Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Imperial College London
Funding for: UK and EU Students
Funding amount: Fees and a Stipend of £16,777 per annum
Closes: 1st February 2019

*This scholarship is fully funded by NIHR School of Public Health Research Programme

Imperial College London is seeking candidates for one fully funded studentship through the NIHR School of Public Health Research. The studentship is aimed at individuals with a strong academic record who wish to develop a career in public health research.

The successful applicant will be able to choose from the following two research proposals:
(Further proposal details available, please contact Jennifer Landmann with any questions.)

The Impact of Mobile Phone Use on Adolescent Mental Health:  To evaluate the impact of mobile phone use on measures of depression, anxiety and mental health difficulties in a cohort of ~7,000 UK adolescents using unique data from the SCAMP cohort study (Study of Cognition Adolescents and Mobile Phones). Further, to explore potential mechanisms, vulnerability and resilience factors from cognitive, psychological and social domains. This will enable us to identify potential risks for young people’s mental health associated with mobile phone use: what type of use confers risk, who might be the young people more vulnerable and what activities or characteristics may be protective. Findings will be translated into public health recommendations for healthy use of mobile phone for schools, parents and young people themselves; they will also lead the way for the development of large-scale preventative measures for groups of young people at risk of negative impact of mobile phone use. Co-Supervisors to be:  Prof. Mireille Toldano (Chair in Perinatal and Paediatric Environmental Epidemiology) and Dr. Martina Di Simplicio (Clinical Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry).

Assessing the dietary impacts of changing urban food retail environments: To assess the impacts of the gradual expansion in the online retail sector, both in the food and non-food areas. In particular, the research will focus on three types of trends observed in recent years, especially in urban areas: a) an expansion in online deliveries by large supermarket chains; b) an expansion in online restaurant meal delivery services; and c) a progressive change in the high-street retail environment, due to the expansion of the online retail sector (food and non-food).  The research will involve devising an empirical strategy for investigating changes in food availability and (if feasible) food consumption following the above trends. It will assess whether the concentration and quality of food outlets has changed over time, and whether the overall availability and consumption of food has increased following the expansion in online delivery services. The research will investigate these changes in areas at different levels of deprivation, and household at different levels of income, potentially accounting for individual levels of food restraint as a determinant of dietary outcomes. Co-supervisors to be: Prof. Franco Sassi (Professor of International Health Policy and Economics) and Prof. Gary Frost (Chair in Nutrition and Dietetics).

How to apply:

Please send a copy of your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to Jennifer Landmann by the 1st February 2019. Applications without academic transcripts will not be considered.

Please note that this studentship is scheduled to start the 1st April 2019, so please expect an interview to be scheduled soon after the application closing date in early, mid-February.


The successful applicant will be a first or upper second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate subject (qualifications, or a combination of qualifications and experience, which demonstrate equivalent ability and attainment also considered). Previous relevant research experience or formal training (e.g. a Master’s degree) is desirable.


Studentship will cover tuition fees up to the value of Home/EU fees; students with overseas status are welcome to apply but will need to fund the remainder of their fees from alternative sources. Studentship also includes an annual tax-free stipend of a maximum of £16,777 per annum. There is also a contribution towards research and training expenses.

Candidate must be able to start on the 1st April 2019.

About SPHR

The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield, Bristol, Cambridge, Imperial and University College London; The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); the LiLaC collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster and Fuse; The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities.