Category Archives: PhD opportunity

Two PhD Studentships in Environment & Health – available now

We are looking to recruit two fully funded PhD opportunities in the area of environments and health.  The studentships are funded as part of the UK Farr Institute for Health Informatics Research and both projects will be working at the forefront of health informatics and administrative data research in the UK working closely with colleagues in the Administrative Data Research Centre and the Farr Institute as well as research groups in the School of Geosciences including the Centre for Research on Environment Society and Health (CRESH) and the Population, Health and Place research group.

The successful candidate will have an undergraduate degree (at least 2:1) with a data analytical component from a discipline such as geography, medicine, public health, epidemiology, medical sociology. Experience of statistical data analytical techniques relevant to large-scale and complex social science or health datasets and relevant software packages (Stata, SPSS, SAS or R) is desirable. The precise design of both programmes of research will be developed jointly by the student and the project supervisors and progress towards completion of the PhD will be reviewed in accordance with established guidelines within the School of Geosciences. There is an expectation that the PhD students will contribute substantial independent thinking with regard to the research design, research questions, methodology and analysis throughout the studentship, including preparing and writing results into academic publications where relevant and will contribute actively within the wider research team.

The links below contain more details about both projects including application deadlines, contact details for informal enquiries and how to apply:

https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=87842

https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=88017

New MRC funded PhD studentship available, looking at our environment, our biology and healthy ageing

We have an exciting opportunity for a fully funded PhD place at the University of Glasgow. The project will join health geography / epidemiology, environmental science and cell biology. The project will be supervised by Profs Rich MitchellPaul Shiels and Ewan Macdonald. The funding comes from the MRC. The financial package will include a 3.5-year stipend, approved University of Glasgow fees, Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) and a conference allowance. Continue reading New MRC funded PhD studentship available, looking at our environment, our biology and healthy ageing

ESRC-Scottish Government/ Forestry Commission Scotland Studentship

ESRC-Scottish Government/ Forestry Commission Scotland Studentship – NOW AVAILABLE!

Designing and managing forests for health

Applications are sought from suitably qualified candidates for a joint ESRC-Scottish Government PhD three-year (‘+3’) studentship. The project entitled ‘Designing and ManagingForests for Health’ has been developed in collaboration with the Forestry Commission Scotland and seeks to examine the links between forestry and community health across Scotland.

The successful candidate will be based in the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) in the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. They will also be active members of the university’s OPENspace Research Centre and the Human Geography Research Group.

www.cresh.org.uk

www.openspace.eca.ac.uk

www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/geosciences/research/human-geography/overview

Applications will be particularly welcome from candidates with a social science / environmental background (e.g. geography, landscape architecture, sociology, environmental science), and quantitative methods will be emphasised in project and training plans. Applicants must have a Masters degree or equivalent in an appropriate field. A working knowledge in GIS would be advantageous.

Start Date: Available from January 2013

Applicants should submit the following documentation through the University of Edinburgh online system:

– A recent CV

– A cover letter explaining their interest in the project.

– A completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form (available here for download)

The deadline for submission is 17th December 2012. Interviews will take place during January 2013.

Applicants may discuss the project with any member of the supervisory team: Professor Jamie Pearce (jamie.pearce@ed.ac.uk), Professor Catharine Ward Thompson (c.ward-thompson@ed.ac.uk) or Dr Niamh Shortt (niamh.shortt@ed.ac.uk).

Outline of Research

The international evidence suggests that exposure to ‘green’ environments (including forests) is associated with health benefits, including lower mortality rates, blood pressure and obesity levels as well as better self-perceived health. Further, previous studies suggest that the availability of green space may reduce health inequalities. Three key mechanisms have been implicated in explaining the green space and health associations. First, green space provides opportunities for physical activity (PA), and increased PA levels are associated with reduced risks of physical and mental illnesses.  Second, green space facilitates social contacts, for example through providing opportunities to meet others or participate in group activities. Third, exposure (physical and visual contact) to green space can promote recovery from attention fatigue and stress, and stress has been implicated in the aetiology of common chronic physical and mental illnesses.

Despite the volume of conceptual and empirical work on green space and health, important gaps in the knowledge base remain.  In particular, it is unclear whether different types of green environments (e.g. parkland, coastal areas and woodland) have differential effects on health. This research gap has left policy makers bereft of insights into which greening interventions are likely to result in the maximum benefits for health and well-being, and address health inequalities. The focus of this study is on forestry and population-level health. The aims of the research are to: (1) evaluate the literature considering the relationships between forestry (and other forms of green spaces) and health; (2) develop a health related forest classification for Scotland to inform a spatial strategy for the health-centred management of woodlands; (3) examine links between forestry and community health across Scotland; (4) develop a ranked profile of communities with ‘good’ or ‘bad’ forestry-related health outcomes with a view to developing a needs appraisal; (5) contribute to the knowledge base supporting a spatial strategy regarding the range and level of wellbeing benefits that can be expected from forestry.

Working in close collaboration with the Forestry Commission, this project will provide new insights into the relationship between forestry and health in Scotland. It will also deliver new GIS products to compliment the ongoing work in the Commission’s GIS system (SIFT). The project also supports the Commission and the Scottish Government work priorities including the Scottish Forest Strategy (particularly Key Theme 5 ‘Access and Health’) and numerous Scottish Government priorities (e.g. four national outcomes: tackling inequalities; securing longer and healthier lives; delivering sustainable places and valuing our natural environment).

ESRC-SG PhD studentship available at CRESH: forests and health

ESRC-Scottish Government/ Forestry Commission Scotland Studentship

Designing and managing forests for health

Applications are sought from suitably qualified candidates for a joint ESRC-Scottish Government PhD three-year (‘+3’) studentship. The project entitled ‘Designing and Managing Forests for Health’ has been developed in collaboration with the Forestry Commission Scotland and seeks to examine the links between forestry and community health across Scotland. Further details on the project can be found here.

