Call for application for Research funding and PhD Studentship 2024 round

We invite researchers in various fields related to sexual health, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to apply for funds to undertake:

  1. Original research
  2. Topic-based commissions
  3. Part funding of PhD Studentship

Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Foundation (STIRF) was set up to pump prime research projects relating to the epidemiology, pathophysiology, management, and health care delivery of sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the

East Midlands – East Midlands Deanery
North east and north Cumbria –  HEE North East
North west – North West Postgraduate Medicine and Dentistry
West Midlands – West Midlands Deanery
Yorkshire and Humber – Yorkshire and Humber Deanery

The primary aim is to provide initial funding to allow promising projects from researchers early in their career to obtain preliminary results as a prelude to acquire further funds from larger funding bodies.

We invite applications from researchers in the above regions on projects or part funding of PhD Studentships relating to sexual health, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. All projects will be initially screened by the Scientific Committee of STIRF and those considered suitable will be sent for peer review by experts in the field.

The following fields of research will be considered in relation to sexual health, STIs and HIV:

  • Epidemiology of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Research on HPV and other sexually transmissible malignancies
  • Health care delivery including views of clients
  • Issues relating to deprived or marginalised communities.
  • Pathophysiology of diseases and syndromes
  • Inter-relationship between diseases
  • Treatment modalities
  • Complications of treatment and co-morbidities

STIRF is also interested in commissioning work based on specific priority topics for research. Applicants should supply a brief (no more than one A4 size) preliminary application, outlining the following:

  • title
  • the proposed research question
  • justification for why this should be a research priority
  • a brief outline of the research methodology proposed to answer the research question
  • existing resources which are available to the researchers
  • a provisional estimate of the total grant requested

A more detailed application will be requested if appropriate following review of the preliminary application.

Applications for research grants should not exceed £60,000 in the first year. Depending on satisfactory reports a further £30,000 may be available for the second year. Joint funding with other grant giving bodies will be considered. Applications for part funding of PhD Studentship should not exceed a maximum of £70,000 over 3-4 years

For further information and guidance on how to apply for a research grant visit:

https://stirf.org/application-for-research-funds-from-stirf/

And for details of how to apply for part funding of a PhD Studentship visit:

https://stirf.org/research/applications-for-part-funding-of-phd-in-sexual-health-and-related-topics/

Deadline for applications (both for research projects and PhD Studentship) for 2024 is March 31, 2024

Understanding the Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in Pusiga in the Upper East Region of Ghana

Authors: Ocran BE, Atiigah GA

Journal: Social Sciences , 11 (11), 526.

Date published: November 2022

This interesting paper assesses the factors accounting for the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Pusiga, Ghana (3.8% nationally and 27.8% in Pusiga) and articulates lessons for designing health promotion interventions. The study uses an insider-outsider approach. A phenomenological qualitative design involving focus groups and interviews was used (drawing on the insider approach) to develop contextually and culturally sensitive reporting of five survivors, five non-survivors, and ten religious leaders. An outsider approach was then adopted to inform perspectives for designing health promotion interventions to address FGM/C. The findings of the paper highlight the economic undertones underpinning FGM/C. The authors recommend a systematic approach to health promotion that addresses FGM/C’s deep socio-cultural and economic, religious underpinnings.

Published project 2022: Chemsex, HIV, mental health and other health outcomes

Project title:

Chem-sex, HIV, mental health and other health outcomes amongst gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM): a longitudinal qualitative interview project. STIRF 032

Aims:

The key aim of this study was to explore how chemsex (the use of drugs such as methamphetamine, GBL, ketamine and mephedrone in sexual contexts) is effecting gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men. The focus of this study was to explore two areas in particular depth for their links with chemsex, namely: HIV seroconversion, and mental health.

Research setting: Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work | School of Health Sciences | Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health | The University of Manchester.

Project was completed in December 2018.

The results published in 2022:

Nagington and King (2022) Support, care and peer support for gay and bi men who engage in chemsex https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hsc.14081

Funding for this project has been kindly provided by JoLi Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham Charity

Call for application for Research funding and PhD Studentship 2022/3 round

We invite researchers in various fields related to sexual health, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to apply for funds to undertake:

  1. Original research
  2. Part funding of PhD Studentship

Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Foundation (STIRF) was set up to pump prime research projects relating to the epidemiology, pathophysiology, management, and health care delivery of sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the West Midlands, Trent, Yorkshire, Northern and North West regions.

The primary aim is to provide initial funding to allow promising projects from researchers early in their career to obtain preliminary results as a prelude to acquire further funds from larger funding bodies.

We invite applications from researchers in the above regions on projects or part funding of PhD Studentships relating to sexual health, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. All projects will be initially screened by the Scientific Committee of STIRF and those considered suitable will be sent for peer review by experts in the field.

The following fields of research will be considered in relation to sexual health, STIs and HIV:

  • Epidemiology of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Research on HPV and other sexually transmissible malignancies
  • Health care delivery including views of clients
  • Issues relating to deprived or marginalised communities.
  • Pathophysiology of diseases and syndromes
  • Inter-relationship between diseases
  • Treatment modalities
  • Complications of treatment and co-morbidities

Applications for research grants should not exceed £60,000 in the first year. Depending on satisfactory reports a further £30,000 may be available for the second year. Joint funding with other grant giving bodies will be considered. Applications for part funding of PhD Studentship should not exceed a maximum of £70,000 over 3-4 years

For further information and guidance on how to apply for a research grant visit:

https://stirf.org/application-for-research-funds-from-stirf/

And for details of how to apply for part funding of a PhD Studentship visit:

https://stirf.org/research/applications-for-part-funding-of-phd-in-sexual-health-and-related-topics/

Deadline for applications (both for research projects and PhD Studentship) for 2022/3 is December 31, 2022

COVID-19 restrictions and changing sexual behaviours in MSM in London, UK

A recent article in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections has looked at changes in behaviour in MSM in London during the Covid 19 pandemic. The study was web-based and only among HIV-negative MSM in a large urban setting.

Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic and its related restrictions have affected attendance to and delivery of UK sexual healthcare services.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, anonymous, web-based survey among HIV-negative MSM at high risk of HIV infection who attended  a sexual health and HIV clinic in London in August 2020. They collected data on sociodemographic characteristics, sexual behaviour and related mental well-being experienced during lockdown.

Results: 814 MSM completed the questionnaire: 75% were PrEP users; three quarters reported they have been sexually active, about half  had sex outside their household. The majority reported fewer partners than prior to lockdown. Interestingly 73% had discussed COVID-19 transmission risks with their sexual partners.

One out of five reported guilt for breaching COVID-19 restrictions and three out of four implemented one or more changes to their sexual behaviour. PrEP users reported higher partner number, engagement in ‘chemsex’ and use of sexual health services than non-PrEP users.

Conclusions: COVID-19 restrictions had a considerable impact on sexual behaviour and mental well-being in respondents. High rates of sexual activity and STI diagnoses were reported during lockdown. Changes to sexual health services provision for MSM must respond to high rates of psychological and STI-related morbidity and the challenges faced by this population in accessing services.

Invitation for applications for funds for original research or PhD Studentship – 2021

We invite researchers in various fields related to sexual health, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to apply for funds to undertake:

  1. Original research
  2. Part funding of PhD Studentship

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic we will only consider research applications or PhD Studentships that in some way address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on sexual health, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Foundation (STIRF) was set up to pump prime research projects relating to the epidemiology, pathophysiology, management, and health care delivery of sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the West Midlands, Trent, Yorkshire, Northern and North West regions.

The primary aim is to provide initial funding to allow promising projects from researchers early in their career to obtain preliminary results as a prelude to acquire further funds from larger funding bodies.

We invite applications from researchers in the above regions on projects or part funding of PhD Studentships relating to the impact of COVID-19 on sexual health, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. All projects will be initially screened by the Scientific Committee of STIRF and those considered suitable will be sent for peer review by experts in the field.

The following fields of research will be considered in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on sexual health, STIs and HIV

  • Epidemiology of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Research on HPV and other sexually transmissible malignancies
  • Health care delivery including views of clients
  • Issues relating to deprived or marginalised communities.
  • Pathophysiology of diseases and syndromes
  • Inter-relationship between diseases
  • Treatment modalities
  • Complications of treatment and co-morbidities

Applications for research grants should not exceed £50,000 in the first year. Depending on satisfactory reports a further £25,000 may be available for the second year. Joint funding with other grant giving bodies will be considered. Applications for part funding of PhD Studentship should not exceed a maximum of £60,000 over 3-4 years

For further information and guidance on how to apply for a research grant visit:

https://stirf.org/application-for-research-funds-from-stirf/

And for details of how to apply for part funding of a PhD Studentship visit:

https://stirf.org/research/applications-for-part-funding-of-phd-in-sexual-health-and-related-topics/

Deadline for applications (both for research projects and PhD Studentship) has been extended to January 31, 2021

Teenager guide to Sexual health

Before deciding whether they’re ready to begin having sex or doing other sexual activities, it’s important for teenagers to understand the risks they will take on if they choose to start having sex.

Teenagers should be well aware of the potential consequences of their actions, including raising their risk of being exposed to sexually transmitted diseases as well as, potentially, having an unintended pregnancy, but they also should know about how they can reduce or limit the risk of negative consequences of sexual activity.

Visit this site for more information

New PhD project funded

We are delighted that Xola Potelwa has been awarded a STIRF PhD studentship. Xola is undertaking her PhD at the University of York, under the supervision of Dr Amanda Mason-Jones.

Xola is an early career researcher who was previously based in Johannesburg, South Africa where she was leading a team that is investigating comorbidities amongst residents in Soweto, a large peri-urban settlement in the south of the city. She has worked on research projects in fields such as human rights law, diagnostics, youth leadership and health. Prior to that Xola spent several years interacting with emerging market policymakers and traders as a financial journalist for Bloomberg and Reuters. She earned her master’s degree in Health Sociology from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg where she investigated uptake of the HPV vaccine amongst middle class and wealthy families in South Africa. Xola likes to read for pleasure. It is possible that she has moved to York simply to finally learn how to ride a bicycle!