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Intersectional inequalities in obesity management and related multimorbidity

   Department of Health Sciences

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  Dr Will Johnson, Dr F Zaccardi, Dr Natalie Darko, Dr David Webb  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Closing date for applications: 3 March 2023

Capitalising on the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), this PhD project will, firstly, investigate inequalities 1) in access to NHS weight management interventions and 2) in the associations of obesity with incident multimorbidity. Unlike existing research in this area, this work will be grounded in intersectionality, a theory explaining how systems of discrimination and oppression are interlocking and interactive, producing inequalities that cannot be understood in isolation. The student will refine and apply a new gold-standard multilevel approach for modelling intersectional inequalities. The PhD project will, secondly, investigate the extent to which intersectional inequalities in obesity-related multimorbidity might be explained by disparities in access to NHS weight management interventions. This work could use qualitative and/or quantitative methods depending on the student’s interests and career plan. Together, the results of this PhD will provide a comprehensive picture about which parts of the population access obesity management services the least and (perhaps therefore) suffer the greatest obesity-related disease burden. In addition to publications in top tier medical journals, this research will be disseminated to obesity organizations and governing bodies, with the intention that the results are used to promote health equity through changes to policy and practice.

Entry requirements:

Applicants are required to hold/or expect to obtain a UK Bachelor Degree 2:1 or better in a relevant subject. 

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable.

This programme is open to:

  • allied health professionals
  • nurses
  • midwives
  • junior doctors
  • general practitioners

Fellows recruited to the programme must be practicing healthcare professionals and be registered with a national professional regulatory body (e.g. the General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council) in the UK/Republic of Ireland.

Medical graduates must be registered on a UK/Republic of Ireland specialist training programme or must be a registered GP.

All fellows must have completed their undergraduate degree and be registered with the relevant professional body.

Application advice:

Application help:

To apply, please go to:

With your application, please include:

  • Full up to date CV
  • Personal statement of 700 words (for detailed instructions on what we will be looking for in your personal statement and your CV, please review the guidance here:
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.

In the funding section please specify that you wish to be considered for Wellcome Trust LHII DTP

In the proposal section please provide the name of at least one or at most two of the projects you are interested in (please indicate title and name of supervisor). The first project you list will be taken to be your preferred choice.

Upload the Widening Participation form (found on the above link) to the proposal section

Project / Funding Enquiries to: [Email Address Removed]

Application enquiries to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Students on this programme will be supported by a generous funding package. This will include:
• Postgraduate research fee waiver at standard College of Life Sciences UK rates for three years of the PhD
• Wellcome Trust stipend covering your salary for all three years of the PhD
• Research grant for training, research and travel costs


Kivimäki M et al. Body-mass index and risk of obesity-related complex multimorbidity: an observational multicohort study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2022;10(4):253-63.
Bann D et al. Socioeconomic inequalities in body mass index across adulthood: coordinated analyses of individual participant data from three British birth cohort studies initiated in 1946, 1958, and 1970. Plos Med 2017;14(1):e1002214.
Nash JC. Re-Thinking Intersectionality. Feminist Rev 2008; 89:1-15.
Merlo J. Multilevel analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy (MAIHDA) within an intersectional framework. Soc Sci Med 2018;203:74-80.
Evans RC et al. A multilevel approach to modeling health inequalities at the intersection of multiple social identities. Soc Sci Med 2018;203:64-73.
Booth HP et al. Access to weight reduction interventions for overweight and obese patients in UK primary care: population-based cohort study. BMJ Open 2015;5(1):e006642.
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