NJR researcher

Non-clinical PhD studentship opportunity

National Joint Registry (NJR) non-clinical PhD studentship opportunity for UK universities

The NJR is offering funding for a full-time PhD studentship for a UK university to leverage data from the NJR to advance orthopaedic research. The studentship will offer a unique opportunity for a highly motivated and research-oriented candidate to make substantial contributions to the field of orthopaedics and enhance the understanding of joint replacement outcomes and related factors.

Scope and remit

This opportunity for funding is to support an in-depth analysis of NJR data (with or without linkage to other datasets) to answer a clinical question or questions with direct benefit to patients undergoing hip, knee, shoulder, elbow or ankle replacement surgery in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Guernsey.

To be within scope, proposals are required to:

  • Show evidence for broad engagement with stakeholders (including patients, those living with musculoskeletal conditions and members of the public) across orthopaedic and musculoskeletal research communities.
  • Demonstrate feasibility with data processing including any proposed data linkages.
  • Outline appropriate milestones for monitoring progress against objectives.

Funding available

Funding of up to £180,000 for a 3.5 year period is available and can be used to fund university fees and stipend. Up to £500 a year allocation for travel and up to £3,000 for consumables can also be costed within the agreed budget.


Described as a global exemplar of an implantable medical device registry the NJR, which covers England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Guernsey continues to be the largest orthopaedic registry in the world, with an international reputation and now with just under 4 million procedure records submitted. We collect information on hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder joint replacement surgery and monitor the performance of joint replacement medical implants, NHS and independent hospitals and orthopaedic surgeons.

As the largest registry of hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder joint replacement procedures in the world, NJR data presents an unparalleled opportunity for research. Our strategy is to make data widely available to the research community to further the understanding of joint diseases and the determinants of successful outcomes of these now-common procedures.

Having run a fellowship programme in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of England for a number of years, and now also partnering with Orthopaedic Research UK, we are delighted to now be able to offer this additional studentship opportunity, aimed at candidates that are non-clinical.

Strategic themes

Please review the current portfolio of research approved by the NJR Research Committee. The NJR Research Committee aims to avoid overlap with current approved work in progress. Requests for access to the dataset should fit within one of the priority thematic areas:

  • Device and technology assessment
  • Patient outcomes, safety, & risk management
  • Health economics & cost-effectiveness
  • Surgeon education & training
  • Patient information & shared decision-making
  • Disease diagnosis and prognosis
  • Disease causation, prevention & treatment
  • Injury or trauma in the setting of joint replacement
  • Healthy development and ageing in patients with joint disease and replacement


Any project making use of the NJR dataset that will have a potential benefit for patients with joint disease will be considered. NJR data cannot be made available outside of the UK, so only funding applications from UK institutions will be considered.

The successful university should have a demonstrable track record in musculoskeletal-related research and have demonstrated published experience in the analysis of very large datasets. High calibre methodological experience and the support of both non-clinical, clinical and statistical supervisors will also need to be demonstrated.

PhD candidates that qualify for the NJR fellowship programme (members, affiliates or ad eundem of RCS England) may not be appointed under this studentship pathway.

How to apply

In order to be considered for the funding, universities are requested to submit an expression of interest, outlining the scope of the proposed project, supervision arrangements and a high-level budget proposal. The document should not exceed two sides of A4. Expressions of interest should be emailed to research@njr.org.uk

Deadline for submission of EoI was Sunday 31 December 2023

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