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DPhil Supervision

Supervision in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences is a collaborative process between the student and supervisor. Both need to agree on an interesting project.  DPhil projects with me are likely to include an evaluation of the theoretical underpinning and evidence for a new treatment (usually in the form of a systematic review); establishing the best ways to measure its impact; and carrying out a study, for example a small-scale randomised trial, to evaluate its feasibility and impact. The project might also include analysis of data collected in previous studies. In most cases, supervision will take the form of a formal supervision meeting once a month (with more frequent meetings early on in the project) at which progress with the research is discussed and plans made for the next month’s research. In practice, however, additional informal meetings occur more often - once or twice a month - and the NDPCHS has an active group of graduate students and postgraduate researchers able to offer advice. Working as a doctoral student in the clinical trials unit provides access to informal advice from staff with skills and experience using a wide range of research methodologies.

Andrew Farmer

Professor of General Practice

I undertook my DM thesis in the University Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Oxford whilst still working as a principal in general practice at Thame Health Centre, where I had previously completed my vocational training programme. Between 2001 and 2006 I was a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Primary Health Care holding an NHS R&D Senior Clinical Scientist Award. I took up my current post in 2007, with a role as the founding Director of the Oxford Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit. I also work as an associate general practitioner at South Oxford Health Centre and am a Research Associate of the Diabetes Trials Unit.

My work has focused on research to improve the self-management of diabetes in general practice including the best use of blood glucose monitoring, supporting adherence to medication, and evaluating the use of digital health initiatives using mobile devices to improve long-term outcomes. I was a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York in 1991, one of the first general practitioners to hold this award.

I am currently Chair of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme General Board. I was reappointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2018. I was a sub-panel Chair for NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme from 2011 to 2016.