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MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Neighbourhoods and Communities

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Neighbourhoods and Communities

June 2019 studentship topics

Note: The topics below are indicative. Student-led applications/topics relevant to the Unit and Programmes (ie on related topics with different supervisors) are also very welcome.

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Neighbourhoods and Communities

The home neighbourhood, access to public transport and urban mobility
Supervisors: Dr Jon Olsen, Prof Rich Mitchell
Transport-related social exclusion impacts upon health and the ability to participate in many aspects of society. There are inequalities in access to the transport system, where those most income deprived are often excluded or disadvantaged. Recent methodological advances provide us with the ability to use mobility information about individuals collected using GPS devices, and hence understand their transport use. The focus of this PhD will be to understand how the home neighbourhood and access to public transport may help or hinder urban mobility and the ability to live a healthy lifestyle.

Evaluation of outdoor nursery provision for child, family and community wellbeing (Co-funded PhD studentship with Glasgow City Council)
Supervisors Dr Paul McCrorie, Dr Anne Martin
This project will explore the extent to which outdoor nurseries can improve and maintain child, family and community wellbeing. Outdoor nurseries are Early Years establishments where children spend most of their time learning through natural play in the outdoors while interacting with nature and embracing the climatic seasons. With a range of potential benefits often cited in support of outdoor nurseries, it is unclear if there is a strong evidence base for their support. This project will sit within a wider body of work focussing on systematically generating knowledge to support an emerging policy-relevant research area.

Planning healthy cities
Supervisors: Dr Yoni Almagor, Prof Rich Mitchell
Unequal access to clean air, water, green spaces, healthy and affordable food options, and efficient public transport systems is a contributor to health inequalities. Urban planning is a system used to regulate, control and channel urban development, but with contrasting public interests and economic pressures, urban health is not always considered within it. The research will assess which planning regimes, polices and rules seem more likely to lead to a healthy and equal city. Using agent-based simulation techniques, the ideal planning principles identified could be tested by creating ‘alternative’ development histories for specific cities.

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