Four-year Wellcome Trust PhD studentships in Public Health, Economics and Decision Science
We seek to train the next generation of researchers in conducting high-quality research into the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of complex multi-component public health interventions and policies to reduce non-communicable - or chronic diseases. Funding is available for four cohorts of five top-calibre PhD students to work on some of the most pressing public health challenges.
"This is unequivocally the best PhD program in health economics available in the United Kingdom, and potentially beyond. The independence you have as a researcher is unparalleled, and the research funding is second to none. If you want to do impactful research on the intersection between health economics, public health and decision science there is no better place to be than the wonderful (extremely green) city of Sheffield".
- Simon McNamara, Cohort 1
"Deep understanding of both Public Health and Economics, and the ability to evaluate policies and interventions in the two fields, give an immense toolkit to make a genuine impact in the world".
- Joseph Kwon, Cohort 2
"This programme is an excellent opportunity to be at the forefront of multidisciplinary health research"
- Jennifer Boyd, Cohort 3
About the programme
What we Offer
Each four-year studentship provides:
A generous stipend at Wellcome Trust rates
Why we have developed this programme
Helping to tackle major chronic diseases
Chronic disease accounts for the majority of the burden of disease in the developed world. Much of this burden is due to avoidable lifestyle behaviours – especially smoking, alcohol consumption, poor diet and physical inactivity. This burden can be reduced through well-targeted and coordinated public health policies.
Decision-makers in the UK and internationally require evidence on (a) which combinations of interventions would most effectively reduce chronic disease burden; (b) what trade-offs exist between the outcomes prioritised by different stakeholders; and (c) which resource allocations will deliver greatest return on investment. Development and synthesis of new scientific evidence is crucial to answering these challenging questions.
Novel multidisciplinary working
Public Health Decision Science is an exciting cross-disciplinary area of research that draws on skills from across traditional departmental boundaries, including:
Our mission is to enable the highest calibre postgraduate researchers to build on their existing discipline-specific knowledge, and to complement this with training in another field.
To develop a true multidisciplinary cohort of scientists, we will support excellent health and related disciplines graduates in developing advanced quantitative analytical skills; and equip top mathematics, economics, systems engineering and related disciplines graduates with public health training and methodological expertise.
Individually tailored training
Our programme is structured to allow students to define their own learning trajectory, in discussion with their programme tutors.
The first year of the programme offers a unique training opportunity. Students attend a bespoke selection of 4 taught masters modules which complement their previous background and interests, engage in cohort-based research training activities, engage with senior scientists and meet public health leaders in monthly 'meet a decision maker' sessions.
Rotations through three 'research attachments' chosen from a list of options will allow students to develop experience of working in different topic areas and with different potential supervisors before making a final decision about the direction of their own PhD thesis work, and appropriate supervisory panel, in years two to four of the programme.
Future careers in academia or decision making organisations
Our programme will prepare graduates to develop rewarding careers in academia or stakeholder organisations which will allow them to contribute to public health policy decisions to reduce the burden of disease in the UK and internationally.
We aim to:
ScHARR provides an excellent research environment
ScHARR is a multidisciplinary school with over 320 staff, including over 30 professors. It has an annual research grant income of over £10m and ranks 4th for research ‘power’ and 2nd for ‘impact’ in the UK league tables for its subject area (REF2014 UK UoA2).
ScHARR is fundamentally multidisciplinary. It spans applied and methodological, primary and secondary, qualitative and quantitative health related research with an explicit focus and mission to support UK and international decision making.
We are renowned for the quality of our research and our staff. We have expertise in public health policy appraisal, health economics, cost-effectiveness modelling, health services research, trial design, evaluation of complex interventions and valuation of health and well-being.
ScHARR consistently attracts high calibre individuals from a wide range of backgrounds including health, psychology, mathematics, statistics, the physical sciences, computer science, engineering and the quantitative social sciences, and pathways for moving between quantitative disciplines and health related research are well-trodden. As well as attracting grant funding, the School has a successful track record in winning studentships and fellowships that have facilitated training at doctoral and post-doctoral levels in economics, statistics and computer modelling. The School hosts a number of large programmes that add value to the doctoral training environment. ScHARR is a member of the NIHR School for Public Health Research and CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber, and through these programmes fellows have access to a large network of researchers working on applied public health topics.
