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Capturing sugar-promoting environments and understanding the link with oral health outcomes

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Wanyonyi
    Prof L Twigg
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three year PhD to commence in October 2019.

The PhD will be based in the Dental Academy, and will be supervised by Dr Kristina Wanyonyi and Professor Liz Twigg.

The work on this project could involve:
-designing a simple, effective routine measure, that captures variation in sugar promoting environments
-understanding its importance for oral health in children
-capture variations locally, where there are pockets of high deprivation and poor oral health, and nationally
-use and enhance local data sources on oral health inequalities
-develop and compare new ways of defining sugar promoting environments

Project description
Oral diseases are preventable, but some of the most common illnesses globally. There’s an emerging debate on the availability of sugary food, and how this impacts health.

Surveys in the UK reveal socio-spatial and socio-economic inequalities in oral health, and while there are many health promotion activities in local areas aimed at individuals, the environmental determinants of oral health are rarely targeted.

On this project, you’ll investigate the nature and variation in sugar-promoting environments, and their impact on inequalities in oral health. You’ll design a simple routine measure that captures variation in these environments, and understand its importance for childhood oral health.

The results of this study will inform the future direction of public health interventions to tackle oral diseases and reduce inequalities locally and nationally.

This will help us to understand the relative contribution made to oral health by individual, neighbourhood and collective factors. The study will help promote a wider debate to include retail planning and legislation, similar to the debates surrounding alcohol and tobacco.



Entry Requirements

General admissions criteria
You’ll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum second class
or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate
subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or
Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Specific candidate requirements

How to Apply
We’d encourage you to contact Dr Kristina Wanyonyi ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Health Sciences and Social Work’ as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.


If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code UPDA4900219 when applying.

Funding Notes

Candidates applying for this project may be eligible to compete for a Portsmouth Global PhD scholarship.

Successful candidates will receive a scholarship to cover tuition fees at an international rate for three years, a stipend in line with that offered by Research Councils UK of £14,777 per annum (2018/2019 rate), and one return flight to London during the duration of the course



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