NIHR CLEAN-Air(Africa) Unit Clean modern energy for all. Benefitting health, society, environment and climate in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

   Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems

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  Prof D Pope, Dr Elisa Puzzolo  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

We are seeking an enthusiastic, diligent and driven Masters graduate with strong quantitative and statistical skills to join our established and impactful multi-disciplinary team as a PhD student. The student will conduct a research project to help address a global public health priority connected to our multi-year, multi-center global public health research and capacity building programme in West, Central and East Africa. The PhD post is associated with our NIHR CLEAN-Air(Africa) Global Health Research Unit (2022-2027, £7million) and is part of the Energy, Air Pollution and Health Research Group at the Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems, University of Liverpool. The Unit’s programme builds on the substantial success of our CLEAN-Air(Africa) Global Health Research Group (2018 to 2022: see in addressing the global burden of disease from household air pollution from reliance on polluting household and institutional energy with research programs in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Cameroon.  

We are looking to appoint a Masters graduate with experience working in the field of household air pollution (HAP), ambient air pollution or a similar environmental field, preferably with some experience in environmental exposure assessment understanding the impacts of this exposure on public health. The candidate’s research project will be connected to understanding how interventions to switch from polluting to cleaner fuels and energy (e.g. cooking in households and/or public institutions) can positively impact health and the environment through reductions in air pollution. The research will involve analysis of HAP exposure data (e.g. fine particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations), stove use monitoring (SUM) data, and survey data to address a variety of research questions that will be developed by the student in consultation with the research team. Topics will include the climate and health impacts of cooking with polluting fuels (e.g., wood, charcoal) or strategies that enhance the use of cleaner cooking fuels (e.g., gas, electricity) across sub-Saharan African focus countries. Experience with data management and analysis of complex datasets using statistical software (e.g. Stata, R, Python) is also essential for this position. Prior work experience in predictive or epidemiological modelling in the field of environmental health or climate would be an asset.

The PhD student will work closely with multi-disciplinary researchers from the Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems (University of Liverpool) and with researchers from leading academic, clinical and research organisations in East Africa and Cameroon. They will contribute to the design and analysis of observational studies or randomized controlled trials of household energy interventions that fall within the CLEAN-Air(Africa) Global Health Research Unit’s remit. In addition to their focussed research project, the student will be able to advise on study methods, lead data analysis, help deliver training on air monitoring and assist in project coordination of related study components (e.g., surveys, air pollution exposure measurements, etc.) under the supervision of the Unit’s Quantitative Lead and the Unit’s Directorship (main Directors and Deputy Director).

The research carried out by the PhD student will contribute to a global public health priority with direct relevance to the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. As such, results are anticipated to be highly impactful and timely dissemination of results/ knowledge exchange will be a key priority for the research, beyond the academic thesis. The student will therefore be responsible for disseminating findings to academic audiences through publications in high-impact peer-reviewed journal articles and reports to lay/ stakeholder audiences involved in policy making, in co-ordination with other senior colleagues.

The candidate should have a Masters degree (submitted or awarded) in a relevant discipline. The candidate is expected to start in September 2023 (or later date to mutually agreed) and to submit his/her dissertation by the end of three years doctoral period.


Professor Dan Pope ([Email Address Removed])

Dr Elisa Puzzolo ([Email Address Removed])

To apply for the position, please email both Prof. Pope and Dr Puzzolo attaching a covering letter, CV and details of 2 referees.

Should the candidate be shortlisted for interview, they will be contacted by email to confirm a date for the interview. 

Environmental Sciences (13) Politics & Government (30) Psychology (31)

Funding Notes

This is a funded PhD Studentship. The funding covers payment of tuition fees at the standard UKRI Home rate, an annual stipend in line with UKRI rates (for 2022/23 this was £17,668 full time equivalent, TBC for 2023/24), and research support costs.
Please note, EU/ international students are welcome to apply, however, the studentship funds tuition fees at UKRI Home rate only, payment of the difference in fees will be the responsibility of the student.

Where will I study?

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