Postgraduate teaching and research is priority
There are currently 100 doctoral and 250 masters students in the School, providing a vibrant postgraduate environment. As part of the University of Sheffield, we have a well-developed approach to PhD training.
The University of Sheffield's Doctoral Development Programme supports bespoke training needs analysis for all Postgraduate Research (PGR) students, including access to masters modules across faculties/disciplines and generic research and career skills training.
Excellent collaborations with key departments
We have strong and constant collaborations with other University departments and especially the 5 departments who provide supervisors for this PhD programme.
National and international research networks
Sheffield has joint research programmes and networks with leading Universities across the UK and globally.
Wellcome Trust DTC students will be fully embedded into this collaborative multidisciplinary culture from the start.
Commissioned work from policy and research bodies
Funding bodies currently supporting our research to address key policy questions in Public Health Economics and Decision Science:
We make a difference to policy and decisions
We have a track record of impactful evaluations and appraisals of public health policies whilst simultaneously driving forward methodological development.
The example of alcohol pricing
Use and develop existing policy models
ScHARR has developed and owns the Intellectual Property on a series of public health economic decision models like the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model. Students will be able to access, utilise and further develop this infrastructure.
Have a look what the referees judging the programme proposal said
Year one training will embed Wellcome Trust Scholars in ScHARR’s interdisciplinary, team-based research culture. The cohort will develop interdisciplinary grounding and methodological skills through taught masters modules. Students will receive generic research skills training, engage with public health decision-makers, and 'road-test' potential supervisors and topics during three research attachments. Finally, together with the programme directors they will select a supervisory panel and generate a detailed research proposal outlining the planned PhD work for years two to four.
Induction, mentors and training needs analysis (month one)
Wellcome Trust Induction September 2018 - Cohort 3 Meets Cohort 1 & 2
All students will be assigned two Programme Directors to support them in Year 1. With their tutors, students will discuss their aspirations and expectations, undertake a formal training needs analysis and devise a personal timetable of 4 taught masters modules, generic skills training, and research attachments. Training for students from mathematical disciplines will focus on public health, while students with health-related backgrounds will focus on economics and mathematical modelling.
To assist students in deciding with whom they would like to undertake their research attachments, a seminar will be held for potential supervisors to introduce their research area to students.
|Years To to Four||
Supervision years two to four
Student progress will be carefully monitored with:
monthly student-led supervision meetings, with student-drafted agendas, meeting notes and next objectives
In 2015 Tom graduated from the University of Warwick with an MMath degree. During his degree he specialised in mathematical modelling and statistics, and took a particular interest in modelling of biological systems and processes. For his Masters project he explored a stochastic model of Malaria spread. Alongside his degree he also spent time at the Anthony Nolan institute investigating geographic trends in the genetic data stored in their database of donors.
During the first year of the Wellcome Trust programme, Tom was exposed to a wide range of topics within Public Health and Health Economics via both taught modules and research attachments. In particular, he completed taught modules in Sociology of Health and Illness, Economic Evaluation, Key Issues in Global Public Health, and Contemporary Health Psychology and Behaviour Change. Tom's year one research attachments investigated using simulation modelling to assess consistency of outputs to incorporate aversion to health inequalities, the effect of parenthood on drinking habits, and agent-based modelling of obesity dynamics within an obesogenic system. Tom's experiences on these modules and research attachments has shaped the development of his PhD.
Title of PhD: The relationship between obesity and depression and the influence of socioeconomic position. Supervisors: Mark Strong, Sam Caton, Paul Bissell
Tom's research interests lie in exploring the interaction between physical and mental health as well as how these are both affected by the wider determinants of health. In particular, in his PhD he is interested in researching the complicated and complex relationships that exist between obesity, depression and socio-economic position. To do this, he is using both Structural Equation Modelling and Agent-based modelling techniques. Specifically, he is building a Structural Equation Model to explore the mediating mechanisms that might exist between obesity and depression, and whether socio-economic position interacts with these mechanisms. Within his agent-based model he is exploring whether stigmatisation might generate socio-economic inequalities in obesity and depression.
Supplementary to Tom's research project the Wellcome Trust DTC has also cultivated an interest in the use of research for public policy, as well as a greater interest in the development and implementation of Public policy more generally.
To has presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference 2019 on How does stigma generate socio-economic inequality in obesity and depression: an agent-based modelling study.
