The Palliative and End of Life Care Priority Setting Partnership 2015 has called for more and better targeted research in palliative and end of life care, saying: “Palliative and end of life care is an under-researched area and requires greater attention.”
This statement from the UK Partnership joins related calls for better value research in palliative care.
The research we do needs to be focused on the questions that matter, and robustly conducted and disseminated so that it can have an appropriate impact on issues such as patient care, education and policy.
Whilst there are many reasons for the comparative paucity of research in our field, one critical issue is that we need more appropriately trained researchers in the field.
One course which will help to develop the researchers of the future is the PhD in Palliative Care at Lancaster University. This is an innovative blended learning approach that is designed to be followed part time by students from across the world, enabling them to both study at PhD level and continue to work at the same time.
The course commences with two years of part time modular study delivered online via our blended learning platform, using a mix of online lectures, videos, webinars and discussion boards to promote learning on a range of research related topics.
Students attend Lancaster annually for a residential block, but the rest of the studying is done in their home countries.
Once this is completed, they are supervised to complete their own research over the next two to five years, with supervision offered face to face or remotely via a combination of video conferencing, telephone and email support.
Current students on the course value the way the taught course is structured, saying: “The teaching methods for this programme had to accommodate international students and all learning materials were web based with excellent IT support.
“Each module had different teaching methods included within it, which challenged students to move forward not only academically but with their IT skills as well.”
They also commented on their learning from the course, saying: “My skills in research have developed and I have been able to consolidate my interpersonal and communication skills throughout this process.
“The opportunity to learn from experts in palliative care research has been inspirational.”
For anyone interested in joining the course, entries are currently open and close on the 1st April 2015. Full details are available online.
For those who may be more interested in a full time PhD, there are also Lancaster University faculty studentships available, with a closing date of the 6th March 2015.
These are available for both UK/EU residents as well as international students.
Find out more on the Lancaster University website.