PLEASE NOTE: the application period for this position has been extended to Thursday 24 March (11am, UK time). All applicants who have already submitted an application are still under consideration and will be notified as soon as possible.

The role of local civil society in creating and delivering a global health curriculum: a critical inquiry of partnership between a Higher Education Institution and the third sector, addressing youth violence in London (Master’s + PhD/PhD)

We are pleased to announce a vacancy for a 3-year or 4-year PhD studentship in Global Health Education within the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, funded by the London Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP).

Start date: October 2022

Duration and Funding: LISS-DTP ESRC Collaborative Studentship, 1+3 (Relevant Master’s degree and 3-year PhD) OR 3-year PhD (if the candidate has a relevant Master’s degree)

Includes Home Studentship, fees and stipend (please note that international/non-UK student fees are not covered by this funding). The annual stipend will be approximately £17,600 tax-free.

Supervisors: Professor Helen Ward (School of Public Health, Imperial College London), Dr Mariam Sbaiti (School of Public Health, Imperial College London) and Dr Chris Willott (King’s College London)

Location/Departments: School of Public Health, Imperial College London. This PhD programme is a Collaborative CASE studentship delivered in collaboration with Young Brent Foundation

Research project description

Project summary: This project aims to study an existing innovative partnership between the educators of a Global Health university degree and a local London-based voluntary sector organisation. The scheme allows Global Health students at Imperial College London to learn about local health inequalities through an experiential placement module with a non-profit organisation, Young Brent Foundation. Young Brent Foundation works to address the complex determinants of the high rates of youth violence in the neighbouring council of Brent. Many students experience their placement as deeply transformative, and some choose to continue collaborating with their voluntary sector organisation after graduation.

Global Health is a multidisciplinary field of research and practice focusing on health and healthcare across the world. The provision of university degrees in Global Health has exploded since the millennium. Paradoxically, most of these are financially and logistically inaccessible to those communities with direct experience of health inequalities, whether these are in geographically distant countries, or neighbouring the university campus. Academic Global Health has been characterised by inequalities in power and influence along geographical, class, gender and ethnic lines, such that a multitude of voices are marginalised in debates about what Global Health curricula should look like. Recently, academic Global Health has been critiqued for focusing too heavily on health issues affecting Low and Middle-Income Countries, and for resulting in the “othering” of Low and Middle-Income Countries.

Collaborative partnership in Global Health education have not been studied before. The purpose of this doctoral project is to examine the value of this innovative approach to curriculum co-design and co-delivery with civil society partners and how it may serve to acknowledge the expertise that lies in the local communities most affected by health inequalities.

This research project will highlight the ongoing experiences and the benefits of collaboration for all participants, including, importantly, Young Brent Foundation itself. In doing so, this research project will enable Young Brent Foundation staff to further articulate their own needs and highlight what education around social, political and cultural aspects of health in London should look like. The project employs qualitative and ethnographic methods to explore and critically analyse the complexities and the pedagogical and ethical tensions in this partnership for each stakeholder (Young Brent Foundation, students and educators).

Collaborative education partnerships may provide a solution for Higher Education Institutions and educators to facilitate more inclusive and participatory education. Yet, such schemes will need to be planned and managed in reflexive ways, in order to achieve balanced and meaningful partnership.

This research project contributes to an important critique of the meaning of Global Health education and knowledge production and will provide key practical insights to inform future educational partnerships.

See project description on the LISS DTP website


Applicants must either; be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), have settled status, have pre-settled status (meeting residency rquirements), or have indefinite leave to remain or enter; or be able to self-fund the additional amount required to cover international fees for a PhD (i.e. additional £ 34,300). Please find the definition of international students for fees purposes here.


Students applying for CASE studentships must meet the ESRC eligibility guidelines in terms of UK/EU residency status and academic qualifications, specifically core social science research methods training that must already have been undertaken (for +3 awards) or will be undertaken at Masters level (for 1+3 awards). Please see the LISS-DTP website for further details.

Note: you are eligible for the 1+3 track even if you already have a first Master’s degree in an unrelated discipline.

Person description

We are looking for a candidate who is passionate about researching (health) inequalities through qualitative/ethnographic methods. A prior qualification in Global Health is not essential. 

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a first or upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant field.  A Master’s degree in one of the Global Health or related fields is welcome but not required. 

We welcome applications from candidates with a non-conventional route to PhD study and relevant professional and personal experience. This project focuses on the meaning of Global Health in London, and how this is negotiated between academic and civil society partners. Therefore, relevant experience may include, for example, experience of working in the civil society sector or being personally affected by youth violence or inequality.  

We expect that different types of candidates would be suitable for this post (please note that if candidates are required to compete a Master’s programme as detailed below, Home fees would be fully funded by LISS DTP): 

  • Global Health background: if you have a background (undergraduate study, professional experience or both) in Global Health, and a commitment to establish a strong foundation in social sciences/qualitative research methods, then we would discuss with you any requirements to complete a relevant Master’s in social sciences, based on your previous experience
  • Academic qualification in social sciences or experience around social inequality: if you have a background in social sciences (including sociology, anthropology, psychology) or professional/personal experience relevant to social or health inequalities then we would discuss with you any requirements to complete a relevant Master’s covering social sciences research methods and Global Health scholarship, based on your previous experience
  • Social sciences research skills: if you have a background in social sciences research (including qualitative/ethnographic research) then we would discuss with you any requirements to complete a Master’s in Global Health

If a candidate is required to undertake a Master’s prior to PhD study, this will be fully funded and include a stipend as detailed above. The requirement for a Master’s will be established based on the ESRC’s core training requirements.  

Application process 

General information about eligibility can be found on the LISS DTP webpage for CASE studentships here.

To be considered, all applications must include the following (which should be sent to & by 11am on Thursday 24 March 2022):

  • A completed ESRC LISS-DTP Collaborative CASE Application form (PDF)
  • A copy of your CV (maximum 2 A4 pages) and a cover letter (maximum 2 A4 pages) indicating your interest in, and suitability for, this research project (see Person Description above) as well as a basic explanation of how you think you might shape the research project
  • Academic transcripts
  • 2 reference letters: these should be sent directly by your referees (this can include 2 academic referees or 1 academic and 1 professional referee) and address your suitability for the post

When completing the LISS application form, please indicate your preferred Master’s programme. Relevant Master’s degrees for this programme include: MSc Global Health (KCL), MPH Public Health: Global Health Stream (ICL), MSc Global Health & Social Justice (KCL) or MRes Global Public Health & Policy (QMUL). Please note this is not a final decision and the successful candidate will be advised on which Master’s to complete in order to meet the ESRC competencies.


We expect to conduct online interviews in early March, so please include in your cover email any constraints in your time availability or any disabilities that might impact your ability to attend an online interview.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact the academic lead for this project Dr Mariam Sbaiti ( to discuss details of the project or the postgraduate administrator Anja Gizdavcic ( for information about the application process.