Sarah completed a Psychology degree at the university of Surrey in 2012 and a MSc in health psychology at King’s College London in 2015. Between studying she has worked as a research assistant on a range of clinical trials relating to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease and dissociative seizures. Sarah's research interests are health behaviour change, public health economic modelling and determinants of weight loss maintenance. She is also interested in how psychological theory can inform health economic evaluations.
In her first year, Sarah undertook research attachments looking at public support for public health policies, the relationship between diet and other health behaviours, and the causal relationship between wellbeing and health behaviour. She completed modules in Economic Evaluation, Cost-effectiveness Modelling, Advanced Simulation Methods, Valuing the Benefits of Health Care, and Medical Statistics and Evidence Synthesis.
Title of PhD: The Feasibility of Including Psychological Factors in Health Economic Models of Obesity. Supervisors: Alan Brennan, Paul Norman, Penny Breeze
Sarah is examining the psychosocial factors associated with weight trajectories during and after a weight-management intervention and investigating the impact of including relevant psychological factors within a health economic model of obesity on estimates of cost-effectiveness.
Sarah has received training in Decision Modelling using R, Structural equation modelling in mplus, Latent growth curve modelling in mplus, and Laying the foundations for effective writing. She has also presented a poster at the Lancet Public Health conference.
Sarah has published the following paper:
Bates, S., Holmes, J., Gavens, L., de Matos, E.G., Li, J., Ward, B., Hooper, L., Dixon, S. and Buykx, P., 2018. Awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer is associated with public support for alcohol policies. BMC public health, 18(1), p.688
"The programme provides so many opportunities alongside continued support and encouragement from developing a research idea to carrying out the research. Since starting the programme I’ve had the opportunity to learn a new discipline, practice research skills, present at conferences and gain teaching experience. I’ve met decision makers from a range of organisations, been able to collaborate with a team at another university and completed an internship abroad to gain a different perspective on my research area".
Simon's work is primarily focused on inequalities in health, and, in particular, the way in which inequalities are captured within economic evaluation in health. Prior to joining Sheffield, Simon spent six years working as a Health Economist within the pharmaceutical industry. He holds an MSc in Behavioural Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York, and a BSc in Economics from the University of York. Simon's research interests are Equity/efficiency trade-offs in economic evaluation, The valuation of subjective well-being, The role of emotion in choice experiments.
Simon undertook three research attachments in his first year. These covered: the measurement and valuation of outcomes in Public Health, the relationship between alcohol and subjective well-being, and differing approaches to considering inequalities in health when making resource allocation decisions. In addition, he has took four masters levels modules in Public Health: The Social Determinants of Inequalities in Health, Health Needs Assessment, Health Psychology, and Key Issues in Global Public Health.
Title of PhD: How averse are the UK public to inequalities in health between socioeconomic groups? Supervisors: Aki Tsuchiya, John Holmes
Simon's PhD is focused on public preferences regarding the reduction of inequalities in health relative to the promotion of population health, and subsequently, the way in which inequalities in health are captured in economic evaluation in Public Health.
Simon has recently presented two papers at conferences. The first of these was a systematic review he undertook for his PhD. The second was a paper based upon his first empirical study. He is currently in the process of preparing these conference papers for journal submission. As a result of this work, he has been invited to visit three other universities, in order to discuss his ideas and share his work with others.
"I like being in control of my own research program. A lot of PhD funding is attached to specific projects, and, as a student, you might not have that much of say in where the research goes. On the Wellcome programme you have the opportunity to spend a year looking into the field, and working out where you think further research would be valuable, before instigating your own research program. This is really empowering, and means you have the flexibility to try things that other people might not have thought of".
Rob studied for his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Economics and Applied Economics at the University of Nottingham. Upon completion of his MSc dissertation he worked for the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers with several big multinational clients, after which he took up a position at the Nottingham Business School as part of a cross-disciplinary team conducting a health services research evaluation of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund schemes in the North Midlands. After completion of the project he worked briefly at Newcastle University, establishing a contingent valuation methodology for the valuation of both personal and public health initiatives for NHS England. His current research interests are aligned to the interaction between public health schemes in the community/primary care and demand for secondary care services.
Rob has undertaken modules in ScHARR in cost-effectiveness analysis for Health Technology Assessment, Advanced Simulation Methods, Further Statistical Methods for Health Economic Evaluation, Epidemiology, and Health Psychology. He also undertook a short course in decision analytic modelling in R, a commonly used software environment which he is using to build his model. Rob also teaches Epidemiology and Advanced Simulation Methods.
