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PhD Studentships on Neglected Zoonotic Diseases in Africa

We are looking for three outstanding candidates to examine crucial but hitherto neglected issues in the governance of human and animal health

PhD Multidisciplinary Studentships – Engaging with Neglected Zoonotic Diseases in Africa

We are looking for outstanding candidates to examine crucial but hitherto neglected issues in the governance of human and animal health.  As part of a new initiative by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) we are offering a cohort of three studentships, to begin September 2013 on Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZDs) in Africa.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) infect over a billion people limiting lives and livelihoods, yet receive relatively little attention regarding research, control and treatment.  Neglected zoonotic diseases are a particularly problematic subset of NTDs - endemic or (re)emerging diseases that afflict humans and animals, often transferred by vectors, and presenting greater challenges for control and treatment.

We do not yet fully understand the interrelationships and contexts that shape many zoonotic diseases. These studentships will examine the policies, research activities and control, diagnosis and treatment initiatives that aim to control some of these zoonoses. They will also contribute to a cluster of research around NZDs, and in particular trypanosomiasis, led by Professor Sue Welburn and Professor James Smith at the University of Edinburgh.

These studentships are unusual in that are highly multidisciplinary, drawing on both the social and biological sciences. Students will receive tailored training from the ESRC Scottish Doctoral Training Centre and the EASTBIO Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership, both based at the University of Edinburgh, before embarking on one of three PhD projects:

1. Tracing International Policy Networks – focusing on the role of international organisations –  for instance the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières - in shaping research into and control of African Trypanosomiasis. The nature of this project means that fluency in French is desirable.

2. Mapping the post-MDG Agenda – will examine the evidence base, funding streams and policies that shape the future global health agenda in relation to NZDs, especially in the content of debate around the replacement of the current 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

3. ‘Below the radar innovation’ – will analyse how technological innovation may generate appropriate, sustainable, local-level vector control and diagnostic measures in East and Central Africa.

Each of these studentships is fully-funded for four years and will provide an enhanced stipend (c. £15,000 per annum). We anticipate that successful applicants will already hold a masters degree in an appropriate area of study. These studentships are available to UK citizens or EU citizens who ordinarily resident in the UK.

To be considered please indicate which project you wish to be considered for and attach an academic cv and a letter explaining your suitability and interest to: james.smith@ed.ac.uk by Friday 31 May. If you have any queries you can contact James Smith at the same email address.

Edinburgh Students