Exploring health inequalities in deprived populations in Sunderland

   Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing

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  Prof Yitka Graham, Prof C Hayes, Mrs Gerry Taylor  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project


Published a month before the global pandemic, the Marmot Review 10 Years on identified that since 2010, life expectancy had stalled in the UK, the first time in over 100 years. This has led to a decrease in health improvement and quality of life. Life expectancy follows the social gradient, with deprivation negatively affecting how long a person may live. People living in deprived areas spend an increased proportion of their shorter lives in poor health than people living in less deprived areas. The detrimental impact on health for people living in deprived areas has increased since 2010.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and widened the inequalities reported in the 2020 Marmot Review . The economic and social harm because of national lockdowns and social distancing measures to contain the virus increasing health and inequalities. Mortality from COVID-19 has followed the social gradient seen for all causes of death in the UK and causes of inequalities from the virus are similar to the causes seen in overall health inequality in the UK. Social determinants of health that cause inequalities in health need to be addressed to ‘build back fairer’.

Sunderland City Council is tackling health inequalities through the Sunderland Healthy City Plan 2020-2030 and the COVID-19 Health Inequalities Strategy with the vision of ‘Everyone in Sunderland will have happy, healthy lives, with no one left behind’ . Using qualitative methodologies, the aim of the PhD is to explore health inequalities in deprived populations in Sunderland to contribute to the delivery of these strategies to reduce health inequalities in Sunderland.

This fully-funded PhD studentship is a collaboration between the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute at the University of Sunderland, and Sunderland City Council, with supervision across both organisations. The studentship is full-time only, based on campus at the University of Sunderland. Candidates are expected to live in the North East for the duration of the studentship. A stipend will be paid in line with UKRI rates. Candidates are permitted to work a maximum of 7.5 hours per week outside the studentship. The PhD will commence on May 1, 2023. Terms of the studentship are not negotiable.

Eligibility: Applicants must be educated to BSc or MSc level, possess experience in qualitative methodologies, and have an understanding of health inequalities.

Application process: (please do not apply through any other method, including the FindAPhD portal, as this will not be acknowledged or accepted)

1.     Interested applicants should email Professor Yitka Graham at [Email Address Removed] to request an Expression of Interest form. Please allow yourself sufficient time to complete the application process.

2. The completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form, along with a current CV, academic transcripts and covering letter to Professor Yitka Graham, Head of the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute at: [Email Address Removed] by the closing date of Sunday, March 26th 2023, 17:00 GMT. Any applications received after this date/time or without all documentation will not be considered.

2.      The EOIs will be reviewed by the academic panel and shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview to be held on Teams.

3.     To be successful, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for PhD candidates set by the University of Sunderland.

For any informal enquiries, please contact Professor Yitka Graham, Head of the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute at [Email Address Removed]. Please do not send your CV unless it is part of the application process above.

Nursing & Health (27) Psychology (31) Sociology (32)


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 About the Project