Title of PhD: Modelling school-based interventions to increase physical activity levels in children and young people. Supervisors: Liddy Goyder, Hazel Squires
Rob's PhD is focused on developing the methods utilised to estimate the health benefits and costs associated with changes in population physical activity levels. The thesis is focused on the creation of a health economic model named PACEM – Physical Activity in Children Economic Model. The model is a microsimulation model which estimates the long-term health and cost implications of interventions which affect childhood physical activity levels.
In 2018, Rob spent four weeks working with the WHO-Europe Health Economic Assessment Tool team in Zurich. He produced a report which is being reviewed by the steering group and has potential to lead to further development of modelling methods in physical activity and potentially further collaboration. This work is ongoing.
He is also collaborating with one of the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Centre directors and two other Wellcome Trust students on a project analysing access and utilisation to Parkrun events in England. The results may help shape Parkrun’s future strategy and has huge potential to improve public health nationwide.
Rob has also published papers relating to Health Services and contingent valuation methodology.
Naomi's undergraduate degree was a BSc in Economics from the University of Manchester, graduating with the Manchester School Prize for Economics. Following this she worked in the third sector; initially working with refugees in Sheffield before moving to the British Red Cross facilitating leadership development and broader learning provision. She joined the University of Sheffield in 2015 as a Learning and Impact Associate on a national evaluation team for a Big Lottery Funded programme supporting individuals with multiple needs whilst mapping and influencing the systems that surround them. Multiple needs defined here as; substance misuse, homelessness, mental ill health and reoffending. In 2016 she received an NIHR studentship to study an MSc in Economics and Health Economics, a joint course delivered by ScHARR and the Department of Economics. Naomi's research interests are increasing the evidence base for alcohol policy effectiveness in LMICs, adaptability of policy decision models between countries, decision modelling as a way for key stakeholders to understand the system that surrounds the decision problem, how equity can be considered within economic decision models.
In her first year of the Wellcome Trust programme, Naomi undertook modules in Further Statistical Methods for Health Economic Analysis, Epidemiology, Key Issues in Global Public Health, and Contemporary Health Psychology and Behaviour Change.
Her year one research attachments looked at the factors that support or hamper the use of health economic models within real-world public health decision-making settings, the causal relationship between wellbeing and health behaviour, and how quantitative and/or mathematical modelling approaches are employed in the emerging field of health policy and systems research in the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs),
Title of PhD: Economic modelling of alcohol pricing policies in South Africa, with a focus on equity. Supervisors: Petra Meier, Colin Angus, Simon Dixon
Colette completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Glasgow and a Masters of Medical Science in Human Nutrition at the University of Sheffield. Between studying and undertaking her PhD, she worked with children in the early years, teaching English as a Second Language. This role led to her interest in early years nutrition, an interest which she took forward into her Master’s degree by working with the Children’s Food Trust to evaluate their early years nutrition training for childminders. Upon completion of her Masters, she worked as a research assistant in ScHARR investigating methods to reduce the consumption of high energy dense snacks in pre-school children. Colette's research interests are within the fields of obesity prevention, childhood nutrition and public health economic modelling. She is particularly interested in methods to promote healthy eating in the early years and the impact this may have on long term health outcomes.
As part of the Wellcome Trust Programme Colette has received training in the basic principles of Economic Evaluation, Cost-effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment, decision analytic modelling and discrete event simulation. She is currently undertaking further training in qualitative research design and analysis and has begun working towards becoming an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Title of PhD: Grandparental influence on young children's diets and long-term health outcomes. Supervisors: Samantha Caton, Penny Breeze
Colette's PhD is exploring the role that grandparents have on the diets of children aged 2-4 and to explore whether they could be a target for intervention to improve children’s health outcomes. She will assess the acceptability, feasibility of an intervention designed to support grandparents with healthy food and drink provision and develop a decision analytic model to assess the long term cost-effectiveness of the intervention.
Colette has published the following paper:
Reale S, Kearney C, Hetherington M, Croden F, Cecil J, Carstairs S, et al. The Feasibility and Acceptability of Two Methods of Snack Portion Control in United Kingdom (UK) Preschool Children: Reduction and Replacement. Nutrients. 2018;10:1493. doi:10.3390/nu10101493.
