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Facilitating the Integration of Research on Health and Environment: Challenges and Implications of Data Mashups

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Leonelli
    Prof L Fleming
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The University of Exeter is pleased to be offering ESRC funded 1+3 or +3 studentships as part of the South West Doctoral Training Centre for entry in 2016/17. Within the DTC, the College of Social Sciences and International Studies is currently inviting applications for ‘ Facilitating the Integration of Research on Health and Environment: Challenges and Implications of Data Mashups.’ This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding. Studentships will be awarded on the basis of merit and strategic fit with the aims of the DTC.

For eligible UK/EU students the full time studentship will cover fees and an annual Research Council stipend of approximately £14,057 (2015/16 rate) for up to four years (1+3 Masters + PhD award).

Professors Sabina Leonelli and Lora Fleming

The supervisors can be contacted on [Email Address Removed] and [Email Address Removed] for further details of the project and for support in completing the research proposal.

Project Description:
Ongoing research in the MRC NERC funded MEDMI, NIHR HPRU and other research projects at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health led by Prof Lora Fleming in collaboration with the UK Met Office have been critical to the development of mashup models for the integration of research on human health and wellbeing (including genetic and epidemiological data), and environment (including data on atmospheric, weather, climate and environmental exposure data). Such integration or mashups are crucial to improve the existing understanding of the interactions and impacts of environmental change (including climate change) on human health and wellbeing, as well as articulating strategies for enhancing the long-term sustainability of human societies and healthy ecosystems. It is a key area where the integration of big data will have a transforming impact on scientific knowledge production. At the same time, many open questions remain concerning how the big data involved in such integrations should be collected, stored, curated, disseminated, and re-used. The Data Studies group at the Exeter Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences uses qualitative methods from the social studies of science to identify and address such questions. This project proposes to use the skills and methods developed in the Data Studies group to investigate the epistemology and governance of environment and health data mashups, with a view to identify and analyse the challenges and future implications of data integration in this area. The candidate will be trained in relevant social science skills through the MSc Science and Technology Studies run by the department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology at Exeter, and then take a PhD in Sociology at Exeter with joint supervision from ECEHH (UEMS) and the MET Office.

Academic entry requirements: For the 1+3 programme students must have a strong first degree (at least an Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Candidates for the +3 programme must, in addition, have (or be about to complete) a research Masters degree (at least Merit (60%) overall and 60% for the dissertation component) in a relevant discipline or have equivalent research training. The Masters degree should contain a significant element of research training (this is defined as including significant social sciences research design, quantitative and qualitative research methods elements. Your transcript will need to show that a minimum of a third of your programme entailed research methods elements). Personal qualities should include the ability to work independently and the motivation necessary to complete a PhD in three years.

Application deadline: 4th February 2016
Number of awards: 1
Value: £14,057 plus UK/EU tuition fees for eligible students
Duration of award: per year
Contact: Chris Pesterfield, Postgraduate Admissions and Scholarships Administrator, Tel: 01392 724490 [Email Address Removed]

How to apply
Please upload the following documents to the studentship application form -

• CV
• Covering letter outlining your academic interests, any prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project, as well as a research training statement
• Research proposal of 1,000 words detailing how you will approach the project. For 1+3 students it is recognised that this will be an outline proposal to be further developed during the first year of the studentship
• 2 references from referees familiar with your academic work (if your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to [Email Address Removed]
• Verified transcript of your highest qualification to date or an interim transcript if you are still studying
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English (for further details, please see the University’s English language requirements).

Interviews for short listed applicants will take place at Streatham Campus, Exeter, from 8-10 March 2016.

Funding Notes

These studentships will be funded by the ESRC and are available to UK nationals and other EU nationals who have resided in the UK for three years prior to commencing the studentship. If you meet the criteria, funding will be provided for tuition fees and stipend. If you are a citizen of an EU member state and don’t meet the residency requirement you will be eligible for a fees-only award. For further guidance about eligibility please refer to Annex 1 of the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide -

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