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Health perception of foods: Exploring the role of nutritional labels on food packages in conveying healthfulness

   School of Business

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  Dr Abhishek Pathak, Dr Szu-Hsin Wu  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Policy decisions to help consumers make healthy choices are an important part of any government’s initiative. Nutritional labelling is an important such initiative. Research has shown that nutritional labels can encourage consumers into making healthy choices. It has also shown that a majority of consumers do spend time reading the labels and the information provided on the labels can change the choices made. However, despite these findings, the overall health scare yet remains unchanged. Obesity and other disorders related to unhealthy eating habits seem uninfluenced by the changes made to nutritional labelling over the years. This PhD studentship will provide an opportunity to study the role of nutritional labels in making food choices among consumers in Scotland. Specifically, the research aims to use experiments and field studies in supermarkets (with real and experimental nutritional labels) to explore the purchasing habits of consumers and how various factors (e.g., colour in traffic light nutritional labels, size of the labels, placement within the packs, background colours of the pack) can influence the consumer’s decisions. More importantly, the PhD studentship will identify the factors which if implemented, can encourage consumers into making healthy choices at the point of purchase.


  • To be accepted to study for a PhD, applicants need to have an undergraduate degree of at least 2:1 (or equivalent) or a master’s degree, in a subject related to the proposed PhD topic.
  • English language requirements – a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.

To apply please ensure you include the following documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  3. Two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional).
  4. Research proposal, CV and samples of written work.


  • Deadline for submission: 14 October 2022
  • Interviews: November TBC
  • Start date: January 2023

Please submit to Professor Norin Arshed ([Email Address Removed] ) and Research Lead, Linn McFarlane ([Email Address Removed]).

The University of Dundee aims to transform lives, working locally and globally through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge.

We build on our success by investing in excellent facilities, pushing the boundaries of research, and equipping our staff and students with the means to create real-world impact. Dundee’s research is highly rated by the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2022), which assesses the quality and impact of research submitted by universities across the UK. Furthermore, 84% of the University’s research was found to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The School of Business within the University of Dundee is the United Kingdom’s and Scotland’s newest and fastest growing business school with an internationally diverse faculty and student population. We pride ourselves with always working towards delivering an excellent student experience.

We’ve recruited outstanding academic faculty from the UK and around the world, who are both excellent teachers and researchers. Research excellence that informs our teaching and impact our communities remains of utmost importance to us. We regard ourselves as a ‘research intensive’ business school where research serves to build excellence in teaching and our engagement with our communities here and internationally. Our academics present their research throughout the world and publish their research in leading academic and industry outlets. We are impacting the world around us.

Funding Notes

Waiver: Six PhD scholarships are advertised but only three are funded. This is a competitive process and only three of the strongest applications will be selected.
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