The KSS FootPrint Study: Co-creating digital innovation in diabetic foot disease management to enhance care and build research capacity

Read on to learn about your opportunity to communicate scientific concepts to the general public and to revolutionise diabetic foot disease management.

Start date

1 April 2021


4 years

Application deadline

Funding source

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey & Sussex Studentship Award

Funding information

Full UK/EU tuition fee waiver, and stipend at UKRI rates (currently £15,285)


The risk of lower extremity amputation for diabetic foot disease varies four-fold across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Reducing this variation requires data. At present, records are fragmented across primary care, community podiatry, acute hospitals and tertiary centres. This project will investigate how best to unify wound documentation across the region, on a digital platform, establishing the views of people with diabetic foot disease on research priorities, and studying the effects on patients, healthcare professionals and healthcare expenditure of introducing novel clinical documentation.  Together, these goals will pave the way for creation of a major new diabetic foot disease registry based at the University of Surrey.

The primary supervisor is Dr Ben Field, Clinical Reader in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the University of Surrey, and honorary consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist at East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, where he was jointly responsible for setting up a multidisciplinary diabetic foot clinic that is widely recognised as a centre of excellence.  

The secondary supervisors are Professor Christian Heiss, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Surrey and honorary consultant angiologist in the East Surrey Hospital multidisciplinary diabetic foot clinic, and Professor Rosana Pacella, Director of the Institute for Lifecourse Development, University of Greenwich.  Professor Heiss is an internationally recognised expert in diagnostic, interventional and experimental cardiovascular medicine, with research interests in vascular homeostasis and management of complex atherosclerosis.  Professor Pacella is an internationally recognised expert on global burden of disease and economic modelling, with research interests including cost-effectiveness of diabetic foot disease care in Queensland, Australia.

The supervisory team together will provide topic-specific, complementary expertise; access to established research and clinical networks within the region and internationally; a welcoming base in a department experienced in managing clinical data, and a strong track record of successful doctoral supervision.

Eligibility criteria

The minimum qualification requirement is an honours degree (Second Class, First Division) from a UK university or an equivalent foreign qualification.  Training in psychology, podiatry or another healthcare-related discipline would be advantageous but applications from other academic backgrounds will be welcomed.  Enthusiasm for scientific communication and for advancing the public understanding of science is essential.

Applicants will be required to satisfy the admissions panel of an ability to understand and communicate in written and spoken English to a level sufficient for interaction with patients in acute care settings and in seminars, whether in person or online.

How to apply

Apply with academic CV, personal statement (maximum 500 words), and details of three referees, via the University of Surrey application portal.

Application deadline

Contact details

Ben Field
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 688726


Section of Clinical Medicine


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