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Heterogeneity in Urban Health Risk since Victorian Times: Socioeconomic Conditions, Social Interactions and Economic Fluctuations

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, April 08, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Sustaining healthy cities that promote health equity is a pressing challenge, with Glasgow representing an archetypal example. Although established cities have faced such health challenges throughout history, detailed quantitative analysis of within-city health risk has largely focused on recent decades. To understand the factors that drive the within-city distribution of health risk and its time evolution, it is important to analyse how risk relates to socioeconomic conditions, social interactions and economic fluctuations over a long period of time. Specifically, this analysis is essential to distinguish trends from shorter-term fluctuations, to evaluate public health interventions, and to understand the extent to which historical underpinnings still have a bearing on current outcomes.

This project will address this challenge by focusing on between-ward (neighbourhood) health risk within Glasgow, using administrative records for the City of Glasgow since Victorian times. For example, these annual records contain information on disease incidence for a range of diseases, mortality data by cause, and a range of proxies for socioeconomic conditions and income. This dataset offers a unique opportunity to create a long and detailed time series of health outcomes at the neighbourhood level, creating the opportunity to make novel contributions to this literature.

In particular, the work involves compiling a quantitative dataset using archival records and applying statistical methods of analysis to research questions that span public health, economics and epidemiology. The studentship is in collaboration with Glasgow City Archives, who will work with and support the student in their work.

Funding Notes

For direct entry to the PhD (+3), applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
1. An MSc (or equivalent postgraduate level) degree in population health/epidemiology, economics, public policy research, economic and/or social history or human geography, demonstrating strong statistical/quantitative training and an interest in developing these skills further during the PhD. Applicants with a background in applied statistics or computing science should demonstrate evidence of a research interest in population health and economics.
2. Knowledge of issues concerning population health and its relationship with economic conditions and outcomes and interest in public health and/or economic issues during historical periods.
3. Interest in working with archival data to compile quantitative datasets (both online and in situ in locations where archives are held), and in reading historical documents to understand public health interventions and economic context.
4. Excellent writing skills, as well as team and communication skills.

For students interested in a 1+3 route, points (1)-(4) apply, with the exception that a Masters is not expected, and instead a good first degree (at least upper second or equivalent) applies, and relevant knowledge consistent with this level.
If you are not sure whether your background and qualifications are better suited to a 1+3 or a +3 award, please contact Rebecca Mancy to discuss, attaching your CV.

Applicants must complete the Supervisor Led Awards Eligibility Checker before proceeding with their application.
Students must meet ESRC eligibility criteria. ESRC eligibility information can be found here*:

Award Details:
The scholarship is available as a +3 or a 1+3 programme depending on prior research training. This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process. The programme will commence in September/October 2020. It includes:
• An annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate
• Fees at the standard Home rate
• Students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year.

Other Information:
The student will be based in the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU) and will also participate in research and training activities in Economics.

Applications will be ranked by a selection panel and applicants will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by Thursday 16 April 2020. Interviews will take place 20 – 23 April 2020.

All scholarship awards are subject to candidates successfully securing admission to a PhD programme at the University of Glasgow. Successful scholarship applicants will be invited to apply for admission to the relevant PhD programme after they are selected for funding.

Related Subjects

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