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MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit - Places and Health programme

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit - Places and Health programme

Our Places and Health programme studies the ways in which people and places interact to affect health. There is a long history of research which shows that while 'who you are' is really important for determining your chances of good health, 'where you are' also matters. A lot of research has shown that characteristics of the 'neighbourhood' seem to affect health and health inequalities. For studentship topics available in the Places and Health programme, see below. To view studentship opportunities for our other research programmes, visit our website.

Please note that topics are indicative. Student-led applications/topics relevant to the Unit and Programmes (i.e. on related topics with different supervisors) are also very welcome.

Development of a pervasive multi-sensor device to measure the ‘active ingredients’ of the relationship between nature and child health in Early Learning and Childcare settings

Supervisors: Dr Paul McCrorie; Dr Anne Martin; Dr Kevin Worrall (UofG James Watt School of Engineering)
The natural environment affects our physical and psychological health. A number of hypothesised pathways exist, including physical activity, air quality, psychological restoration, and improved immune functioning. Few, if any, existing experimental and observational studies focus on more than one of these pathways, meaning that we don’t really know if/how/what ‘active ingredients’ combine to exert their effects or understand which are more or less important. Public health scientists and engineers have mutually beneficial expertise, yet seldom work together. This PhD offers a unique opportunity to develop a system combining multiple sensors for the investigation of how nature influences our health.

Who goes where: how does daily movement around the city create or compound social segregation?

Supervisors: Dr Stefano Picascia, Prof Rich Mitchell
A growing body argues that individual experiences of, and roles in, social segregation are not only a result of their home neighbourhood but also daily mobility. This PhD will consider novel data sources (such as GSM mobile data and GPS traces) and computational techniques (such as machine learning and agent-based modelling) as an opportunity to widen segregation research and include people’s diurnal trajectories (i.e. where they go during the day, and who they encounter). These might prove useful to uncover the causal pathways and hypothesise on the actual processes that may link inequality, segregation, and the emerging health outcomes.

Neighbourhood heterogeneity in health outcomes during urbanisation and stagnation

Supervisors: Dr Rebecca Mancy; Dr Konstantinos Angelopoulos (Adam Smith Business School)
Sustaining healthy, equitable cities is a pressing contemporary issue, yet has been a challenge throughout history. However, quantitative analysis of within-city inequalities has largely focused on recent decades, implying an unmet need to investigate health outcomes over longer periods. This is required to understand historical underpinnings of health inequalities, distinguish trends from shorter-term fluctuations, and identify relationships with socioeconomic conditions. To address this gap, this project will focus on statistical analysis of detailed archive records of human health outcomes (fertility, causes of death, infectious disease) for Glasgow for 1898-1972, contextualised using more recent longitudinal data from BHPS/Understanding Society.

How to apply

Candidates are required to prepare a two A4 page research proposal. Please contact the supervisor of your proposed topic to discuss your proposal prior to submission.

Applications should be submitted to Postgraduate Admissions. Please ensure you apply to MVLS - MRC/CSO PhD Studentship.

The full set of supporting documents that are required to be uploaded at the point of application can be found here

  • CV/Resume
  • Degree certificate (if you have graduated prior to 1 July 2015)
  • Passport
  • Two A4 page research proposal (This should have been discussed with the Programme Leader/supervisor prior to submission).
  • Reference 1 (a full reference should be submitted from an academic who has a knowledge of your academic ability from your most recent study/programme)
  • Reference 2 (a full reference should be submitted from an academic who has a knowledge of your academic ability)
  • Transcripts

Full eligibility criteria is available here.

Once you have submitted your application, please email [email protected] to confirm. General enquiries regarding the application process can also be directed to this email address.

Closing Date: 24 February 2020
Interviews: 21 and 23 April 2020


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