PhD Research Studentships - Glasgow Caledonian University

University PhD Research Studentship
School of Health & Life Sciences/Institute for Applied
Health Research
Reference Number: SHLS-134s
Studentship Project Title: Developing a community delivered, emotional competency based
intervention for young men who have sex with men in Scotland to improve their sexual health and
relationships: a feasibility and outcome pilot RCT.
Applications are invited for a full-time PhD research studentship at Glasgow Caledonian University within
the School of Health & Life Sciences. The studentship is for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory
progress and provides payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend of £14,800
[please note that students from outside the EU are required to pay the difference between International
and EU fees, currently this would amount to £7,100 per annum]. The successful candidate will carry out
up to 6 hours of academic-related work per week as part of their research training.
Research Theme
Public Health
Research Project Summary
Whilst the poor sexual health of young people is of concern (HPA, 2011), young (age 13-24) men who
have sex with men (YMSM) account for almost three-quarters of HIV diagnoses (CDC, 2011) amongst
young people, despite less than 10% of young men reporting homosexual sex, desire or identity
(Pedersen and Kristiansen, 2008). Indeed both young people and men who have sex with men are
identified as higher risk groups in Scotland’s sexual health strategies. Thus there is an urgent need to
improve the sexual health of YMSM. Recently the issue of emotional competence, which comprises the
ability to recognise, express, reflect on and regulate emotions, has gained attention; Hessler & Katz
(2010) argue that undeveloped emotional competency can increase high risk sexual behaviours.
Consequently, emotional competence based interventions (ECBI) are currently being developed to reduce
sexual risk and improve relationship skills in young people. Contemporary stigma, discrimination and
homophobia still prevalent within Scottish society ensure that YMSM do not have the same opportunities
to develop emotional and relationship skills during formative and teenage years as their heterosexually
oriented peers. Thus, the aim of this project is to develop an ECBI for YMSM in Scotland and test both the
feasibility and outcome(s) of this intervention.
Research questions
1. How can existing ECBI be tailored to suit YMSM in Scotland?
2. Is it feasible to train outreach staff to deliver an ECBI for YMSM?
3. Is it feasible to conduct a wait-list RCT based on this ECBI.
4. What is the impact of this ECBI on the emotional competency, relationship skills and sexual health
behaviours of YMSM?
Study Design
This project includes 4 key stages;
1. Critical literature review to investigate;
i) emotional and relationship issues amongst YMSM and
ii) development of tailored ECBI for this group.
2. Qualitative interviews with YMSM to explore;
i) emotional competency and relationship issues amongst YMSM and
ii) the appropriateness, content and delivery of a tailored ECBI for this group.
3. Develop an EBCI intervention and train outreach staff to deliver this.
4. Deliver and evaluate this EBCI for YMSM in Scotland in terms of feasibility and outcome measures
using a wait-list randomised control trial.
Supervisory Team
Dr Jamie S Frankis (School of Health and Social Care)
Professor Paul Flowers (School of Health and Social Care)
Professor Lawrie Elliot (School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University)
Staff Contact
Dr Jamie S Frankis
How to Apply
Applicants should complete the University Research Application Form, available from:
Please send the form, stating the studentship project title and reference number, with a CV, copies of
academic qualifications, references, and any other required documentation to:
The closing date for applications is Monday 13 April 2015