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Early life exposure to environmental noise and air pollution and cardiovascular and cognitive outcomes in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Children and Parents (ALSPAC) cohort

Project Description

MRC-funded IMPACT (Integrated Midlands Partnership for Biomedical Training) CASE Doctoral Training Partnership 3.5 Year PhD Studentship available for September 2019

Department: Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability, Dept of Health Sciences


Professor Anna Hansell
Professor John Gulliver
Dr Charlotte Clark


UK/EU applicants who meet the MRC eligibility and residency criteria

First degree in life sciences, statistics or similar

MSc in Epidemiology, MSc in Medical Statistics, or MPH, or equivalent masters relevant to a quantitative environmental health project

Project Description

This project will investigate whether exposure to noise and air pollution from road transport during pregnancy and early life affects development of the cardiovascular system and cognition in childhood. The study will use data from the ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) cohort of up to 15,000 pregnancies, using newly developed environmental exposure data. There are few previous studies looking at exposures of road noise and air pollution in childhood and this will be the first to also look at exposures in pregnancy.

Good statistical knowledge will be essential to analyse the large datasets involved. The student will develop further skills in modelling noise exposure and lifecourse analysis.

The analyses will result in high impact journal publications that will inform UK and European policy. There will be good opportunities to present results to national government and at international conferences.

The studentship includes a three months placement at the industrial partner, ARUP, working with Dr Charlotte Clark, an experienced noise researcher. The student will receive training on use of epidemiological studies in health impact assessment analyses to develop policy recommendations and will be encouraged to develop their own experiments in the state-of-the-art SoundLab at ARUP.

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 26 and Friday 29 March 2019 at University of Leicester.

Entry requirements

First degree in life sciences, statistics or similar with 2:1 or better or equivalent
MSc in Epidemiology, MSc in Medical Statistics, or MPH, or equivalent masters relevant to a quantitative environmental health project

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable:

How to apply

Please apply via:

Project / Funding Enquiries

Prof Anna Hansell Tel 020 252 5408

Application enquiries to

Closing date for applications 15 February 2019

Funding Notes

The Studentship provides tuition fees and stipend for 3.5 years to UK applicants. EU applicants who do not meet the RCUK residency criteria can apply for a fees only award.


• Clark C, Stansfeld SA. The effect of transportation noise on health and cognitive development: a review of recent evidence. Int J Comparative Psychol 2007;20:145-58
• Fraser, A., et al., Cohort Profile: the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children: ALSPAC mothers cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2013;42(1):97-110
• Gulliver J, Elliott P, Henderson J, Hansell AL, et al. Local- and regional-scale air pollution modelling (PM(10)) and exposure assessment for pregnancy trimesters, infancy, and childhood to age 15 years: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children (ALSPAC). Environ Int. 2018 Apr;113:10-19
• Morley DW, ...Hansell AL, Gulliver J. International scale implementation of the CNOSSOS-EU road traffic noise prediction model for epidemiological studies. Environ Pollut. 2015 Nov;206:332-41
• Münzel T, et al. Environmental Noise and the Cardiovascular System. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018;71(6):688-697.
• Paunovic K, et al., Epidemiological studies on noise and blood pressure in children: Observations and suggestions. Environment International, 2011;37(5):1030-41

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