimulating environment for research students. In the latest Research Excellence Framework, we were commended for the quality of our lectures, mentoring and support.

The Digital Innovations in Healthcare and Education (DICE) Research Group welcomes PhD proposals in line with our specific research themes. These are fascinating and diverse, spanning the potential of cutting-edge technology, the wellbeing of frontline healthcare workers and the quality of life of patients with long-term conditions.

Current opportunities

The Digital Innovations in Healthcare and Education (DICE) Research Group welcomes PhD proposals in line with our research themes. 

Staff contacts - Professor Heather Wharrad or Dr Richard Windle:

Implementing context specific, user-designed, multimedia, mobile-delivered learning tools in healthcare education

Exploring how we should adapt existing reusable learning objects (RLOs) and create new ones to develop individually tailored, theoretically driven, mobile-enabled RLOs.
Using personal electronic portfolios for managing long-term conditions
Self-reflection and assessment play an important role in managing long-term conditions. This PhD involves recruiting people with a long-term condition and establishing a reflective portfolio intervention. You will explore how participants use portfolios, their acceptability and usefulness. 
The art of voice. Using artwork as a method to capture patient voices
The patient voice is one of the most powerful forces in healthcare, but capturing and learning from the experience of those with complex problems is difficult. This PhD explores the value of using artwork and artefacts to do this in mental health, domestic violence and other sensitive cases. 
Patient acceptance of e-observations and assessment innovations

Electronic recording of patient information is growing, but its success relies on overcoming staff and patient concerns. This PhD will use Q methodology to investigate other e-interventions, like e-observations, care planning and assessment, and their acceptance by patients, family and staff.

For more information, you can also contact Dr Stathis Konstantinidis. 

The role of reusable learning objects (RLOs) and personal learning networks (PLNs) in the deployment of massive online open courses (MOOCs) for personalised learning

MOOCs are growing massively and equipping people with the skills employers need, but they’re criticised for not providing a personalised learning experience. This PhD will investigate the role of RLOs, personal learning networks and social media in creating better, more personalised MOOCs.

For more information, you can also contact Dr Stathis Konstantinidis


Staff contact - Dr Stathis Konstantinidis:

Efficiency and efficacy of serious game environments and academic learning analytics
This PhD involves identifying algorithms and methods for justifying the efficiency and efficacy of serious game environments and academic learning analytics. You will propose best practices for problem-based learning, student interaction and clinical competency in medical education, providing a business case study.
Academic learning analytics for serious game environments in the era of social media and linked data
This PhD involves researching algorithms and data-mining techniques for discovering unknown behavioural patterns and cognitive models which characterise learning. You’ll create learning analytics tools that improve learning and teaching by matching resources and practices to behaviour, and promote a better understanding of clinical knowledge-based learning. 
Personalised adaptation in physical activity games for active healthy ageing
This PhD aims to design online serious games that promote health, with accessibility aspects (colours, speed, user controls) personalised for each type of user (eg healthy adults, children or the elderly). Behavioural and motivational triggers and techniques will play a central role. 
Problem-based learning via serious game environments
This PhD explores trust algorithms and semantic descriptions of social media resources (including videos). You will use them to enhance content-retrieving algorithms, create problem-based learning scenarios and develop serious game environments through collaborative technologies.

Staff contact - Dr Carol Hall:

Developing and evaluating new methods of learning for cultural understanding in the nursing practice role
This PhD project will explore the need for nurses to develop deep professional and cultural understanding in patient care. You will use transnational experiences to guide, enable and evaluate the development of reusable learning objects that can be used by nurses who work with patients from different cultures or are considering working internationally.
Implementing an e-learning platform to support the benchmarking of practice placement learning experiences for nursing and healthcare
In healthcare, student learning in clinical practice is an essential part of the curriculum and vital preparation for post-qualification work. This project involves designing an e-platform to determine the quality of students’ practice-based learning opportunities, environments and activities. 

Staff contact - Dr Holly Blake:

Can an online stress management intervention reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing in nurses and midwives?
Mental wellbeing in healthcare staff is a public health crisis, impacting negatively on patient care, compassion and staff engagement. This has significant costs in terms of sickness absenteeism, patient experience, outcomes and safety. Face-to-face interventions are costly and have limited reach, particularly for shift-workers, so this PhD explores the potential for web-based interventions. 
Mobile phone messaging to promote physical activity in knee osteoarthritis (OA)
Physical activity can facilitate weight control, pain reduction and improved quality of life for patients with knee OA. Our previous work shows that these patients can engage with an interactive SMS intervention, and this PhD will explore the potential of these interventions using methods which may include systematic review, randomised controlled trial and intervention development.


Digital Innovations in Healthcare and Education Research Group

The University of Nottingham
School of Health Sciences
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 0909