Are you applying to universities? | SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE Are you applying to universities? | SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE

PhD studentship on inter-generational knowledge of oral healthcare within a community setting

   Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof R Harris, Dr Marieke van der Zande, Dr Terence Heng  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The studentship will develop an understanding of knowledge practices around oral healthcare services and their link with trust in public services in a community experiencing high levels of deprivation, comparing groups across genders and generations.

Specifically, this project will explore:

·        How do knowledge practices in the local community encourage and discourage trust in oral healthcare services?

·        How do knowledge practices converge, diverge, and interact between different gender and generational groups, and how does this affect their healthcare service use?

·        What strategies do local groups use to mediate knowledge and support regarding oral healthcare, and which strategies and actors represent the most potential for effective health promotion?


1) to explore the most promising strategies for improving support in healthcare use relevant to local people

2) to explore the use of innovative creative methods to reach people who may not have engaged with healthcare services

3) conceptual development in sociology around inter-generational healthcare knowledge practices.

The project will be partly based at the Feelgood Factory - a local community organisation in Netherton, an area of Merseyside experiencing high deprivation.

The student will conduct an ethnography (including in-depth interviews and focus groups) using participatory creative methods, including walk-along interviews, photography-based methods, or relational diagramming. The fieldwork will take place at the Feelgood Factory, the project partner.


CASE Studentships can be held either on a full time or part time basis, on a 1+3 years or +3 years basis. +3, for students who hold a Master’s degree with sufficient training in social science methods and theory, is preferred. A candidate may be recruited to a 1+3 studentship, this would include a Master’s degree in Sociology and Social Policy or Public Health.

The studentship will begin by October 2022

Person specification


·        Undergraduate course (1+3) and/or Master’s course (+3) at a recognised UK higher education institution. Qualification and/or experience or qualifications from outside the UK may be considered if equivalent to a UK Honours degree (ESRC bases its assessments of qualifications attained outside the UK on the British Council’s NARIC guide).

·        Undergraduate degree in an appropriate topic (e.g. Sociology) at a level of First or upper second class.

·        A background in social sciences (e.g. anthropology, sociology, social policy, political sciences); or a background in related areas such as social work, public health, psychology, dentistry, or another health-related field, or arts-based methods 

·        A substantial qualitative research component (e.g. a thesis using qualitative research methods) in their undergraduate or graduate degree

·        To qualify for the +3 studentship (rather than the 1+3), the student must have completed, or expect to complete before October 2022, a Master’s degree in a related field (e.g. social or behavioural sciences, public health, social work, arts-based methods)

·        The successful candidate will need to demonstrate strong communication and team working skills, and ability to be flexible in adapting to the needs and strengths of each of the groups at the community partner organisation

·        Ability to write and critically analyse scientific literature

·        Interest in health inequalities

·        Interest in oral health and dental services


·        Experience working with community or volunteer organizations, or with public engagement.

·        Experience working with arts- (e.g. photography-) based methods

·        Previous author of qualitative research publications

Enquiries are welcome and can be sent to Dr. Marieke van der Zande via email [Email Address Removed]

To apply, please submit a cv and covering letter outlining your reasons for wanting to take up this studentship, and details of 2 academic referees to [Email Address Removed]. For non-UK qualifications transcripts in English as well as details in the original language must be provided with the application form.


There will be an inter-disciplinary supervisory team of 4 supervisors: Professor Rebecca Harris (previous International Association of Dental Research Distinguished Scientist); Dr Marieke Van der Zande who is a medical sociologist; Dr Terence Heng who is an expert in visual methods and Sandra Duncan, who is chief executive of the Netherton Feelgood Factory, the external supervisor on community support around healthy living in Netherton, Merseyside.

The PhD student will join a number of PhD students in the Institute of Population Health, where you will join a postgraduate research programme, providing support for your progress throughout the PhD studentship. The PhD candidate will be based in the Department of Public Health Policy and Systems.

Funding Notes

CASE studentships provide an opportunity for PhD students to gain first-hand experience of work outside an academic environment in a doctoral project supported by both academic supervisors and a supervisor from a non-HEI partner organisation.
NorthWest Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) PhD studentships are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in a competitive process.
The funded studentship includes:
• Payment of academic fees (standard UKRI Home rate)
• Maintenance Stipend (2021/2022: £15,609, 2022/23 rate subject to confirmation)
• Access to Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) for research related expenses.
• Opportunity to apply for additional funding (e.g. overseas Institutional Visits)
PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs