Model-based health economic evaluation of interventions for improving primary healthcare for patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during severe flooding in India

   Institute of Applied Health Research

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  Dr S Jowett, Dr S Manaseki-Holland, Dr James Hall  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Additional supervisor Professor Guiqing Lily Yao, University of Leicester 

Informal enquiries should be directed to the project supervisor Professor Sue Jowett: [Email Address Removed]

Research page Professor Sue Jowett - Institute of Applied Health Research - University of Birmingham

Person Specification - Required:

*At least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent for international applicants) in a subject with significant quantitative content such as economics, statistics, mathematics or a health-related science, epidemiology, or other social science, or humanities subject that have highly quantitative components

*A Master’s level qualification in a relevant subject (e.g. health economics, economics, MPH etc) or a subject with a significant quantitative component

* Skills in quantitative methods and analysis such as health economics, economics, engineering, statistics, or mathematics

*Ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of people, and to work effectively within an international team

*Excellent oral and written communications skills with the ability to write technical reports for publication

*Ability to organise and prioritise own work with minimal supervision and to exercise initiative


*knowledge/experience of health economics

*ability to conduct analysis in Excel, STATA and/or R

* A commitment to cross cultural health research, global health, high quality healthcare delivery, and some experience/context of India

Project Details:

Background to the project

Severe floods are an increasing annual problem in parts of India and South Asia, worsened by global warming1. Medical responses to floods traditionally have yet to include NCD services in India and many low and middle-income countries. Patients, and HCPs are found to need more structured plans. Our NIHR-funded project in Kerala aims to develop and evaluate a model of health service and community preparedness and response that would improve outcomes of NCD patients affected by floods.

This PhD candidate, based in Birmingham, UK, will undertake health economic modelling to estimate health costs and benefits of a complex-intervention to improve NCD patient services during flooding, and associated benefits of an early rainfall/flood warning system to trigger timely intervention implementation. Methods will be developed to capture intervention-specific health/societal resource use and potential influence on downstream resource use/health benefits. Modelling will evaluate the longer-term cost-effectiveness of the combined intervention. The final modelling method to be used will be determined as part of the PhD but is likely to be individual patient-level simulation or discrete event simulation2,3, although alternative modelling approaches (such as agent-based modelling4) will also be explored Results from this study will provide evidence for decision makers to ensure scarce resources are used optimally, particularly important in an LMIC context to ensure key SDGs are achieved. The UK health economics candidate will travel to India to gain context and collect data.

 This PhD is part of a 5-year £3m NIHR project which is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum in Kerala, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Mahavir Cancer Research Centre in Bihar, and Doctors for You NGO.

Project aims

1.   Critically appraise published epidemiological/economic studies of the health and resource impacts of flooding/natural disasters, and economic studies of interventions to improve NCD management in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

2.   Develop methods to identify and capture the potential health care and societal resource use implications and health benefits of a complex-intervention to improve NCD patient services during flooding.

3.   Develop a novel exploratory health economic model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of the complex-intervention over the longer term at individual and population level, synthesising the trial data with secondary data.


The supervision team are: Professor Sue Jowett (University of Birmingham (UoB), lead supervisor) providing expertise on health economics methods and concepts, Dr Semira Manaseki-Holland (UoB) providing supervisory leadership around public health trials and methods, Dr James Hall (UoB) providing expertise around decision modelling and Professor Guiqing Lily Yao (University of Leicester) providing expertise around decision modelling.

How to apply

Click on the institution website which will redirect you to the MRC AIM website which contains full information and the application forms to complete. Please ensure that you submit your application before the deadline of midday (GMT) Friday 12 January 2024 as late applications will not be considered.

Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded studentship provided by the Medical Research Council.
If you are successful, you will receive a stipend (currently £18,622 per year for 2023/24) and a tuition fee waiver for 4 years.
Successful candidates will also receive an allowance for a laptop, a travel and conference allowance and an allowance for laboratory/PhD running costs.


1. WMO. State of the Climate in Asia 2021. Geneva,Switzerland: WMO; 2022. Contract No.: WMO-No.1303.
2. Davis S, Stevenson M, Tappenden P, Wailoo A. NICE DSU Technical support document 15: Cost-effectiveness modelling using patient-level simulation. Sheffield: University of Sheffield; 2014.
3. Vázquez-Serrano JI, Peimbert-García RE, Cárdenas-Barrón LE. Discrete-Event Simulation Modeling in Healthcare: A Comprehensive Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Nov 22;18(22):12262.
4. Chhatwal, J, He, T., Economic evaluations with agent-based modelling: an introduction. Pharmacoeconomics, 2015. 33(5): p. 423-433.

Where will I study?

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