One PhD studentship for a world-class PhD applied health research project at the School of Public Health, Imperial College London

The School of Public Health at Imperial College London is recruiting one talented, ambitious and highly motivated candidate for a three and a half year fully funded PhD studentship in Population Child Health.

You will be supported by a stipend of £18,000 per annum plus £1,000 conference support.

About the project

Worldwide, preterm birth is the biggest cause of death among children under five. In the United Kingdom each year, around 8,000 babies (2-3% of all births) are born very preterm before 32 weeks (more than 2 months early). They require specialised care in neonatal units and are at risk of lifelong disability and health problems. Improving the life-long health and wellbeing of preterm babies is a national priority, but long-term data are lacking.

This studentship is part of the NIHR-funded neoWONDER (Neonatal Whole Population Data linkage to improve lifelong outcomes for preterm babies study that will link together data from the National Neonatal Research Database (NNRD) and several other large health, environmental and education databases for around 120,000 babies born prematurely in England and Wales 2007-2020. The NNRD is created from electronic patient record data from all neonatal units in England, Wales and Scotland (>200 neonatal units), and is hosted and managed by the Neonatal Data Analysis Unit (NDAU) at Imperial College led by Professor Neena Modi.

The PhD will focus on evaluating the impact of explore early life exposures on long-term outcomes using methods such as Bayesian adaptive designs, longitudinal modelling or life course epidemiology methods. This post offers a unique opportunity to gain experience utilising a large electronic longitudinal dataset. This post will have a significant training component comprising formal courses where appropriate (e.g. data extraction using tools such as SAS and R).

The post holder will be supervised by Cheryl Battersby, NIHR Clinician Scientist and Clinical Senior Lecturer within the Neonatal Medicine Research Group, Mireille Toledano, Professor and Mohn Chair in Population Child Health and Alex Bottle, Professor of Medical Statistics. S/he will work with a number of researchers, statisticians, and data analysts/managers within the Neonatal Medicine Research Group and collaborators including, Professor Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, Chair in Lifecourse epidemiology and Dr Céire Costello, Director of Global Digital Health Unit.

Find out more about the work conducted in the Neonatal Medicine Research Group at Imperial College London.

Our PhD training programme

We offer a 3.5-year PhD programme covering a wide range of research opportunities with access to state-of-the-art research facilities and excellent training opportunities. World-leading academics will work with you to support you in completing your PhD programme. As a PhD student, you will get intensive and dedicated supervision and access to an extensive training programme including training in transferable skills such as writing for publication and communication. Combined with access to mentoring, you will get the opportunity to develop your career, direct your training and take the required steps to reach your career goals.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world. We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces. It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

School of Public Health

The Imperial School of Public Health aims to achieve better health in the population through strengthening the public health science base, training the next generation of public health leaders and influencing health policies and programmes around the world. Imperial’s School of Public Health, under the Directorship of Professor Deborah Ashby, is committed to improving health in populations throughout the world.

The School of Public Health is unique in combining world-class research at local, national and international level with translational work within the Academic Health Science Centre in the Imperial College Healthcare Trust and translates science and epidemiology into policy, health education and primary care. Together with its research, teaching and evidence-led policy work, the School of Public Health aims to address the major public health challenges of the twenty-first century.


You must have an undergraduate degree and an MSc or MPH in a relevant subject with substantial high-level quantitative analytical content such as statistics, epidemiology, health data analytics and health economics.
Please note, these studentships are only available to students eligible for home PhD fees.


The studentship is based at Imperial College’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital campus in West London.


Applicants should submit their CV and a covering letter, including full contact details of two referees, to Dr Cheryl Battersby

Imperial College PhD entry requirements must be met and the successful applicant will subsequently need to apply online. For further information/informal discussion please contact Dr Cheryl Battersby.

Closing date: 04/01/2022