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The Oxford-Royal College of GPs Clinical Informatics Digital Hub (ORCHID) provides a unique opportunity to gain expertise in conducing real-time, real world evidence (RWE) research. ORCHID comprises a network of 2,000 general practices, with near real time access to >15 million anonymised patient records.   The successful applicant will acquire the skills to run high quality studies at scale, and with immediacy. 

ORCHID hosts one of Europe’s oldest sentinel networks monitoring infections and vaccine effectiveness since 1967.  The network has expanded greatly since it move to Oxford, including the range of disease areas studied.  Its practices have a combined current registered list of in excess of 15 million people, and we have direct links to the practices providing data.  ORCHID supports the UK primary care  platforms for: National Flu & COVID community surveillance; PRINCIPLE, the UK UPH COVID treatments platform trial; RAPTOR, the UPH COVID diagnostics platform; alongside many non-COVID studies and is pioneering the use of practice performance feedback dashboards

ORCHID’s pseudonymised data are held in Oxford and readily available to the successful candidate.

This doctoral opportunity will use this dataset to answer the following type of research questions:

  • What are the disparities in terms of age, gender, socioeconomic status, rurality or region associated with a given conditions or outcome?
  • What is the association between medication or vaccination utilisation and adverse events of interest?
  • Does feedback via a dashboard or other technology, about an aspect of the quality of care, change practice?

Currently, the main clinical areas of research encompass infections (including urgent COVID-19), cardio-metabolic, and cancer

Supervisor/supervisors: Prof Simon de Lusignan, Prof Richard Hobbs, Dr Mark Joy, Prof Clare Bankhead (Cancer), Dr Brian Nicholson (Cancer), Dr James Sheppard (CVD)


  • Public Health England / UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)
  • Prof David Clifton (Engineering, medical artificial intelligence), Prof Andrew Pollard (Oxford Vaccine Group), Prof Lisa White (Mathematical modelling)
  • UK computerised medical system suppliers: EMIS, TPP

Who should apply: The project will suit a student with a good grasp of health data, public health, epidemiology or statistical methods.

Training opportunities: will be tailored to the candidate's needs including but not limited to; internal and external courses on epidemiological analysis, time spent working alongside cutting edge informatics researchers.

Research group this DPhil will be embedded in the Clinical Informatics and Health Outcomes group and working with ORCHID data

Funding: This opportunity does not have existing funding so University or external scholarships will be required, but promising candidates will be well supported by our team in these applications

Who to contact: or

Supervisory team