Cross-cultural comparisons of obesity prevention in children: United Kingdom, Spain and China

Cross-cultural comparisons of obesity prevention in children: United Kingdom, Spain and China
Cross-cultural comparisons of obesity prevention in children: United Kingdom, Spain and China

30 January, 2016

University of Birmingham – Institute of Applied Research

Funding for: Students, EU Students
Closes: 26th February 2016
Applications are invited for a 3-year fully-funded PhD starting October 2016.

Childhood obesity is a growing problem worldwide, with serious health, social and economic consequences. Socio-economic determinants and psychosocial impacts of obesity vary in different countries. For example, obesity is more common among more deprived sub-populations in the UK, whereas the converse is true in .

The supervisory team are involved in three distinct childhood obesity prevention studies including: a UK-based cluster-randomised controlled trial (the WAVES study); a Spanish obesity management trial (Nereu programme) and a China-basedcluster-randomised controlled trial (CHIRPY DRAGON). The studies include children from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, with uniform data collection instruments across studies, which will allow cross-cultural comparisons across settings. Data on health-related quality of life (HQoL) and other data for economic evaluation of the interventions are collected/being collected.

This presents an opportunity for a PhD student to undertake cross-cultural comparison of the relationship between weight status and HQoL, examine the relative cost-effectiveness of weight prevention interventions, and identify the cost-drivers that impact on cost-effectiveness.

The selected PhD candidate will shape the specific research questions and to some extent the direction of the PhD. The studies are likely to include: i) systematic review of the cost-effectiveness evidence for obesity prevention interventions, focusing on resource use, measures of effectiveness, economic modelling assumptions and where the greatest areas of data uncertainty lie, ii) Review of theoretical approaches to cross-cultural comparisons of cost-effectiveness and of quality of life measures, iii) Analysis of data from across the separate studies, examining socioeconomic, gender and ethnic differences in impact of weight status on HQoL, iv) Comparison of cost-effectiveness across the three settings, v) Economic evaluation of the Chinese and Spanish interventions.

The candidate will have the opportunity to sit in selected modules from the MPH and Masters in Health & Health Policy, depending on their training needs. They will develop an understanding of health , public health and in analysis of large datasets. The PhD will provide a strong foundation for either a health focused or more public health focused research career.

Person Specification
Applicants should have a strong background in either health economics, or public health. They should have a commitment to applied public health research and hold or realistically expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a health related area. Candidates who have completed either an MPH or Masters in Health Economics are ideally suited.

How to apply
Enquiries and applications should be directed to [PGR Administrator] at To apply, please send:

A Detailed CV, including your nationality and country of birth;
Names and addresses of two referees;
A covering letter highlighting your research experience/capabilities;
Copies of your degree transcripts;
Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable.
Additional Funding Information
British and EU nationality applicants are eligible for both the cost of tuition fees and a yearly stipend (at RCUK rate) over the course of the PhD programme.

This post is not valid after Friday February 26th, 2016

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