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BBSRC Case Award PhD in Epidemiology/ Health Research: Understanding the Determinants of Age-Related Changes in the Health of Older People

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Refer to advert
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 5th September 2019
Closes: 20th October 2019

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and stipend for four years (£15,009 in year 1). Additional funding for research costs, and conferences and exchange.

Number of awards 1

Start date and duration February 2020. Funding for four-year PhD, including a placement with industry partner, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Application closing date : 20 October 2019.


This PhD is funded by an Industrial Case Partnership between the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and GSK, a multinational pharmaceutical company. It offers an exciting opportunity to develop research skills and work with an industry partner whilst addressing some of the key questions that are facing societies across the world. You will be supported to develop your project into improving the health of ageing populations, using data driven approaches.

The studentship will suit someone who is keen to develop expertise in core methodological research skills in epidemiology, biostatistics/ applied quantitative health research. You will be supported to publish your work in peer reviewed journals and present at national and international conferences. There is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with GSK (consumer healthcare) in a placement that will give you insights into the wide range of career pathways that will be open to you after your PhD.

The PhD project will focus on understanding age-related changes in physical function and well-being, and underlying causes including social factors, nutrition and oral health. A particular focus will be on researching neglected aspects of ageing such as oral health, under-nutrition (malnutrition) and their influence on age-related decline in health. The research will primarily use longitudinal studies of ageing in the UK and USA, applying quantitative analytical skills to existing datasets.

Sponsor:  BBSRC and GSK.

Name of supervisor: Dr Sheena Ramsay, Institute of Health and Society

Eligibility Criteria: You must have a first or upper-second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject, and a further qualification (MRes or MSc) in epidemiology, medical statistics, public health, or a related subject, at Merit/Distinction level.

Experience in applying quantitative and epidemiological skills, and use of statistical software (e.g. Stata, SAS) is desirable. Enthusiasm and motivation to learn more about epidemiological research is required.

Available only to UK/EU applicants based on residency eligibility criteria (Details here). Non-UK/EU applicants are not eligible.

If English is not your first language, an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no component lower than 5.5, or equivalent, will be required.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 8300F in the programme of study section
  • insert the studentship code HS040 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
  • Attach a covering letter and CV no more than two pages for each. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code HS040 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
  • Attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.

Contact For further details, please email

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