overviews of rehabilitation

Overviews of rehabilitation evidence to support evidence-based practice

Project reference number: HLSLTC0018


Overviews (i.e. syntheses of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials) can play an important role in the promotion of efficient evidence-based practice by signposting clinical decision makers to the most useful and high-quality evidence. To avoid research waste it is essential that any overviews of evidence address topics which are of the highest international priority, and provide evidence in a manner which is useful and usable. In line with the WHO Rehabilitation Call for Action 2030, it is therefore important that research questions and topics for overviews are identified from key stakeholders, including patients, carers, health professionals, policymakers and rehabilitation researchers; that key areas for overviews of rehabilitation evidence are established; priority overviews are completed and widely disseminated; and the impact of priority overviews on knowledge translation and evidence-based healthcare is captured.

This PhD will identify international priority topics relating to overviews of evidence relating to rehabilitation, complete and disseminate a priority Cochrane Overview, and consider how to capture the impact of this priority overview on knowledge translation.

This PhD will be completed in collaboration with a number of established international networks, such as Cochrane Rehabilitation and Cochrane Neurorehabilitation, European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation and other European societies for rehabilitation, GRADE and Overviews Group, and relevant AHP professional groups.


This PhD will aim to:

  1. Develop an international network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in rehabilitation.
  2. Identify and prioritise topics for overviews of rehabilitation evidence, using international e-Delphi methodology, and explore priorities in relation to key variables (such as disease aetiology, geography, professional background).
  3. Complete and disseminate an overview which addresses a high international priority rehabilitation topic, using Cochrane overview methodology.
  4. Consider pathways to impact for both the identified rehabilitation priorities and completed overview, and develop a plan to capture impact.

Application deadline

The application deadline for October intake is 1st of July.

Research supervisors

Candidates are encouraged to contact the following researchers for further details:


Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.

Specific requirements of the project

The successful applicant will hold a degree the minimum of a first degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant subject. Experience of completing systematic review(s) is essential. Previous experience of consensus methods, including Delphi, is desirable.