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An examination of the impacts of local authority initiatives to deal with crisis, with a particular focus on marginalisation and intersectionality (Ref: ARC20/HLS/NMH/LHUSSIER)

   Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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  Dr M Lhussier, Dr N Forster  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Ongoing research funded by the NIHR SPHR is highlighting the key inequality dimensions in five case study sites in the UK. One of these is Gateshead, where key concerns are gender inequalities and mental health issues. The management of the Covid crisis is likely to impact on such pre-existing issues in ways that are as yet ill understood, potentially leading to further marginalisation of certain groups and deepening of inequalities. This studentship offers an opportunity to undertake novel research that fills this important gap, and that will have national and international relevance.
The project will explore how local responses to a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, because of its inevitable singular focus on the emergency, has the potential to override deeper seated and longer standing health and inequalities issues. The crisis management has led to the implementation of an unprecedented range of measures to reduce spread and minimise the impact of the pandemic. Preventative measures such as social distancing, restriction of movement, closure of schools, reductions in services, and closure of businesses have had considerable impact on the day to day lives of communities and individuals. Research from previous outbreaks suggests that the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly, disabled, people living with chronic illness, and those living in deprivation are disproportionately affected, both by the disease and by responses to it.
The studentship will investigate how short term responses to a crisis such as Covid-19 impact on people’s experiences of marginalisation (with particular attention to mental health) in relation to intersectionality. Thus it will shed light on the ways in which different kinds of inequalities shape people’s experiences of prior enduring issues, such as mental health, in times of crisis, and how this is impacted on by local strategies to deal with the crisis.

NIHR ARC North East North Cumbria and the NIHR SPHR invite applications for this jointly-funded 3-year PhD studentship.

Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) are National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded regional partnerships that aim to improve health and social care outcomes through high quality research and evaluation on local priority issues.
The NIHR School for Public Health Research (https://sphr.nihr.ac.uk/) is a national collaboration between leading academic centres aiming to build the evidence base for effective public health practice.

This collaborative initiative will allow unparalleled access to leading applied and public health supervisors, channels for dissemination of research, participation in bespoke training, and a strong network and community of graduate students and researchers.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. ARC20/…) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: 3rd August 2020
Interviews: mid August
Start Date: 1st October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Any informal enquiries to Dr Monique Lhussier ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home and EU students with a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2020/21, this is £15,285 pa) and full Home/ EU Fees.


Mustafa J, Hodgson P, Lhussier M, Forster N, Carr S, Dalkin S. (2020) ‘Everything takes too long and nobody is listening’: Developing theory to understand the impact of advice on stress and the ability to cope. PLoS One. 15(4):e0231014. DOI: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0231014

Forster N, Hodgson P, Bailey C. (2019) Energy advice for Traveller Communities in the context of ethnic and spatial premiums: ‘paying the price’ for other people’s choices. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 27(1): 61-78.

Dalkin S.M., Forster N., Hodgson P., Lhussier M., Philipson P., Carr S.M. (2018) Exposing the impact of advice services on health: a realist evaluation. Health and Social Care in the Community. 27(3):767-776. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12695.

Dalkin S.M., Lhussier M., Philipson P., Jones D., Cunningham, B. (2016) Reducing inequalities in care for patients with non-malignant diseases – insights from a realist evaluation of an Integrated Palliative Care Pathway. Palliative Medicine DOI: 10.1177/0269216315626352

Forster N., Dalkin S., Lhussier M., Hodgson P., Carr S. (2016) Exposing the impact of Citizens Advice Bureau services on health: A realist evaluation protocol. BMJ Open doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009887

Lhussier M., Carr S., Forster N. (2015) A realist synthesis of the evidence on outreach programmes for health improvement of Traveller Communities. Journal of Public Health doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv093

Carr S., Lhussier M., Forster N., Goodall D., Geddes L., Pennington M., Visram S., White M., Michie S., Donaldson C., Hildreth A. (2014) Outreach programmes for health improvement of Traveller Communities: a synthesis of evidence. Public Health Research volume 2, number 3.
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