The successful candidate will be based in the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) in the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. They will also be active members of the university’s OPENspace Research Centre and the Human Geography Research Group.

Applications will be particularly welcome from candidates with a social science / environmental background (e.g. geography, landscape architecture, sociology, environmental science), and quantitative methods will be emphasised in project and training plans. Applicants must have a Masters degree or equivalent in an appropriate field. A working knowledge in GIS would be advantageous.

Start Date: September 2012

Applicants should submit the following documentation through the University of Edinburgh online system:

– A recent CV

– A cover letter explaining their interest in the project.

– A completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form (available here for download)

The deadline for submission is 27th April 2012. Interviews will take place during May 2012.

Applicants may discuss the project with any member of the supervisory team: Professor Jamie Pearce (jamie.pearce@ed.ac.uk), Professor Catharine Ward Thompson (c.ward-thompson@ed.ac.uk) or Dr Niamh Shortt (niamh.shortt@ed.ac.uk).

PhD studentship available; health economics of green space

Rich Mitchell and Andy Briggs (Glasgow Uni) have a PhD studentship available.

There is growing interest in whether contact with ‘green spaces’, including forests and parks, carries health benefits. Both Scottish and UK public health policy documents now explicitly recognise green spaces as ‘good for health’. The evidence for these effects stems from both experimental studies in lab and field, and from population level observational studies. Several experimental studies demonstrate direct effects of perceiving these environments on a variety of physiological and psychological measures. Several observational studies show independent associations between greener environments and better population health. However, this is an emerging field of research with much work still to do to confirm, quantify and qualify any positive impacts on health. If it is true that contact with nature brings health benefits, the cost of providing and accessing such environments, the subsequent health benefits and the relative merits of such ‘environmental health care’ need to be weighed carefully.

The Forestry Commission and other forest agencies are engaged in many programmes of woodland improvement and creation, with the explicit aim of increasing the use of woodlands and prompting health benefits. These programmes provide useful natural experiments through which health impacts of environmental interventions might be assessed. However, the specifics of how any health economic analysis might be applied to these situations are not clear. The prevailing methodology employed in health economic evaluation, is to use ‘Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs)’ to measure health benefits of interventions in favour of the more traditional monetary measures typically used for economic appraisal in areas such as environmental and transport economics. While the QALY framework may be appropriate for Health Related Quality of Life benefits of interventions relating to the woodland environment, the broader evaluative framework offered by cost-benefit analysis might be more appropriate for the broader wellbeing aspects of the environment.

The purpose of the PhD project will be to explore the potential use of economic appraisal techniques to value and evaluate woodland interventions. A broad perspective will be adopted to explore the potential to use and combine methods from environmental, health and transport economics.

Funding Notes:

Person specification:

Applicants should hold a first class or upper second class degree in economics and preferably have demonstrable interest in, and experience of health economics. A master’s qualification in a relevant discipline would be an advantage.

Award details:

This is a 3 year full time studentship and will provide an annual stipend and fees. The award is available to UK and other EU nationals only.

References:

How to Apply – Please send a full CV including the contact details of 2 referees and a covering letter explaining why you are particularly suitable for this post via email to Prof Richard Mitchell (Richard.Mitchell@glasgow.ac.uk) and Professor Andy Briggs (andrew.briggs@glasgow.ac.uk)

Further details: More details on the project, the supervisors and the departments involved is available from Professor Richard Mitchell (Richard.Mitchell@glasgow.ac.uk), Professor Andy Briggs (andrew.briggs@glasgow.ac.uk)

New PhD studentship available

THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS HAS NOW PASSED.

We have a new PhD studentship available, based in Glasgow. The closing date for applications is 1st Nov. Please get in touch with Rich Mitchell for details on how to apply.

Title: Does the development of Glasgow’s city structure over time explain its excess mortality?

Duration: 3 year PhD, full time from Jan 2011 (or sooner)

Supervisors: Prof Rich Mitchell, Dr Mark Livingston (Urban Studies, University of Glasgow), David Walsh (Glasgow Centre for Population Health)

Research: Glasgow has particularly poor population health relative to other cities in the UK, and elsewhere in Europe. This apparent ‘Glasgow effect’ is not explained by the high levels of poverty. One possible explanation lies in the physical size of the city’s poorer areas. Some are now so large that residents have to travel quite a long way to experience anywhere that is not deprived. It has been suggested that this spatial pattern of deprivation contributes to poor health in its own right, perhaps explaining why the city has worse health than others with the same deprivation levels. This studentship will trace development of the spatial structure of deprivation in Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool from 1971 to 2010 to identify any inter-city differences in this development and examine how these are related to Glasgow’s mortality rates. The precise methods and focus will be developed and agreed by the supervisors and student, but the general approach will use GIS. The studentship presents an opportunity for training in researching social geography, public health and health inequalities, and using GIS.

Person specification: Applicants should hold a first class or upper second class degree in a relevant, numerate social science (such as geography) or clinical discipline. Some experience of GIS is essential. A master’s qualification in a relevant discipline would be an advantage.

Award details: This is a 3 full time studentship and will provide an estimated stipend of £13,590 per annum. The award is available to UK and other EU nationals only. The award also covers fees. The award is provided by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (www.gcph.co.uk)

Further details: More details on the project, the supervisors and the departments involved is available from Prof Rich Mitchell (Richard.Mitchell@glasgow.ac.uk), Dr Mark Livingston (m.livingston@socsci.gla.ac.uk ) or David Walsh (David.Walsh@glasgow.gov.uk ). See also www.gcph.co.uk