A PhD studentship from the University of Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is available for admission in October 2019. This studentship will be jointly supervised by Dr Kirsten Corder and Dr Esther van Sluijs at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) and Dr Riikka Hofmann at the Faculty of Education.
The studentship will focus on understanding the educational context to facilitate school-based health promotion. The successful candidate will undertake various projects, potentially including a systems map and ethnographic approach to identify routes to facilitate behaviour change within schools, evidence synthesis and mixed-methods assessment of existing school health promotion initiatives and the development of school-driven physical activity promotion initiatives with assessment of acceptability. The proposed project aims to elucidate potential avenues for positively influencing children’s health behaviours across multiple levels of the wider school system, with a particular interest in physical activity. The successful candidate would combine epidemiological understanding of population level behaviour change, with educational theory on changing professional practice in schools. We anticipate a substantial ethnographic component to this project, to elicit a deeper understanding of the school culture and to identify the key levers for change.
Please see www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/work-and-study/studentships/ and https://www.esrcdtp.group.cam.ac.uk/prospectivestudents for further information. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the lead supervisor Kirsten Corder (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss their plans prior to application. Students will be registered with the University of Cambridge and belong to one of its Colleges. The student will be integrated into the Behavioural Epidemiology Group at the MRC Epidemiology Unit and will spend a significant amount of time at the Faculty of Education.
The MRC Epidemiology Unit is a research department in the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, investigating the causes and prevention of diabetes and obesity. It hosts CEDAR, a UKCRC Centre of Excellence in Public Health Research, which studies the factors that influence diet and physical activity behaviours. Research at CEDAR is interdisciplinary, bringing together epidemiology, statistics, behavioural science, transport studies, geography, health economics, modelling, intervention development and evaluation, and public health. The Faculty of Education in Cambridge is one of the UK’s key centres for educational research, carrying out an extensive range of externally funded research projects.
The studentships will commence in October 2019. This is a 3-year position for those who have a Masters degree, or equivalent training, in an appropriate discipline. The successful candidate will have relevant background or experience in the fields of public health (or behaviour change, physical activity promotion) and education (or mixed methods, ethnography) as well as demonstrable interest in working on this particular project. Opportunities also exist for 4-year positions for those wishing to undertake the University’s MPhil in Public Health course, or an MPhil in a Faculty of Education course in their first year (which will depend on prior training). We provide diverse training opportunities for all aspects of research, and for transferable academic and generic skills. The academic requirement for entry is a first or upper second class undergraduate degree or equivalent.
DTP studentships are currently open to UK and EU citizens on a full-time or part-time basis. Full studentships (i.e. including living costs) are open only to those meeting certain residency requirements. More information about DTP studentships, including eligibility requirements, can be found at https://www.esrcdtp.group.cam.ac.uk/prospectivestudents.
To apply, please visit the University’s Graduate Admissions Portal www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/how-do-i-apply and click on and click on “Applicant Portal”, where you will be able to register and submit your application. You should upload a full CV, two academic references, and a covering letter detailing: i) whether you are eligible for ESRC-DTP full or partial funding, ii) whether you are applying to other funding sources, and iii) an outline of why you are interested in the proposed project stating how you can particularly contribute to this studentship. Please clearly title your letter ” School based health promotion: understanding the educational context to facilitate change,” so that it is clear you wish to apply for this source of funding. Applications missing any of these components will not be considered.
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Closing date: 3rd January 2019
Provisional date for Interviews: 25th January 2019