"Coming from a psychology and nutrition background, I had very little knowledge of health economics before starting the programme. Don't let this put you off as the scheme provides you with ample training and support. It is a great opportunity to learn new skills and question how other disciplines can be incorporated into your research area".
Joseph has completed an undergraduate BA degree in Economics at the University of Cambridge and an MSc degree in Health Economics at the University of York. His previous research interest was in measurement of health utilities for childhood and adolescent populations, having published a systematic review and meta-regression of childhood health utilities.
Title of PhD: Capacity modelling of multifactorial falls prevention for community-dwelling elderly persons: cost- effectiveness of implementing an evidence-based programme in Sheffield. Supervisors: Tracey Young, Hazel Squires, Janet Harris
In Year One of the Wellcome Trust programme, Joseph undertook the following modules: Health Needs Assessment, Clinical Trials, Design of Experiments and Medical Statistics, Advanced Simulation Methods, and Key Issues in Global Public Health. The first three modules are highly relevant to his PhD: Health Needs Assessment for conceptualising the method of identifying health need (in this case, the high risk of falling) in a set environment; Clinical Trials, Design of Experiments and Medical Statistics for understanding clinical trial evidence and survival analysis both of which he will use heavily to build his statistical model; and Advanced Simulation Methods for familiarisation with building a discrete-events simulation model.
Joseph's first year research attachment was with Professor Stephen Walters and Dr Tracey Young and looked at the statistical analysis of categorical patient-reported outcomes. His findings were presented as a poster at the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) in Dublin. His third research attachment with Dr Pete Dodd and Dr Julie Balen was undertaken with a fellow cohort two Wellcome Trust PhD candidate, Naomi Gibbs. They systematically reviewed peer-reviewed articles that utilised mathematical models to evaluate policies and clinical interventions designed to reduce non- communicable disease burden in low- and middle-income countries. The work is still ongoing and Joseph and Naomi hope to publish the results in a top peer-reviewed journal.
At the start of Joseph's second year he attended courses on decision modelling in R, qualitative research design (interviews and focus groups) and analysis of NHS Digital's Hospital Episode Statistics, both of which are highly relevant to his PhD.
Joseph's PhD is a mixed-methods project involving both quantitative modelling and qualitative elements. Falls are one of the leading causes of disability and healthcare utilisation in the elderly - a problem which will increase with ageing population. They are also largely preventable, with many interventions such as exercise therapies to improve strength and balance, home risk modification and medication review being found to be clinically effective in reducing the risk of falling in randomised controlled trial setting. However, implementation of these interventions is poor in the real world owing to poor coordination among service providers, insufficient capacity and low participant motivation. In collaboration with Sheffield CCG and using their primary and secondary care data, Joseph plans to build a statistical model that demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of an intervention pathway that prevents falls before they lead to serious injury. He will be organising a focus group of professionals involved in falls prevention services to design an optimal intervention pathway for Sheffield, including falls risk screening, multidisciplinary assessment and individually-tailored intervention. Current users and non-users of falls prevention services among the Sheffield elderly population will also be interviewed to gain their perspective. Joseph's objective is for the model to result in evidence-based commissioning of falls prevention services at a local health authority area.
Joseph has published the following papers:
Sundus completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Health Psychology at University College London. She has previously worked at Sheffield Children’s Hospital as a Research Project Manager where she managed an NIHR funded research project for the delivery of a study investigating the health status in children and young people with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. She also interned at Public Health England and worked mainly within the remit of work, worklessness and health. She also helped organise PHE national conferences where she liaised with speakers and facilitated workshops, including “Everybody Active Every Day” and “Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People and Communities”. She worked collaboratively to develop a set of tools for businesses including a Return on Investment tool and a Health Needs Assessment tool, and contributed to writing and editing rapid reviews, conference reports and health promotion material. Before that, she took a Research Assistant position at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust where she worked on a number of projects including a survey on improving access to NHS mental health services amongst Black Minority Ethnics in the Bradford District and an evaluation of a complex Stop Delirium! intervention for the prevention of delirium in care homes. She has volunteered at the Forced Migration Trauma Service, as an Assistant Psychologist, where she cared for the mental health and wellbeing of refugees escaping war-torn countries. Her role emphasised the importance of psychometric measures and audit to track patient recovery and improve service delivery. Her research interests are, behaviour change, weight gain prevention, childhood obesity, health policy.
