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A system dynamics approach to the economic drivers of health and wellbeing

Social and Public Health Sciences Unit

Friday, October 09, 2020 Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

At the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, we are looking to develop the next generation of highly skilled researchers. Our Unit has a particular focus on developing and using cutting-edge methods to understand how social, behavioural, economic, political and environmental factors influence health and wellbeing.
The current studentship is aligned to the work of the cross-university and policy Systems science in Public Health and Health Economics research (SIPHER) Consortium:, and will benefit from the academic and practice networks this brings. The primary supervisor will be Professor Petra Meier, with other members of the Unit or Consortium as appropriate to the successful candidate’s interests and skills.
The Scottish Government, a SIPHER policy partner, is one of a group of Wellbeing Economy Governments, committed to move towards a robust, resilient wellbeing economy. This could potentially include a diverse range of actions and outcomes, and different stakeholders may have different ideas about what a wellbeing economy should look like, resulting in conflict about the prioritisation, scale of investment, overall benefits and harms of specific actions, and making decision-making difficult. This three-year PhD project will take a public health systems perspective and use participatory modelling and system dynamics modelling to provide insight into the likely synergies and trade-offs involved with different options. You will have a first degree in a relevant, quantitative discipline, as well as a Masters degree (or equivalent experience) that has provided you with relevant modelling expertise (e.g. economics, operational research, computer science, transport, sustainability, infectious disease, population health science).

What is offered?

On offer is a fully-funded three-year studentship. Full studentship eligibility criteria and minimum qualifications and experience to undertake a research degree are detailed in the QAA UK Quality for Higher Education available on the UKRI website:

To support our students’ development, we provide training in all aspects of research and in transferable academic and generic skills. Find out more about being a PhD student at the Unit: We are based within the Institute of Health and Wellbeing:, and work closely with our colleagues across both the College of Social Sciences: and the College of Medical, Veterinary, and Life Sciences: The successful candidate can start any time before January 2021 by mutual arrangement.

During your PhD, you will:
 Receive a tax-free stipend of at least £15,285 per annum and a research/training/conference allowance of at least £1,300 per annum (UK resident only).
 Receive thorough training in both generic research skills and transferable skills, as well as project-specific training.
 Work in a Unit with a strong commitment to student wellbeing and pastoral support.
How to apply
Candidates are required to prepare a two A4 page draft research proposal. Please contact to discuss your proposal prior to submission. Note that we do not expect a polished research proposal, but you should attempt to demonstrate that you have read around the subject and have some initial ideas of how you might approach this research. There will be significant scope to shape the direction of the project and the successful candidate will have plenty of opportunity to develop their ideas in collaboration with the supervisor and other members of the SIPHER Consortium. You will also need to submit a 1-2-page personal statement outlining your interest and suitability for this studentship.

Apply through Postgraduate Admissions. Please ensure you apply to MVLS - MRC/CSO PhD Studentship.

The full set of supporting documents noted below are required to be uploaded at the point of application:
• CV/Resume
• Degree certificate and transcripts (if you have graduated prior to 1 July 2015)
• Passport
• Two A4 page research proposal
• 1-2-page personal statement of suitability and motivation
• 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)

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

Closing Date: 9 October 2020
Interviews: 2 November 2020

Follow us on Twitter: @theSPHSU @sipherC

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