Prevention of Diabetes Related Retinopathy: Using Artificial Intelligence Technology to Transform Clinical Outcomes

Prevention of Diabetes Related Retinopathy: Using Artificial Intelligence Technology to Transform Clinical Outcomes

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International - including EU at international rates from September 2021)

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: Associate Professor Robyn Tapp

DTA Future Societies PhD Studentships

This is a Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) Future Societies fully-funded PhD studentship.

Find out more


Coventry University is inviting applications from ambitious and self-motivated candidates to undertake a PhD researching the use of AI technologies and the prevention of diabetes related retinopathy which is fully funded through the Doctoral Training Alliance programme.

Project details

Background: Strategies to prevent complications of diabetes, which are essentially vascular, can be highly effective. However, in the UK alone 80% of the health-care budget for diabetes (£10 billion per-year) is spent treating complications that should have been prevented.

Aims: This novel research aims to develop an automatic artificial intelligence (AI)-based prediction tool, to see if eye blood-vessel changes occur before any clinical evidence of retinopathy and to preliminarily assess its potential cost-effectiveness. Similar research has not been undertaken, due to the need for substantial, longitudinal data.

Methods: This project will develop and evaluate AI-algorithms to predict five-year risk of developing diabetic retinopathy (DR) using an extraordinarily large longitudinal cohort. DR outcomes and clinical data (i.e. biochemistry and blood-pressure) at each time point are available. We will also model the potential cost-effectiveness of implementing the DR risk prediction tool within clinical practice.

Summary: The project has potential to improve healthcare outcomes for people with diabetes, by providing an ‘early warning system’, meeting the sustainability development goal (SDG) of good health and well-being. The strong multidisciplinary team will ensure the success of this project.


This is a fully-funded studentship, including tuition fees, stipend/bursary and additional allowances for training, conference attendance and fieldwork.


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.

Entry requirements

Entry criteria for applicants to PHD

  • 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)

How to apply

To find out more about the project, please contact Associate Professor Robyn Tapp.

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

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