Opportunity from one of our Corporate Members: Integrating the dietitian into the dental practice to address childhood body weight and oral health

The University of Plymouth are inviting applications for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2023.

Project description
The aim of this PhD project will be to promote collaborative work and research between dietitians and dentists. The candidate therefore will work at the University of Plymouth first class primary care dental education facilities of Peninsula Dental School (Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise) and the Dietetics, Human Nutrition and Health Research Group within the School of Health Professions, also linking into the Oral Microbiome Research Group.
The first goal of this project will be to identify the main barriers of integrating dietitians into the dental practice. The student will then establish a body weight screening initiative to identify overweight and obese children visiting the dental clinic, with follow up care involving dietary advice to children and their families to promote healthy eating habits. Child/parent engagement with dietary advice will be assessed alongside changes in children’s oral health, with the intention that any dietary initiatives to improve general health will also support good oral health.
As a translational project, this studentship is an excellent opportunity for developing innovative approaches to inter-professional working between dietitians and dentists, as well as performing novel research into the effects of diet on children’s oral health. Research skills in qualitative and quantitative methods and data handling will be developed, along with clinical research and laboratory techniques. The candidate will need to have excellent communication skills for working with patients, and will present their work at local, national and international conferences, as well as participating in the preparation of manuscripts and a final thesis.
Applicants should essentially have a first or upper second-class honours degree in Dietetics. It would also be an advantage to possess MSc or MRes qualification and clinical experience as a dietitian. Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is desirable.
If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum English requirements for the programme, academic IELTS score of 6.5 (with no less than 6 in each component test area) or equivalent.
The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full home tuition fees, plus a stipend of £17,668 per annum (2022/23 rate). The studentship will only fund those applicants who are eligible for home fees with relevant qualifications. International applicants will be required to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates (approximately £12,697 per annum 2023/24 rate).
NB: The studentship is supported for three years of the four-year registration period. The fourth year is a self-funded ‘writing-up’ year.
To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Nutrition and Health (and select the entry point of October 2023), then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship and name the project at the top of your personal statement.

Online application

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Patricia Casas Agustench. However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below and in the ‘Apply’ box at the top of this advert.
Please see our how to apply for a research degree page for a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.
This vacancy will involve working with children (and their parents) and any appointment will be subject a Disclosure and Barring Service check.
For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact research.degree.admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 15 May 2023.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview shortly after the deadline. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.