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Mapping food insecurity and its relationship to health indicators within Northern Ireland

   Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

  Dr Emeir McSorley, Dr Paul McKenzie, Dr Sinead Furey, Dr Caomhan Logue  Monday, February 27, 2023  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Food poverty, a global health challenge, is a real concern for people in Northern Ireland. Research has identified that food poverty may change both spatially and temporally due to factors such as accessibility to retailers, availability of items and socio-economic factors. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been successfully used to model food poverty along a range of spatial scales. A food poverty risk index was developed for Northern Ireland at Small Area (SA) scale using a range of census data (2011) and spatial data. Initial work highlights that the model can accurately identify homes in food poverty. Building on this research, this project aims to update the original index using 2021 census data and additional area-based data.

Specific objectives are to:

*Use food poverty risk indices to identify temporal changes in at-risk communities;

*Investigate fine level variations in health and nutrition status in at-risk areas;

*Propose interventions to reduce vulnerability to food poverty alongside geographically targeted recommendations for health and nutrition.

Training in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will be provided through online modules and guidance from the supervisory team. The project would suit a candidate with confidence in computing and statistics although these are not mandatory for the project. Candidates with an interest in health, food policy or geography would be suited to this project.

Please note: Applications for more than one PhD studentship are welcome, however if you apply for more than one PhD project within Biomedical Sciences, your first application on the system will be deemed your first-choice preference and further applications will be ordered based on the sequential time of submission. If you are successfully shortlisted, you will be interviewed only on your first-choice application and ranked accordingly. Those ranked highest will be offered a PhD studentship. In the situation where you are ranked highly and your first-choice project is already allocated to someone who was ranked higher than you, you may be offered your 2nd or 3rd choice project depending on the availability of this project.


Recommended reading:
*Rural poverty: The impact of rurality on consumers’ access to food services, using a food poverty risk index McClelland, N., Furey, S., McKenzie, P. & Hollywood, L., 21 Mar 2018, King's College London, p. 39-39 1 p.
*Food poverty contributors: Individual, structural or political? Examining stakeholder perspectives using Interviews and Nominal Group Technique. Beacom, E., Furey, S., Hollywood, L. E. & Humphreys, P., 28 Jun 2021, In: British Food Journal. 123, 6, p. 2199-2215 17 p.
*Food Insecurity Measurement: Stakeholder Comparisons of the EU-SILC and HFSSM Indicators and Considerations Towards the Usefulness of a Headline Indicator. Beacom, E., Furey, S., Hollywood, L. E. & Humphreys, P., 11 Jan 2022, (Published online) In: Social Indicators Research. 162, p. 1021-1041 21 p.
*Spatial decision support for social hybrid organizations: siting new social supermarkets in Austria. Lienbacher, E., Koschinsky, J., Holweg, C. and Vallaster, C. 2021 International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 49 (7), 999-1024, doi: 10.1108/IJRDM-10-2020-0422.
*FIMS: Identifying, Predicting and Visualising Food Insecurity. Nica-Avram, G., Harvey, J., Goulding, J., Lucas, B., Smith, A., Smith, G., Perrat, B. 2020, Proceedings of World Wide Web.
*Caraher, M. and Furey, S. (2018) The Economics of Emergency Food Aid Provision: A Financial, Social and Cultural Perspective London: Palgrave Macmillan. [eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-78506-6; DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-78506-6].
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