Jobs and study opportunities

Three funded PhD positions on best interests decisions in healthcare, ethics and law: University of Bristol, UK

The initial application deadline is 9am (GMT) 4 April 2019.

Host Institution:

Centre for Ethics in Medicine (Population Health Sciences, Medical School) or the Centre for Health, Law, and Society (Law School) at the University of Bristol, UK.

Both Centres are recognised internationally for their research, teaching and engagement activities in healthcare ethics and law. Members of the two Centres are collaborating on the Wellcome Trust funded collaborative project, Balancing Best Interests in Healthcare, Ethics and Law (BABEL). The project explores healthcare decisions that are made in the "best interests" of people who are unable to make decisions for themselves because they lack (what the law calls) mental capacity or competence. They include children – as poignantly illustrated in the recent, widely publicised legal case of Charlie Gard – and adults, including those with learning disabilities, dementia or prolonged disorders of consciousness. BABEL asks how the "best interests" of such individuals should be understood – which factors and values should be considered, who should be involved, and indeed whether "'best interests" is even the best approach.

Funded PhD Positions:

We have three BABEL PhD studentships available, for commencement in autumn 2019. Depending on the project and supervisors, successful candidates will be registered in the Centre for Ethics in Medicine or the Centre for Health, Law, and Society at the University of Bristol.

Application Process:

There is a two-stage application process. First, candidates apply for BABEL funding. Funding applications must be emailed to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  by 9am (GMT), 4 April 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview, which are expected to be held on 21 May 2019. Those who are awarded funding then, secondly, apply for a place on the PhD programme (more guidance on the second stage will be provided to those successfully awarded the in-principle funding). Detailed information about what we are looking for and what the process involves can be downloaded here.  

What We Offer:

Three successful candidates will be provided with funding for three years (full time equivalent), which will cover PhD student fees (at UK/EU funding level), some research expenses, plus a studentship (beginning at approximately £19,900 p.a.).

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