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Ethnicity and hearing health inequality in England

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Dawes
    Dr Laia Becares
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The aim of this PhD is to explore and address inequalities in hearing impairment, diagnosis and access to service provision within ethnic minority groups.

We recently discovered that in the UK, around 3 in 10 people from non-White ethnic backgrounds have poor hearing compared to around 1 in 10 people with White British ethnic background. Despite having a higher prevalence of poor hearing, hearing aid use among people with non-White ethnic backgrounds is about 50% lower compared to people with a White British background. Hearing impairment is associated with a range of adverse outcomes, including communication difficulties, social isolation, depression, reduced employment opportunities and cognitive impairment.

Hearing health inequality among ethnic minority groups in the UK is therefore a major public health problem which has received little or no research attention. In this proposed PhD project, we will describe and explain the higher levels of hearing loss and lower use of audiology services by ethnic minority groups in England. This information is crucial in order to redress hearing health inequality by improving access to audiology services and informing public health strategies to reduce levels of hearing loss in ethnic minority groups.

The successful candidate will benefit from extensive training in population based epidemiological and geographical methods, the use of individual level micro data to understand aggregate differences in population stratification and various qualitative methods.

Manchester is the foremost centre for Audiology training in Europe. The Audiology and Deafness Group hosts a multidisciplinary research team with expertise in psychophysics, electrophysiology, neuroimaging, signal processing, cognitive psychology and genetics. Our research underpins, and is informed by, our leading role in audiology education and audiological service delivery in the UK. Our group is currently the lead group in the UK for research that leads to improved services for hearing impaired people.

Given the breadth of training provided, the PhD study will support progression into public health, service evaluation, social science or geography careers.

Candidates are expected to hold a minimum upper-second (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in audiology, neuroscience, social science, psychology or related area. A related Masters qualification or substantial (>2 years) research experience would be beneficial. The successful candidate would ideally have previous experience of quantitative statistical methods.

This 3-year full-time PhD is open to candidates able to provide evidence of self-arranged funding/sponsorship. Annual fee rates for this project, due to commence from September 2016 onwards, are:

*UK/EU nationals: £6, 750
Non-EU nationals: £21, 500

For UK/EU candidates seeking PhD opportunities commencing October 2016, there may be scope to develop this proposal for ESRC North West Doctoral Centre funding consideration: http://www.nwdtc.ac.uk/ Applicants interested in this route should notify Dr Dawes when expressing interest in the study.

Please direct applications in the following format to Dr Piers Dawes ([email protected]):

• Academic CV
• Official academic transcripts
• Contact details for two suitable referees
• A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date
• Evidence of funding.

Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Dr Dawes. Applications are invited on an on-going basis but early expression of interest is encouraged.


Funding Notes

*UK/EU tuition fees are subject to an ongoing annual inflationary increase, anticipated to be approximately 2.5% p.a.


Dawes, P., Fortnum, H., Moore, D. R., Emsley, R., Norman, P., Cruickshanks, K. J., Munro, K. (2014). Hearing in middle age: a population snapshot of 40-69 year olds in the UK. Ear and hearing, 35(3)

Karslen, S., Becares, L., & Roth, M. "Understanding the influence of ethnicity on health." In Understanding ‘Race’ and Ethnicity, ed. Craig, G., Atkin, K., Chattoo, S., Flynn, R, London: The Policy Press, 2012.

How good is research at University of Manchester in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 67.70

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