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Understanding ethnic inequalities in gastrointestinal infections in the UK

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, April 26, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

There are large difference in the burden of gastrointestinal (GI) infections between places in the UK. Places with a higher proportion of the population of Pakistani heritage have been found to have higher rates of admission to hospital for GI infections, and higher rates of infection for campylobacter have been reported amongst children of South Asian ethnicity. The extent and causes of these ethnic inequalities in GI infections in the UK is unknown, and could be related to differences in food safety, living in disadvantaged socioeconomic circumstances, travel to higher prevalence countries or differences in susceptibility to infection.

The focus of this PHD will be on investigating ethnic inequalities in exposure to and risk of GI. This will include:
• Developing approaches to analyse diverse data sources including hospital episode statistics, primary care data, routine laboratory and other surveillance data, as well as data collected in national surveys of intestinal infections.
• Using these data to estimate differences in GI infection, pathogen, exposure, symptoms and health care utilisation, by ethnicity and other the socio-economic characteristics.
• To highlight potential modifiable exposures that explain differences in risk between ethnic groups and to work with partners to translate findings into control measures.

The PhD will work with Public Health England and with a team at University of Liverpool internationally recognised for its health inequalities research. It will involve work as part of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on Determinants of Health Equity and be part of the developing Liverpool City Region Civic Data Coop a £5 million investment in data linkage.

Candidates should have a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a relevant discipline – e.g. geography, economics, social science, data science, epidemiology, computer science, population health. A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline would be an advantage, as would clear evidence of an interest in developing quantitative methods in the study of health inequalities. The student will benefit from research training in policy analysis, advanced econometric and statistical methods, data science and the use of statistical software. They will develop skills in policy-relevant research on health inequalities and establish a body of high impact research and publications.

We invite applications from candidates who have a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a relevant biological science or quantitative 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 to . 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.

The position may be based at either, The University of Liverpool, The University of Warwick or PHE (Colindale/ Porton Down), depending on the project. For some projects, students will be required to work at one of the partner Universities’ and spend time at PHE.

Funding Notes

Thesis studentships cover research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements only.

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