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PhD Studentships in Public Health Research (Diet and Physical Activity)

PhD Studentships in Public Health Research (Diet and Physical Activity)

University of Cambridge

Opportunities for PhD studentships are available at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge. The studentships enable students to explore and develop their own area of research, within the context of the broader aims of:

  • Understanding the determinants of dietary and physical activity behaviour at individual, community and societal levels.
  • Developing, evaluating and modelling the outcomes of interventions that may affect dietary and physical activity behaviour including those outside the health sector, such as fiscal and transport policies.
  • Estimating the longer term costs, benefits and trade-offs of behaviour change.

Please see for further information, current PhD projects and other possible areas of research. Prospective students are encouraged to contact supervisors directly to discuss their plans. Students will be registered with the University of Cambridge and belong to one of its Colleges. The student will be integrated into one of the prevention/public health focussed research programmes at the MRC Epidemiology Unit.

The MRC Epidemiology Unit ( is a research department in the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, investigating the causes and prevention of diabetes and obesity. Its research on factors that influence diet and physical activity behaviours is interdisciplinary, bringing together epidemiology, statistics and modelling, and social and behavioural sciences (see The Unit also hosts GDAR (, an international research partnership funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to carry out research to help prevent non-communicable diseases in low and middle income countries.

PhD Studentships in Public Health Research (Diet and Physical Activity)

Studentships will commence in October 2020. These are 3-year positions for those who have a Masters degree, or equivalent training, in an appropriate scientific discipline. Opportunities also exist for 4-year positions for those wishing to undertake the University’s MPhil in Epidemiology or Public Health course in their first year. We provide diverse training opportunities for all aspects of research, and for transferable academic and generic skills. The academic requirement for entry is a first or upper second class undergraduate degree or equivalent.

For EU (including UK) nationals ordinarily resident in the UK: Research Council (MRC) funding is available covering university fees and a stipend. For EU (including UK) nationals ordinarily resident in a (non-UK) EU member state: partial funding is available covering university fees only. Non-EU nationals are not eligible for Research Council funding. Additional funding sources are available, which you can select via the University’s Graduate Admissions Portal. We suggest that applicants select as many funding schemes as you are eligible for (see:

To apply, please visit the University’s Graduate Admissions Portal You should upload a full CV, two academic references, and a covering letter detailing: i) whether you are eligible for MRC full or partial funding, ii) whether you are applying to other funding sources, and iii) an outline of your research interests and how these align with those of the MRC Epidemiology Unit, or which of the highlighted projects you are interested in and why. Applications missing any of these components will not be considered.

Closing date: 7th January 2020

Provisional date for Interviews: 31st January 2020.

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