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The development of emerging zoonoses and infections [EZI] policies in the UK

Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems

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Prof S Sheard , Dr P Atkinson , Prof R Vivancos , Dr N Gobat No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This PhD project will focus on the response of national and local government organisations in the UK to emerging zoonoses and infections. This category includes infections such as SARS, Ebola, Lyme Disease, Arboviruses and, most recently, COVID-19. Since the creation of the NHS in 1948, responsibility for infectious disease surveillance has changed hands several times, alongside broader restructuring of public health between NHS authorities and local government. The current COVID-19 pandemic highlights the risks and opportunities of placing responsibility at different levels of government – balancing national authority with local intelligence. This project will analyse the development of specific policies such as returning traveller/immigrant screening and contract tracing; their relative contribution to wider health governance strategies; and the development of a distinct political economy of emerging zoonoses and infections in the UK alongside the management of more common infections.

The PhD will be based within the Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems at the University of Liverpool. The student will be a member of the Governance of Health research group and participate in PGR activities across all faculties. The student will be co-supervised by Professor Sally Sheard (UoL), Dr Paul Atkinson (UoL), Prof Roberto Vivancos (Public Health England) and Dr Nina Gobat (University of Oxford). There will be opportunities for placements with local PHE Health Protection Teams.

Candidates should have a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a relevant social science discipline – e.g. history, geography, economics, politics, population health. A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline would be an advantage, as would clear evidence of an interest in health policy development. The student will benefit from research training through [email protected], and access to wider support through the Doctoral College. They will join a cohort of PhD students within the two HPRUs hosted by the University of Liverpool, as well as discipline-specific student groups. They will develop skills in health policy analysis and contribute to high impact research and publications.

For any enquiries please contact Dr Paul Atkinson on [Email Address Removed]

To apply for this opportunity, please visit:

Funding Notes

Thesis studentships cover research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements only.
We invite applications from candidates who have a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a relevant social science discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant discipline would be an advantage.

Applicants should send a full CV (including the names and email addresses of at least two academic referees), and personal statement (500 words maximum). This should state: An outline of how this programme of research and training will benefit from their past experience and impact upon their career aspirations.

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