About the Project
This PhD will undertake a body of work focused on understanding and addressing the role of the commercial sector in shaping the systems and drivers of behaviour that underpin global epidemics of infectious disease, non-communicable diseases, and environmental degradation.
The successful student will conduct their research under the supervision of Prof Harry Rutter (University of Bath, Department of Social and Policy Sciences), Prof Anna Gilmore (University of Bath, Department for Health), and Dr Anna Fabbri (University of Sydney, Australia). The student will be based at the University of Bath.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the largest global health crisis for generations. It is underpinned by a set of common drivers linking infectious disease, non-communicable diseases, and environmental degradation. Many of these are already being mapped in previous work on the commercial determinants of health that has illuminated the reciprocal relationships among economic interests, power, and health.
Prof Gilmore is leading work on the commercial determinants of health including authoring a Lancet Commission on the topic. Prof Harry Rutter is jointly chairing a Lancet Commission on “Improving Population Health post-COVID-19”, with the aim of identifying the common actions for tackling future pandemics, non-communicable disease, and environmental degradation, and identifying key actions for equitable, sustainable improvements in human and planetary health. Both Professors Gilmore and Rutter are also involved in a multi-university research consortium focused on the commercial determinants of health called SPECTRUM (Shaping public health policies to reduce inequalities and harm). SPECTRUM aims to generate evidence to inform policies and practices to tackle ways in which commercial interests influence public health. This PhD will undertake a body of work in this area, focused on understanding the role of the commercial sector and other actors in driving the above mentioned outcomes and on exploring potential responses.
The work will include both evidence synthesis and designing/conducting primary research studies. The candidate will be able to shape the focus but it is anticipated that it will involve some of the following:
• mapping influences of commercial determinants as upstream drivers of health outcomes
• mapping the shared drivers of communicable and non-communicable disease, and environmental degradation
• developing a framework to describe these drivers
• drawing on quantitative and qualitative evidence to identify key actions to address the commercial determinants of health and promote equitable, sustainable improvements in human and planetary health.
Anticipated start date: November 2020
Please go to https://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/scho-for-heal-mphi/, click on the Apply Online button, and choose PhD programme in Health (full-time). Please state the title of the project you are applying for in the Personal Statement section of the application form.
Masters degree in public health, public policy, environmental science, economics 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 late October.
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