type two diabetes

Feasibility of brief interventions to improve physical behaviour in Scottish resident South Asian people with type 2 diabetes

Project reference number: HLSPH031


South Asians (SA) living in Scotland have a high prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM), up to four times higher than white Europeans and have low engagement with Diabetes prevention programmes. They have relatively low levels of physical activity (PA) and high levels of sedentary behaviour (SB). Through the implementation of brief interventions (BI) (based on appropriate behaviour change theory) modification of PA and SB can be used to help management of T2DM symptoms. There is limited evidence of the acceptability or efficacy of BI in SA populations.


This PhD aims to:

  • Objectively quantify PA and SB in a Scottish SA population with T2DM.
  • In collaboration with the target population, tailor currently advocated BI for PA promotion and SB reduction.
  • Carry out a pilot feasibility study to explore the acceptability and efficacy of the BI.

Relevance and importance of this research

People from South Asian origins are particularly affected by T2DM. By finding effective interventions to change physical behaviour it will be possible to improve health, reducing long-term complications. BI offer a potentially cost-effective tool in reducing the impact and therefore cost of T2DM in this population. Adaptation of these tools to Scottish SA will demonstrate the potential for implementation within SA populations in other countries.

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:

Modes of study

This project is available as a:

  • PhD: 3 years full-time or 4.5 years part-time.


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 be a qualified healthcare professional holding the minimum of a first degree (2:1 or above). Previous experience of qualitative and quantitative research methodology is desirable.