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Systems, Structures and Change: Conceptualising and Intervening on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Low-and- Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)

Project Description

2019-20 Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research PhD Studentship

This fully-funded 4 year studentship is available for an excellent candidate interested in researching the problem of antimicrobial resistance in a cross-disciplinary manner (there are two project choices offered for this studentship, please see the separate advert for the second project). The successful candidate will commence study in January 2020.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is often referred to as a complex challenge, and a variety of systems thinking approaches are being applied to describe the drivers of emergence and transmission as well as the drivers of antimicrobial use. The roles of structural factors are also being identified, including physical infrastructure, ecological structures, as well as social, economic and political structures that shape biosocial worlds. Various mapping, visualisation, quantitative and qualitative techniques have been used to illustrate the interfaces of humans, animals, microbes, medicines. These maps can form an implicit or explicit intervention guide, drawing attention to points of focus or connection that may be amenable to change, with an impact on resistance. For an example from the UK Department of Health, 2016 - please download ’Drivers that increase the burden of infection’ and supporting information at GOV.UK here:

This PhD project will analyse the contemporary history of a range of heuristics used to map systems and structures that shape AMR, will relate these to existing and planned interventions that aim to change the course of AMR, and will draw on existing data in the two parent Consortium projects that are based in Thailand, Uganda and South Africa (Prof Clare Chandler – AMIS:, and Prof Alison Grant – Umoya omuhle: to develop a pilot for a pathway for action relevant to one or more of these study settings.

The PhD will require interdisciplinary working, particularly anthropology and history. The perspective and methodological approach will be developed and defined by the student, but it is expected that a broadly poststructuralist approach will be taken, with inspiration from Science and Technology Studies. Methods may include ethnographic fieldwork in the transnational research and policy space, as well as archival analyses.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance, anthropology, history, systems, structure, interventions, ethnography, documentary research and oral history

Funding Notes

This fully-funded studentship covers:

• tuition fees (Home/EU rate)
• tax-free stipend (£17,000 in Yr 1 increasing to £18,500 in Yr 4, plus London weighting)
• research costs
• 3-month research project/placement allowance
• annual travel allowance

For more information on the Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR, please see the Programme's website: View Website

Applicants must be assessed to have Home/EU fee status, have obtained at least a 2.1 honours degree in a relevant social science subject, and should have training and experience with ethnographic and/or historical methods. These are the minimum requirements for a competitive studentship.


How to apply

Applicants should submit an LSHTM online application for research degree study to commence study in January 2020, using the project details (title and proposed supervisor) provided in this advert. As part of the applications, applicants will be expected to submit a research proposal. The research proposal should use the project description provided and expand upon it. Under the ‘Funding’ section please indicate that you are applying for a Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research funded (MRF AMR) project.

Applicants short-listed for this funding will be interviewed by an academic panel from the AMR consortium at LSHTM. Interviews will be held at LSHTM.

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