The successful applicant will be awarded a place on the university’s prestigious Medicines in Acute and Chronic Care programme.

The initiative is part of the HDR UK Medicines in Actuate and Chronic Care Driver Programme and offers a stipend plus research costs for three years.


The project will use electronic health records (EHRs) to understand patterns of stopping medicines and how they differ by drug group and patients clinical history, and the real world effectiveness of stopping a medication using target trial emulation and other causal inference approaches.

These methods could lend themselves to reducing the burden of polypharmacy and informing deprescribing guidelines and prioritising future randomised trials where a signal is established that stopping certain groups of drugs may have little value or increased harm for the patient.

Knowledge, skills and attitudes to be gained

The student will learn methods for curating and analysing population-wide EHRs and apply causal inference methods to examine the long-term impact of stopping medicines on subsequent outcomes. They will gain skills in programming, data analysis, writing for scientific and lay audiences, and communicating their research.


We are seeking a candidate with a background in biomedical, mathematics, data science or related quantitative discipline (with some familiarity with statistical analysis) and an interest in the application of statistical methods in health research. Experience in the analysis of routine health data, the use of statistical software such as R, or a programming language such as Python would be an advantage.


The PhD is funded by HDR UK and includes full UK PhD tuition fees, a stipend at UKRI rates (currently £19,237 for 24/25), and research costs of up to £5,000 a year. It is a three-year award. Overseas students are welcome to apply but would need to fund the difference between home and overseas fees.


Apply online. Type in Population Health Sciences (PhD) and state in the application that you are applying for funding from HDR UK.

Ensure you have read the admissions statement here. We request a statement of your research interests and how your previous work prepares you for the role. We welcome and encourage student applications from under-represented groups. We value a diverse research environment.

The preferred start date is October 2024.

  • Application deadline: midnight 4 August, 2024 (UK time)
  • Notification of shortlisting: week commencing 12 August, 2024
  • Interviews: week commencing 19 August, 2024

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Dr Rachel Denholm .

For enquiries about the application process, please email .