PhD Scholarship in Pharmacy RCSI Ireland Clement Archer School of Pharmacy

Title: Clement Archer School of Pharmacy PhD Scholarship

Department: School of Pharmacy
Tenure: 4-year funded PhD programme
Location: 123 St. Stephens Green
Reporting to: School of Pharmacy, RCSI, Dublin 2

RCSI has been at the forefront of educating healthcare professionals since 1784 when we were
founded as the national training and professional body for surgery. Today we are Ireland's only
focused health sciences institution, Ireland's largest medical school and one of the leading
health sciences institutions in the world.

Based in Dublin, with students from over 80 countries and four overseas campuses, RCSI has a
global reach through our network of Alumni in 97 countries. RCSI is ranked in the top 250
institutions worldwide and joint 1st place in the Republic of Ireland in the Times Higher
Education (THE) World University Rankings (2016-2017).


Expressions of Interest are invited for two positions of Scholar in the RCSI School of Pharmacy.
As part of this role, the successful applicants will each be registered for a funded PhD, with the
School covering the tuition fees and providing an annual stipend of €18,000. An international
travel grant of €1,500 is also included to support an international excursion undertaken
throughout the research study.

Scholar activities will include a combination of laboratory/practical demonstrations, tutorials,
lecturing, supervision of undergraduate research students, outreach activities, assessment and
correcting. Some or all of these activities will comprise a maximum of 1.5 days per week during
each academic term.

Scholars will have the choice of selecting one of the two research studies listed below which
upon successful completion leads to the award of a NUI/RCSI Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD).

1. Development of a theory-based intervention to improve long-term use of benzodiazepines
and Z-drugs in primary care.

Inappropriate long-term use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs persists in primary care settings
worldwide and can give rise to a range of adverse effects (e.g. cognitive and psychomotor
impairment). The aim of this project is to develop a theory-based intervention to improve longterm
use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs in primary care. The project will involve a mixed
methods approach that will allow the student to develop a comprehensive range of quantitative
(e.g. pharmacoepidemiology) and qualitative research skills (e.g. semi-structured interviews,
focus groups, intervention coding using a theoretical framework of behaviour change). The
project will align with the Medical Research Council's complex intervention framework and
comprise a number of discrete work packages, including: (1) a systematic review; (2) a
pharmacoepidemiological study of benzodiazepine and Z-drug prescribing patterns; (3)
qualitative interviews with key stakeholders (e.g. patients, healthcare professionals) to explore
barriers/facilitators to the discontinuation of the long-term use of these medications; (4)
triangulation of data from Work packages 1-3, above, to develop an intervention using
established behaviour change techniques; (5) a small-scale feasibility study of the intervention
to gather feedback from key stakeholders regarding the intervention's usability and
acceptability. The intervention that will be developed will be ready for further evaluation and, if
found to be effective, it could help to improve long-term use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs in
primary care, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Main Supervisor: Dr. Cathal Cadogan
Co-Supervisor: Dr. Cristín Ryan

Further enquiries to: Dr. Cathal Cadogan (email:

2. Medication Safety in Neonatal Intensive Care.

The proposed project is in the area of clinical pharmaceutics and is a collaboration between the
School of Pharmacy, RCSI and the Pharmacy Department and the Department of Paediatrics,
Rotunda Hospital. This project will examine and determine flow characteristics for typical
infusion setups currently used in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Rotunda
Hospital. This study will also prioritise a list of commonly used NICU drugs and will establish flow
rate characteristics for each one using IV infusion circuit architectures specific to clinical

Main Supervisor: Dr. Fiona O'Brien
Co-Supervisors: Prof. Brian Cleary, Prof. Naomi McCallion.
Further enquiries to: Dr. Fiona O'Brien (email:

Applicants should indicate their specific PhD of interest in their application. If applicants have
further queries on the listed projects in this competition they are weclome to directly contact by
email the main supervisor.
Specifically the duties of this post will include (but are not limited to) the following:


• Coordinating and delivering teaching (lectures and tutorials) and practicals: commitments
will include managing the timetabling and supervision of practicals as agreed with the
relevant module leader, in conjunction with the Head of School.
• Liaising with technicians with respect of setup/materials required for practicals.
• Preparation and correction of student practical manuals and lab books/demonstrator lab
• Responding to student queries relating to practicals.
• Contributing to the assessment of other modules as agreed with your Supervisor, in
conjunction with the Head of School.
• Delivery of lectures related to the Scholar's area of expertise (in Years 3 and 4 of the PhD)
• Supervision of Senior Cycle Student Research Projects (SC1) as agreed with your Supervisor,
in conjunction with the Head of School.
• Participation in School outreach activities as agreed with your Supervisor, in conjunction with
the Head of School.
• Researching, planning and conducting experiments required to achieve the aims and
objectives of the PhD project.
• Taking direction from Principal Investigator but also operating independently once direction
has been set.
• Carrying out own research work to deadlines.
• Keeping up to date with relevant publications in the field.
• Preparing annual reports and meeting administrative requirements of any funding agencies
and the RCSI School of Postgraduate Studies.
• Undertaking Scholar activities as agreed in conjunction with your Supervisor and the Head of
• Recording all methods and results to Departmental and College standards.


• Working in a co-operative fashion and as an effective team member.
• Complying with statutory legislation and School rules and requirements in furtherance of
your own general welfare and safety, along with that of your colleagues.
• Undergoing programmes of training and development as may be required from time to time.
• Representing the best interests of the School/College at all times.


• A primary degree in pharmacy is preferable but not a necessity.
• Applications are invited from enthusiastic and highly motivated individuals with a keen
interest in a relevant area of Pharmacy research.
• Candidates should display:

o A good knowledge base, with evidence of interest in their research area of choice
o A capacity for independent thinking
o A professional work ethic
o The ability to organise themselves
o A willingness to learn
o Innovation and creativity
o Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
o A capacity to work collaboratively as part of a team as well as independently, in a nonstructured
o Attention to detail, thoroughness in work practices and an ability to work to deadlines

Application Procedure

Applications for this post must be made via the RCSI Careers website at Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday August 18th 2017.
Please include a CV and a detailed covering letter outlining your suitability for this role.


• For any queries relating to the application process, please contact Judy Walsh in the RCSI HR
department on +353-1-402-2440 or by email at
• Judy can arrange for relevant queries on the academic aspects of the role to be addressed
by Prof. Paul Gallagher (Head of School)

Note: this Job Description may be subject to change to reflect the evolving requirements of the
Department and RCSI in developing healthcare leaders who make a difference worldwide.
RCSI is an equal opportunities employer

Similar vacancies that arise in the next 6 months may be filled from the pool of applicants
that apply for this position

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Medicinoxy

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