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How can we best reduce commercial sector influence on public health policy: learning from and going beyond Article 5.3 of the FCTC?

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Anna Gilmore
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description


This PhD will undertake a body of work focused on understanding how best to reduce commercial sector interference in policy making. The aim is that the candidate will become a global expert in this field.

The successful student will conduct their research under the supervision of Prof Anna Gilmore (University of Bath) and Prof Stella Bialous, (University of California, San Francisco). The student will be based at the University of Bath.

Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s largest public health treated developed under the auspices of WHO, repeatedly identify tobacco industry interference as the single greatest impediment to progress. This is despite the existence of Article 5.3, which requires signatories to protect their health policies “from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law”. Similar problems with industry interference are reported in other areas of public health involving commercial sector interests such as alcohol and food policy.

Successful implementation of Article 5.3 is rare and there is virtually no research evaluating the effectiveness of 5.3 or interventions to reduce commercial sector influence more generally. Barriers to implementation are numerous. For example, the tobacco industry has altered its lobbying techniques to overcome Article 5.3 and policy influence strategies which transcend national boundaries fall outside its country-based remit.

This PhD will undertake a body of work focused on understanding how best to reduce commercial sector interference in policy making. The candidate will be able to shape the focus but it is anticipated that it will focus on what governments can do to reduce this influence. Work might include:
• critically examining best practice in reducing industry interference at both national and global level (including during the Conference
of the Parties to the FCTC);
• exploring how best to embed best practice across the ‘whole of government’;
• examining whether industry denormalisation is a pre-requisite to progress; and whether lessons from tobacco can be used in other
areas of public health policy making and vice versa.

This PhD is linked to the STOP project (

Conflict of interest information can be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019


Masters degree in public health, public policy, development studies or similar. This PhD would particularly suit candidates with experience in policy making, working in government.

Those with language skills are particularly encouraged to apply


Shortlisted candidates are likely to be interviewed by the end of July.

Funding Notes

Applicants will be considered for a University studentship covering Home/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 for 2019/20) for a period of up to 3 years, full-time study.


Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC):;jsessionid=D87CEF2D4A06308135E0DAACD4A6BD82?sequence=1

Global progress in implementation of the WHO FCTC:

The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project:

How good is research at University of Bath in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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