Leeds Global Challenge Doctoral Scholarship: Developing Community-led Solutions through Participatory Arts to Rural Misuse of Antibiotics in Nepal

University of Leeds - School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development.

Session 2018-19 - Closing Date 17:00 (UK time) 1 June 2018

The online application form can be found at:


Project:  Developing community-led solutions through participatory arts to rural misuse of antibiotics in Nepal

Awards provide fees at the University of Leeds standard rate together with a maintenance grant (£14,777 in Session 2018/19).

Due to funding availability, the studentship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

This interdisciplinary Global Challenge Doctoral scholarship spans two Schools – School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development.  The award holder will be registered in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies.

This project, aligned with the Culture and Health themes, explores the intersection between two areas of emerging importance in research into Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), using Nepal as a case study.

1) In Nepal, antibiotic-treatable infections are a significant public health burden. A recent review of studies examining antibiotic resistance to common bacterial diseases there states that ‘in credible studies, more than half of Escherichia coli, Klebsiellae pneumonia and Streptococcus pneumonia isolates tested […] were resistant to first-line antibiotics’, indicating that antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to public health there (Basnyat 2015: 6-10). The same report identifies six strategies for improving antibiotic use in Nepal: reducing the need for antibiotics; improving infection control and antibiotic stewardship; rationalising antibiotic use within the community; reducing the use of antibiotics in agriculture; educating health professionals, policy makers and the public on the sustainable use of antibiotics; and ensuring political commitment to the issue (ibid 10). This project will be particularly focussed on agriculture and the rapidly growing problem of the misuse of antibiotics by farmers in the country.

2) Participatory arts (PA) are increasingly being utilised as a development tool across a whole range of ostensibly intractable development issues. In particular they are increasingly cited as a potentially innovative way of addressing issues around AMR. Specifically, PA is seen as a way of accessing community knowledge in order to understand local factors in antibiotic misuse (Rogers 2015; Crossick 2016). While there are numerous studies emerging, there has, as yet, been no systematic evaluation of PA in this regard. Projects currently tend to operate in silos with little shared understanding of what constitutes best practice. This project will carry out the first systemic evaluation of practice. This will then be used to develop and evaluate a pilot intervention, working with our Nepalese partners.

This project works at the intersection of public-health studies, cultural studies, medical humanities and arts-based practice-led research.

Further information on the application procedure can be found at http://scholarships.leeds.ac.uk/Documents/LDSGlobalChallengeDoctoralPro-Forma2018-19-LCS.doc

For more information on the project, please contact Professor Paul Cooke (p.cooke@leeds.ac.uk).

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