A sense of frailty

This project sits within the ACRC Academy , a dedicated Centre for Doctoral Training, co-located with the Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC), a new multi-disciplinary research centre at the University of Edinburgh. The ACRC’s  students will deliver key aspects of the ACRC research agenda through a new doctoral-level research and training programme that will also equip them for careers across a wide range of pioneering and influential leadership roles in the public, private and third sectors.

Frailty is a syndrome that combines the effects of natural ageing with multiple long-term conditions, loss of fitness and reserves. Around 10% of people over 65 years have frailty, rising to more than 25% of those over 85. The perceived frailty of an individual contributes to decisions about ‘ceilings of care’ and the applicability of interventions. Assessment of frailty is complex, combining the results of a range of objective measurement and subjective judgements. Attempts have been made to quantify this such as the electronic frailty index (eFI) that uses a cumulative deficit model to identify and score frailty based on routine interactions with the GP. The aim of this project is to develop instrumentation to improve the accuracy, precision, ease and availability of sensing and measurement of key parameters that can help inform a clinical assessment of frailty.

There is an initial deadline to apply of 5 May 2021. This will be extended if the project has not been recruited to.  

Application forms are now available here:
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It is essential to read the the How to Apply section of our website before you apply:
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Further Information: 

The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/equality-diversity

Frailty in elderly people. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673612621679
Measuring frailty using self-report and test-based health measures https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/44/3/471/49923

Closing Date: 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 

Prof Stewart Mercer


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.

•    Interest in sensing and measurement/instrumentation, data analysis/data science  
•    Comfortable working in a multidisciplinary environment where clinical priorities influence the direction of technology research. We are specifically looking for applicants who will view their cutting-edge PhD research project in the context of the overall vision of the ACRC, who are keen to contribute to tackling a societal grand challenge and who can add unique value to – and derive great benefit from – training in a cohort comprising colleagues with a very diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds.  
•    Motivated to develop leadership potential


Tuition fees + stipend of £16,500 are available for Home students. There is a scholarship for international students which covers tuition fees and stipend, and which is awarded competitively.

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: