There are various opportunities to become involved in the work we do. 

Job vacancies

We currently have the following available vacancy:

Research Fellow - Quantifying the Impact of Chronic Pain on Work

We are looking to appoint a Research Fellow to deliver an exciting portfolio of mixed-methods studies, investigating the impact of chronic pain on work. 

The successful applicant will be highly motivated and will have significant experience of qualitative research in healthcare settings, and will have experience of working with both patients and staff at various levels of the NHS. They will also have familiarity with the principles of questionnaire design, the organisation of the NHS, and with health policy.  

The research fellow will be specifically engaged in the Medical Research Council-funded QUICK Study (Quantifying the Impact of Chronic pain on work) and Versus Arthritis-funded PACFiND Study (Patient-centred Care for Fibromyalgia: New pathway Design). They will be responsible for conducting focus groups, a Delphi study, and workshops involving a range of stakeholders (e.g. patients, carers, family members, care providers, employers, policy makers) to ultimately develop a new tool for assessing the impact of chronic pain on work (QUICK) and co-designing new models of care for patients with fibromyalgia (PACFiND), a common condition with symptoms of pain, fatigue and sleep disturbance.

For full details and to apply, click here.

Closing date: 11th August 2021


PhD degree

We currently have no PhD studentships available. Please check back for future opportunities.

We are always keen to hear from well qualified and highly motivated potential PhD students. If you are interested in joining our PhD programme, please send us an email including your curriculum vitae. We receive many contacts per year and will only consider those who fit well within at least one of our research themes - so make clear that you do so in a covering letter. Potential students should be aware, however, that most of the sources of funding for our PhD students only provide fee support at the level for UK and/or European Union based students.

You can read about some of the training available to students and testimonials from previous PhD students here.

Interested persons should contact the head of group, Professor Gary Macfarlane, on


We have positions available for undergraduate or postgraduate students who wish to join us on an internship. These give students the opportunity to work on a research project, contribute to publications and participate in training events. We have a memorandum of understanding with the University of Bremen and have also accepted students from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, but will consider students from elsewhere. Applications are now open for the 2021-2022 academic year* and will be considered on an ongoing basis. You can read about the experiences of some previous students here. Interested students should apply with a CV and cover letter to The cover letter should underline your interests, achievements and why you wish to undertake an internship at Aberdeen.

You can read some testimonials from previous interns and view a list of their publications here.

* After a challenging 2020 we are now looking to reopen internships for September 2021. If you are interested please contact us to discuss your research interests and personal circumstances- we will be happy to discuss each enquiry on a case-by-case basis


Scientists or clinicians who are interested in joining us for a defined period of sabbatical study and whose research interests are linked to those of the group should contact us to discuss possibilities. There are a limited number of fellowships available within the Institute of Applied Health Sciences and the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition and we support applications for fellowships of mutual benefit.

You can read about people who have recently spent a sabbatical with us here.

Interested persons should contact Professor Macfarlane on

Patient & public involvement and engagement

Get involved!

The group recognises that collaborating with patients, carers, community and charitable organisations, and individuals with relevant experience positively impacts on all stages of research. Patient and public involvement in our work helps to identify the most relevant research priorities, allows for better design, management and undertaking of research projects and improves interpretation and dissemination of our findings.

If you would like to get involved please complete our Expression of Interest form here