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Grow your potential in pharmacy practice research and applied health research, by joining one of the PhD projects we have available at the University of Reading. If you're looking for a career in pharmacy practice or an applied health setting, this is the perfect place to start.

This is a taster of some of the PhD projects you can be involved in at the University of Reading. To discuss the different projects available, please contact Dr Graeme Cottrell by emailing

Perceptions and ethical considerations of experiments with animals and animal tissues in the development of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics

With Dr Amelia Hollywood (Pharmacy Practice) and Prof Vitaliy Khutoryanskiy (Pharmaceutics)

This interdisciplinary project will explore perceptions and ethical considerations of experiments with animals and animal tissues in the development of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used. Data will be collected globally to ensure the findings have international significance and impact.

Pain and health behaviours

With Dr Amelia Hollywood

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. The experience, treatment and management of pain is multifactorial, including biological, psychological and social factors. Various projects can be devised from this theme and will focus on the patient perspective. Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies are likely to be employed, with potential methodologies including questionnaires, interviews and developing behaviour change interventions. The aim of this project is to improve care for those experiencing pain.

Sport and health

With Dr Amelia Hollywood

This project is a multidisciplinary approach to sports health focussing on the care of the competitive or recreational athlete. Various projects can be devised from this theme, including medicine use in athletes, pain management in sport and the impact of chronic conditions on performance. Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies are likely to be employed, with potential methodologies including questionnaires, interviews and developing behaviour change interventions. An interest in working as part of a multi-disciplinary team and strong communication skills are essential.

Development of an interprofessional intervention for prescriber management of respiratory tract infections

With Dr Rosemary Lim

Resistance to antibiotics is a major global health problem. Antibiotic stewardship is a key way to conserve antibiotic sensitivity. Non-medical prescribers often prescribe for antibiotics in primary care and patients who have received care from them have reported very high satisfaction rates. The project will develop and pilot test an interprofessional intervention to manage antimicrobial prescribing for respiratory tract infections.

Resilience in the use of IV insulin infusions in hospital in-patients with diabetes

With Dr Rosemary Lim

The use of intravenous insulin infusions in hospital is a complex and risky process. Traditional safety approaches focuses on why things have gone wrong to improve safety. This study will use a Safety-II  and resilient healthcare perspective to understand and develop resilient strategies for managing the use of IV insulin infusions in adult hospital in-patients, diagnosed with diabetes.

Supporting people with dementia and their informal carers with their medicines

With Dr Rosemary Lim

Medication management in people with dementia is a complex process that often requires support from informal carers. Previous work has demonstrated that people with dementia and family carers develop resilient strategies to manage the entire medicines management process. The study will build on this previous work and apply ‘organisational resilience’ to develop an intervention to support people with dementia and family carers with managing medicines.

Clinical pharmaceutics

With Dr Nilesh Patel

This is the application of the unique knowledge base of pharmaceutics to patients and to clinical situations. An example of a project in this area includes the investigations into the pharmaceutical issues associated with the co-administration of IV medicines via Y-site. This project uses physical analysis techniques to determine the physico-chemical stability of intravenous medicines commonly co-administered via Y-site. The aim is to make recommendations to NHS contacts based on the findings.

Medicines use and health services evaluation

With Dr Nilesh Patel

Various projects can be devised from these themes with potential methodologies including questionnaire design, focus groups and interviews. Current work includes examining the input of pharmacists in GP practices, independent prescribing and medicines reuse. Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies are likely to be employed.

Cultural competence in pharmacy

With Dr Atta Naqvi

UK hosts a large multicultural population and changes in the immigration, business and work regulations have also resulted in increased migration and settlement from different parts of the world. This influx has enriched the culturally diverse society. This is also reflected in figures for pharmacists registered in the UK. Healthcare service delivery may be affected by the level of cultural competence among pharmacists in communication with other healthcare professionals when working in diverse team-based settings. Besides, having patients from different cultures and backgrounds would also require cross-cultural competency to deliver effective healthcare. This theme will explore cultural competence in academic as well as practice areas, develop strategies to improve cultural competence, and assess their effectiveness. The aim is to create reliable resources that can assist in assessing and improving cultural competence.

Pharmacists’ role in chronic pain management and opioid stewardship

With Dr Atta Naqvi

Chronic pain affects roughly a third to one-half of UK's population. The UK has a large burden of chronic pain with a prevalence of 43%. Opioid prescription have increased in last few years leading to an opioid epidemic. Pharmacists are one of the most trusted healthcare professionals in the UK's healthcare system and are viewed as reliable source of information for addressing healthcare needs such as opioid therapy optimization for chronic non-cancer pain. This theme will explore pharmacists' role in managing chronic non-cancer pain and opioid medication therapy, from the perspective of pharmacists, patients, and other stakeholders. The studies can be designed both as qualitative and quantitative. In addition, a mix methods approach can be selected. The aim is to provide recommendations to the concerned departments, societies, and the NHS, with a focus on improving service delivery for the patients.

Adherence issues in practice

With Dr Atta Naqvi

Non-adherence to medication and treatment among patients with chronic conditions remains a challenge for clinicians in practice. Patients may exhibit non-adherence to medications as well treatment such as physical therapy, etc. Adherence could be intentional or un-intentional. It may also be affected due to multi-morbidity, logistics and financial issues that the patients face. The aim of this project is to develop new and/or improve existing measures, create new resources to facilitate adherence to medications and treatments in this population. Such resources could help in identifying and signposting patients for further evaluation as well as improve adherence to treatment.



CIPPET programmes allow you to develop your skills and knowledge alongside your peers, through flexible workplace-based learning. Our programmes are designed to fit around, and complement, your working life.

Our research

97% of our research is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy).


Find out more from our students and staff about what it's like to study and work in the University of Reading School of Pharmacy.