About the project

Research shows that patients with severe mental health difficulties, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, have a similar rate of cancer diagnosis to the general population. However, they experience a higher mortality rate as a result of cancer. Individuals with severe mental health difficulty also present with more advanced cancer progression at diagnosis and often are not being offered bespoke treatment interventions which address their specific needs. The gap in life expectancy in patients with severe mental health difficulty who are diagnosed and treated for cancer is to some extent influenced by general factors related to health inequality such as deprivation as well as more specific factors for example higher rate of smoking and alcohol use. However, further research is needed to help us to understand this gap and identify solutions and implement interventions in response to specific needs of this cohort of patients. Findings of research on barriers to cancer care for people with severe mental health difficulties in an Irish context revealed a need for specialised and bespoke cancer care for this cohort of patients at patient, healthcare system and policy levels.

The Newman Fellow will be based in UCD School of Psychology and will work collaboratively with a close network of researchers from UCD and beyond. The Fellow will have the opportunity to assist in the design of a new clinical pathways and model of care to address the needs of patients with severe mental health difficulties after reviewing and scoping the current situation of patients with severe mental health difficulty in Ireland.
The successful candidate will gain experience of working with a large-scale interdisciplinary mixed-methods research project, engaging with diverse stakeholders, and developing high quality publications and other research outputs.

The NCCP Newman Fellow in Psycho-oncology will work under the supervision and mentorship of Assoc Prof Paul D’Alton.

Candidate Details:
Applications are invited from candidates who hold a doctoral degree in Psychology. The successful applicant will have a strong track record of high-quality research and publication. Candidates must have completed and passed their doctoral examination before commencement of the post. The Fellowship is designed for a creative thinker, writer and researcher with a strong interest in inequity and mental health.

Candidates should be able to demonstrate the potential to make a real difference in our understanding of the factors that shape treatment for patients with SMHD in Ireland versus the difference in patients without SMHD. They will also need to provide evidence of the ability to work with material and ideas from several disciplines and have a strong grasp of current research on SMHD. Interest/experience in conducting empirical qualitative and/or quantitative research is desirable.

Competition Details:
The university adheres to a range of equality, diversity and inclusion policies, and we welcome applications from everyone, including those who identify with any of the protected characteristics that are set out in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.

The Newman Fellowship comes with a tax-free stipend of €35k p.a. and is tenable for two years.

How to Apply:
The candidate must complete the Newman Fellowship Candidate Form and provide an updated and detailed CV. Candidates should also include a covering letter outlining how their qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position. All documents should be sent to: newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie with ‘NCCP Newman Fellowship’ in the subject line.

Two nominated referees must separately submit their confidential reports using the Newman Fellowship Referee Form and send to: newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie with ‘NCCP Newman Fellowship’ in the subject line.

Further Information:
Informal enquiries regarding this Fellowship may be directed to newmanfellowship@ucdfoundation.ie.

Deadline:
The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 17:00 on Friday, March 8th 2024.

The Fellowship start date will be arranged with the successful candidate and will ideally commence no later than April 2024.