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BBSRC Case Award PhD in Epidemiology/ Applied Health Research/ Public Health: understanding the determinants of age-related changes in the health of older people

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 14, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Number of awards


Start date and duration

Latest start September 2020. Funding covers a four-year PhD, including a placement with GSK.


This PhD is funded by an Industrial Case Partnership between the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and GSK, a multinational pharmaceutical company. It offers an exciting opportunity to develop research skills and work with an industry partner whilst addressing some of the key questions that are facing societies across the world. You will be supported to develop your project into improving the health of ageing populations, using data driven approaches. The studentship will suit someone who is keen to develop expertise in core methodological research skills in epidemiology, biostatistics or applied quantitative health research. You will be supported to publish your work in peer reviewed journals and present at national and international conferences. There is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with GSK (consumer healthcare) in a placement to spend a period of time at GSK that will give you insights into the wide range of career pathways that will be open to you after your PhD.

The PhD project will focus on understanding age-related changes in physical function and well-being, and underlying causes including social factors, nutrition and oral health. A particular focus of the research will be on advancing knowledge in neglected aspects of ageing such as oral health, under-nutrition (malnutrition) and their influence on age-related decline in health. The research will primarily use longitudinal studies of ageing in the UK and USA, applying quantitative analytical skills to existing datasets. You will be encouraged and supported to develop advanced analytical skills.

Newcastle University has an international reputation for research in ageing and public health, offering a multi-disciplinary training environment with world leading academics. The project will be embedded in Fuse (Centre for Translational Public Health Research), and teams working on healthy ageing across Newcastle University, with opportunities to link in with the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) at Newcastle.


Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and GSK.

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Sheena Ramsay (, Population Health Sciences Institute (

Eligibility Criteria

You must have a first or upper-second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject, and a further qualification (MRes or MSc) in epidemiology, medical statistics, public health, or a related subject, at Merit/Distinction level.

Experience in applying quantitative and epidemiological skills, and use of statistical software (e.g. Stata, SAS) would be desirable. Enthusiasm and motivation to learn more about epidemiological research is required.

Residence eligibility

Available to UK/EU-based applicants based on residency eligibility criteria. To be eligible for a full award (tuition fees and stipend), an applicant must be either (i) a UK national or (ii) a foreign national, with no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the Studentship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education). To be eligible for a fees only award, an applicant must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU, in the same way as a UK applicant must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

A UK citizen may have spent an extended period living outside the UK, either for study or employment.

If you have enquiries about eligibility, contact

If English is not your first language, an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no component lower than 5.5, or equivalent, will be required.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system (

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:
•insert the programme code 8300F in the programme of study section
•insert the studentship code HS040 in the studentship/partnership reference field
•attach a covering letter and CV no more than two pages for each. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code HS040 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
•attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications


For further details, please email:

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and stipend for four years (£15,009 in year 1). Additional funding for research costs, conferences and exchange with industry partner, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

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