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Elphinstone Scholarship - Developing knowledge products for non-health and social care partners (i.e. housing, education, police) within integrated care systems to enhance strength of partnerships

   School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition

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  Dr Amudha Poobalan, Dr Heather May Morgan  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This research project aims to develop a set of knowledge products targeted at the wider public health workforce to strengthen partnership working within integrated care systems. Complex health problems require engagement beyond the health sector. WHO has emphasised the need for a whole system approach that will address these problems and will build good governance for health and well-being. Integrated care brings together key aspects of the design and delivery of care that is fragmented. This includes the management of medical problems but also extends to promoting health and wellbeing. New ideas are emerging that are evolving our understanding of integrated care, one of which is these strategies ought to become population-oriented and focus on promoting health by bringing together health and social care with other sectors, such as housing, schools, community groups, and more.

Success of working together involves clinical specialists and consultants at the strategic level, practitioners at the operational level, and the wider public health workforce (WPHW). In the context of Scotland, UK, WPHW is defined as those who do not have responsibilities for the traditional clinical health outcomes, but those who will contribute to the overall health and well-being of the community, such as educational attainment, financial inclusion, community resilience, etc. This multidisciplinary approach includes; teachers, social workers, housing planners, policymakers, social care, and more. Given the broad range of the WPHW, it can be thought that they directly contribute to factors that influence SDoH and culture within communities. This non-traditional WPHW plays an integral role in public health improvement. Integrated care models require relationship building across these stakeholders and environments that promote collaboration.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for non-health and social care partners to be involved in public health improvement and work together with the rest of the health and social care system. Adding relevant public health knowledge and training to the WPHW is an inexpensive way to have a positive impact on public health.

To create the knowledge products, an initial explanatory mixed methods study that will be conducted in Aberdeen, Scotland and will be contrasted with another high-performing international context. The similarity and differences in models of care and delivery between the two regions will be used to compare the elements that may or may not be transferable in various integrated care contexts.

 Informal enquiries are encouraged, please contact the lead supervisor, Dr. Amudha Poobalan ([Email Address Removed]) for further information.

 Essential background of student:

Applicants should hold a 1st Class UK Honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject. Those with a 2:1 UK Honours degree (or international equivalent) may be considered, provided they have (or are expected to achieve) a Distinction or Commendation at Master’s level.


This project will be based within the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, part of the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, at the University of Aberdeen. The Institute of Applied Health Sciences is located on the Foresterhill Health Campus, one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe, which also includes the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) the Rowett Institute, and a large teaching hospital.



Please note: The funding for this project covers tuition fees and research costs only, no stipend or living costs are provided.

  • Formal applications can be completed online: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/pgap/login.php
  • You should apply for Medical Sciences (PhD) to ensure your application is passed to the correct team.
  • Please clearly note the name of the lead supervisor and project title on the application form. If you do not mention the project title and the supervisor on your application it will not be considered for the studentship.
  • Please include a personal statement, an up-to-date copy of your academic CV, and relevant educational certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate and postgraduate (if applicable)).
  • Please note: you DO NOT need to provide a research proposal with this application
  • CV's submitted directly through a FindAPhD enquiry WILL NOT be considered.
  • General application enquiries can be made to [Email Address Removed] 

Funding Notes

This 36 Month project is funded by a prestigious University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship. This opportunity is open to UK and International students and includes funding to cover tuition fees and research costs only. No stipend or living costs are provided.
Funding for international students does not cover visa costs (either for yourself or for accompanying family members), immigration health surcharge or any other additional costs associated with relocation to the UK.
The expected start date is February 2023.
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