17. juli 2020

PhD fellowship - Care for patients with severe psychiatric disease and somatic co-morbidities in general practice

PhD fellowship - Care for patients with severe psychiatric disease and somatic co-morbidities in general practice – a pilot study of a complex intervention

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

The Section of General Practice at the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, is offering a three-year fulltime PhD fellowship on a pilot study of a complex intervention with a focus on assessing feasibility and improving implementability and intervention content. The PhD fellowship is financed by the Novo Nordisk foundation.

The fellowship is available from 1 November 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project description
People with severe mental illness (SMI) die 10-20 years earlier than the general population. This excess mortality is largely the consequence of lower quality of medical care. Evidence suggests that the mortality gap for people with SMI is amenable to intervention and that primary care may play a pivotal role in reducing this gap. Therefore, we developed the SOFIA study, a randomized controlled trial, which by a co-designed complex intervention aims to improve the treatment of comorbid somatic conditions in persons with SMI through an enhanced educational training of general practitioners and their clinical staff, and incorporation of strategies to change health practice to better accommodate patients with a psychiatric background. This includes an active outreach to patients, longer consultations, and a more holistic approach during consultations. Components of the design and intervention, similar to those from the SOFIA trial intervention, have been used and assessed in previous trials; however, none of these interventions were specifically aimed at patients with severe psychiatric morbidity in the general practice setting.

As part of the development of our complex intervention and in preparation of a full trial, we will conduct a cluster randomized pilot study including a formative process evaluation.

The aim of this project is to:
Explore the feasibility of a full-scale trial design and to qualify the intervention, the trial management and the intervention implementation for a final RCT. This includes:
1.Assessing elements concerning the feasibility of running an RCT with the current set-up, e.g. data collection and recruitment
2.Assessing the implementation platform for the intervention by assessing fidelity and barriers and facilitators for implementation.
3.Informing and improving the intervention program theory

The study will use a combination of qualitative interviews and observations and quantitative data. The final project protocol will be composed in collaboration between Ph.D. student and supervisors.

The PhD study is embedded in SOFIA study (https://publichealth.ku.dk/about-the-department/general/research/sofia/) and the PhD student will conduct a self-contained study while also contributing to the running in The SOFIA Trial (including e.g. management of the user board, taking minutes at advisory board meetings, and manage contact to participating practices).

Principal supervisor is Maarten Pieter Rozing, Associate Professor and MD, Co-supervisors are Tina Drud Due, post doc and Master of Science in Public Health and Alexandra Brandt Ryborg Jønsson, post doc and Anthropologist.

Required qualifications
As an applicant you must have:
◾Obtained a Master’s degree in health or social sciences, i.e. Public health, sociology, medicine
◾Fluency in English and excellent communication skills.
◾Speak and understand Danish and knowledge of the Danish Healthcare System.

Preferred qualifications
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with an interest in implementation and evaluation of complex interventions and in the combination of qualitative and quantitative research. Previous practical experience with qualitative and quantitative research, broad knowledge of and or professional experience with the Danish general practice system will be an advantage. Moreover, genuine affinity with treatment of patients with psychiatric disorders will be considered a major asset. A supervisor team will be connected to the PhD project, but the candidate is expected to be able to work independently on the project and contribute with ideas to the project and to the research plan.

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the department are to:
◾Conduct an independent research project under supervision.
◾Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project.
◾Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education.
◾Gain teaching experience and other types of dissemination related to your PhD project.
◾Participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings.
◾Stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad.
◾Participate in the application for additional funding for the project.
◾The candidate is expected to make a valuable contribution to the practicalities of conducting the trial.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
◾Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD program.
◾Relevant work experience.
◾Previous publications.
◾Other professional activities.
◾The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills.

Formal requirements
The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant Master’s degree.

The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Public Health according to the rules stipulated in the Ministerial order on the PhD program at the universities (PhD order) from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education and the guidelines for the PhD program at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years.

It is conditioned upon the applicant’s success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree. Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 27,590 DKK /approx. 3,700 EUR (April 2020-level) plus pension.

For further information, applicants may contact:

Maarten Pieter Rozing, mail: mroz@sund.ku.dk , phone: 35335438

Tina Drud Due, mail: tina.due@sund.ku.dk, phone: 26212782

Alexandra Brandt Ryborg Jønsson, mail: a.joensson@sund.ku.dk, phone: 26253624

For more information on working and living in Denmark visit http://ism.ku.dk(International staff mobility) and https://www.workindenmark.dk.

Application procedure
The application, in Danish or English, must be submitted electronically by clicking the APPLY NOW-button at the bottom of this page: Click here to go to the employment portal.

Your application must include:
◾Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project (max. one page).
◾Full CV.
◾Diploma and transcripts of records: Master’s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees). Applicants with a Master’s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used.
◾Publication list (if applicable).
◾Other information to consider: Possible references and recommendations (maximum 3).

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2020, 23:59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held 4 weeks after application deadline.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7850 students, 1700 PhD students and 4800 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.