Lifetime domestic abuse exposure in a national cohort of people seeking health and forensic care for sexual violence

Eligibility: UK/EU graduates with the required entry requirements

PhD funding award: Bursary plus tuition fees  (UK/EU)

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

Application deadline:14th of August 2020

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2020/Jan 2021. Subject to discussion and agreement

For further details contact: Lorna O'Doherty

About the project

The proposed study will entail secondary analysis of quantitative data collected as part of the MESARCH cohort study ( which is part of wider project to evaluate Sexual Assault Referral Centres nationally and funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Sexual and domestic abuse have serious implications for public health, contributing substantially to the global burden of trauma. 2% of the British public is affected by sexual violence annually, whilst 6% reports domestic violence and abuse. Modelling domestic abuse and recovery journeys in a sexual violence context will deliver ground-breaking doctoral study. It will generate much-needed evidence on the overlap of abuse types, with particular relevance in the current pandemic climate, to benefit service-providers, policy-makers and ultimately, those affected by abuse.

This work will be supervised by Dr Lorna O'Doherty (Principal Investigator on the MESARCH project) together with academics from the Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Healthcare theme within the Centre for Intelligent Healthcare.


Training and Development

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.

Candidate specification

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


  • An aptitude for quantitative methods and research as evidenced through previous degree disciplines/subjects, and other work experience (e.g. epidemiology, data science, statistics, public health, health economics, analysis of data in cohort, longitudinal studies, or RCTs) 
  • Demonstrable interest in the fields of public health, gender-based violence/interpersonal violence and/or health assessment

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus an up to 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

To find out more about the project please contact Lorna O'Doherty.

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