Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

The effect of nutrition, food safety and hygiene, and diarrhoea on on infant diarrhoea and enteric infection measured through multiple means in Mali

Institute of Applied Health Research

Birmingham United Kingdom Development Studies Epidemiology Health Informatics

About the Project

Ambitious and enthusiastic candidates are invited for a PhDs application (self-funded or through an external fellow-ship application), starting any time between September 2020 and June 2021 (several intake times possible in this period).

Diarrhoea is a leading cause of under-five morbidity and mortality in low and middle income countries (LMIC). Certain Sub-Saharan African countries, including Mali, suffer highest burdens of under-five morbidity and mortality.

Given the large role of enteric infection in causing diarrhoea, water, sanitation, and hygiene systems have been thoroughly explored for the abatement of under-five diarrhoea with mixed results, and are demanding on resources and budgets. As a lower cost alternative, novel integrated community interventions to improve complementary food safety, hygiene, and nutrition, and safer play practices, particularly among weaning age children, have been postulated, but require further exploration.

Through a large MRC funded cluster randomised controlled trial, we are examining the impact of a mother and community targeted behavioural intervention to improve complementary food safety, hygiene, nutrition, and improved safe child play practices in urban and rural Mali. The intervention will be evaluated through both quantitative means, such as measurements of indicators of malnutrition, diarrhoea, food, water and stool sampling to detect enteric infection; and qualitative means, such as ethnographies and focus group discussions.

The study will take place in villages and cities across three of Mali’s provinces - 120 communities in the southern secure area of the country. The study is led by the University of Birmingham and Malian Governmental and Medical University, and in collaboration with international organizations such as the WHO, UNICEF, and WaterAid, and other British academic partners (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Loughborough University).

PhD Project
PhD will examine the existing and intervention related effect of nutrition, food safety and hygiene, and child play/care practices on the burden of diarrhoea and enteric infection, measured through four methods. Further, as the different methods of observation have not yet been compared, the PhD will include an investigation into the utility of each method of diarrhoea/enteric infection measurement. Various aspects of local context, with special attention to the differences between urban and rural settings will be important. For candidates starting in 2020, a component may also involve the adaptation of the interventions to improve outcomes which will then be evaluated through the trial study design. This PhD can be mixed methods, additionally analysing qualitative data to better understand the context.

PhD students may be based in Mali, other LMIC or the UK; those not based in Mali may be able to travel to Mali to take part in developing the project and data collection (subject to funding availability).

The PhD can be suited to those pursuing a career research or programming in global public health nutrition, maternal and child health and development, education, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), community assets and development (including sociology), behaviour change psychology.

The ideal candidate will have a Masters degree in in Public Health (or related, e.g. epidemiology, nutrition, WASH, psychology, etc.), or a clinical degree (e.g. MBBS or BSN). The student needs be comfortable with statistical methods for quantitative analysis. Some proficiency in written and spoken French, familiarity with statistics software (such as STATA or R), a peer-reviewed academic publication, experience/knowledge of qualitative methodologies, and experience working in low and middle-income countries, are desirable.

How to apply
Applications should be directed to . To apply, please send:
• A Detailed CV, including your nationality and country of birth;
• A covering letter highlighting your research experience/capabilities;
• Copies of your degree transcripts;
• Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable.

Applicants will be required to attend an interview. This can be conducted by telephone or Skype

Funding Notes

Self Funded (or to support a strong candidate for fellowship application to external funding bodies). PhD fieldwork funds are provided through the project.

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here

The information you submit to University of Birmingham will only be used by them or their data partners to deal with your enquiry, according to their privacy notice. For more information on how we use and store your data, please read our privacy statement.

* required field

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Search Suggestions

Search Suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2021
All rights reserved.