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PhD Studentship - Using Intersectionality and Behaviour Change to Enhance Maternity Care for Black Women in the UK

Newcastle University - Faculty of Medical Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 31st July 2020
Closes: 31st August 2020
Reference: PH008

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses at UKRI rate. Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees. A research training support grant of £5,000 per year is available to cover research costs and local/national/international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Number of awards: 1

Start date and duration: September 2020 for 3 years full time.


Racial maternal health inequalities in the UK are significant and widening: Black women have an over five-fold risk of dying in pregnancy or up to six weeks postpartum compared to white women, with an increased risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Enhancing health and social care is key to reducing health inequalities. Pregnancy is a time of increased vulnerability but it is also an opportune time for prevention, as women usually have regular contact with healthcare services.

This project aims to develop culturally-appropriate, community-based maternity care pathways to address poor maternal health outcomes. It will apply intersectionality and behaviour change theories to consider how identity categories and disadvantage interact with maternal health outcomes and how structural forces shape maternity services and perpetuate health inequalities.


Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s)


Nicola Heslehurst

Ryc Aquino

and Allison Farnworth

Eligibility Criteria

The successful applicant will have, or expect to obtain an upper second class or above in Behavioural or Social Science (or a cognate discipline). A Masters degree (Merit or above) or research experience is desirable but not essential. If your first language is not English you need an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (at least 5.5 in all sub-skills) or equivalent language qualification. Non-UK candidates should contact regarding eligibility and fees.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You should:

  • Click on programme of study
  • Insert 8300F in the programme code section and click search
  • Select Programme name ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (full time) - Public Health’
  • Insert PH008 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • Attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship. Please quote reference code PH008 and state how your interests and experience relate to the proposed project
  • Attach degree transcripts* and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.

*You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted your degree transcript/s.


For further information please email Dr. Ryc Aquino.

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