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Codesign and feasibility RCT of a digital resource for Occupational Therapists to support Intimacy and Sexual wellbeing after acquired brain injury: The OTIS Toolkit

Eligibility: UK and international (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Tuition fees, bursary and additional allowances

Duration: Full-time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

For further details contact: Dr Hayley Wright

Project details

Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) is central to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of Good Health and Wellbeing. SRH complications are significant and varied for People With Acquired Brain Injury (PWABI) yet are seldom addressed in neurorehabilitation.

Occupational Therapists (OTs) are best placed within the neurorehabilitation journey to address SRH issues. However, training is limited, and many OTs feel ill-equipped to help PWABI who express SRH concerns.

We will partner with OTs and PWABI, to codesign and test a digital toolkit for OTs to support SRH issues experienced by PWABI. We have immediate access to a digital platform via CU spin-out social enterprise (H4C) enabling a rapid prototype codesign and user-testing phase. The “OTIS Toolkit” aims to embed timely SRH support within the neurorehabilitation pathway, improve access to effective holistic healthcare for PWABI and increase clinical activation in OTs.

This project is an essential component within a growing portfolio of the DoS’s research to address inequalities in access to sexual wellbeing support and improve SRH outcomes for PWABI and partners/spouses.

The multidisciplinary supervisory team have expertise in digital healthcare interventions, OT & NHS service evaluations. The bespoke research environment will enable a strong PhD candidate to develop impactful and much-needed solutions within this unique field.


Tuition fees, bursary and additional allowances.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. 

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 


The successful candidate is expected to have existing:

  • knowledge and experience of research methods relevant to health and/or psychology disciplines
  • strong academic writing skills

Project-specific training will be provided by our experienced team of digital health researchers, and the successful candidate will develop skills and capacity in the co-creation and development of digital psychological support solutions. In addition, the successful candidate will receive formal training in areas such as Good Clinical Practice and Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, and will be encouraged to join discipline-specific societies and professional groups such as British Psychological Society (BPS), Royal College of Occupational Therapy (RCOT), British Neuropsychological Society (BNS).

Candidate specification

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

For further details please visit:

Additional requirements
  • Genuine interest in supporting people with long-term conditions
  • Interest or experience in Occupational Therapy, psychology, nursing, rehabilitation, or brain injury research
  • Ability to relate to diverse groups of people with empathy and advocate confidentiality
  • Confidence and skills to discuss sensitive topics relating to psychological, intimate, and emotional wellbeing with adult research participants
  • Clear understanding of ethical research principles
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent active listening skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team

How to apply

All applications require a covering letter and a 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.  

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Hayley Wright.

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