Sundus has completed numerous health economics and decision modelling modules at ScHARR, including: Economic Evaluation, Cost-effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment; Advanced Simulation Methods; valuing the benefits of healthcare; Further Statistical Methods for Health Economic Analysis; Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems, and Nutritional Epidemiology. She has also had the opportunity to attend external training courses, including a 4 day intensive course on Decision Analysis in R for Technologies in Health and an introduction to policy evaluation for public health. In addition, she has attended relevant workshops and conferences.
Title of PhD: Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sugar-reduction population-level interventions and policies. Supervisors: Jim Chilcott, Nicola Buckland
Sundus's PhD is specifically looking at investigating the short-term effectiveness of a dietary digital intervention (Change4Life Food Scanner app) in reducing children's sugar consumption through parental behaviour change. In order to achieve this, she will be undertaking a number of steps: 1) conduct a systematic review of economic evaluations and cost-effectiveness studies of childhood dietary interventions; 2) design and implement a pilot randomised controlled trial; 3) develop a dietary-focused childhood obesity prevention economic model to estimate the long term costs and health impacts of the Food Scanner app.
In 2018, Sundus did an oral presentation at the 5th UK Congress on Obesity 2018 on the relationship between meal times, calorie consumption and weight status amongst children:
Caton, S., Dickerson, A., & Mahdi, S. (2018). Abstracts from the 5th UK Congress on Obesity 2018: Oral presentation abstracts. The relationship between meal times, calorie consumption and weight status amongst children. International Journal of Obesity Supplements, 8, 6-13
"I would highly recommend this course to individuals who have an interest in multidisciplinary research, embedding elements of public health, health economics and decision science. Although it is an intensive programme, the benefits, knowledge and skills acquired along the way are invaluable".
Nicolas Silva Illanes
Nicolas graduated as a physician and practised as a general practitioner for one year before starting graduate studies. He studied a Masters in Public Policy and a Masters in Public Health at the University of Chile. After completing that training he studied Biostatistics at the same University. He has received further training in Econometrics and Decision Modelling during recent years. Prior to joining ScHARR, he worked as a researcher and lecturer in the School of Public Health in the University of Chile. During this period he was involved in several research and consulting projects covering many topics including Analysis of socioeconomic inequalities on the incidence of chronic diseases in Chile using longitudinal data; Cost effectiveness analysis of colorectal cancer in Chile; Analysis of cost of disease in Chile using the System of Health Account methodology; The role of fiscal policy in the improvement of diets and prevention of non communicable diseases in Chile: impact evaluation and modelling. Nicolas's research interests are health inequalities, cancer survival and cancer care policies, pharmaceutical policies.
During the first year of his programme, Nicolas undertook training in Microeconometrics, Public Economics, Microeconomic Analysis, Econometric Methods, and Health Economics. In his second year, he is receiving further training in Simultaneous Equation Modeling which he expects to apply to his current research.
Title of PhD: Analysis of socioeconomic inequalities in adult life expectancy in Chile. Supervisors: Aki Tsuchiya, Mónica Hernández Alava
Nicolas's PhD seeks to answer the following research questions:
Nicolas participated in the 2018 European Health Economics Association in Maastricht and the 2019 Health Economics Study Group Winter Meeting in York. On both occasions, he presented the results of work co-authored with Andy Dickerson and Samantha Caton that looked at the impact of obesity on wages in the Chilean labour market. He is also working on a paper with Aki Tsuchiya and Suzy Paisley about the impact on health inequalities of interventions to prevent obesity.
Jennifer studied Psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh and went on to complete an MSc in Health Psychology at the University of St Andrews. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at Ninewells Hospital Dundee and more recently for NHS Fife. Her research interests include the application of public health policy/large scale interventions to improve health behaviours associated with the development of chronic conditions and the impact of inequality. During the Wellcome DTC programme she hopes to develop skills in modelling and simulation to apply these techniques to her areas of interest.
In the first year of her programme, Jennifer is taking modules in Economic Evaluation, Cost Effectiveness Modelling, Advanced Simulation Methods, and Valuing the Benefits of Health Care to gain the skills and knowledge in health economics and decision making required to undertake this multidisciplinary PhD programme.
Jennifer's first research attachment investigated complex systems for NCD prevention. Her current research attachment is titled Inequalities: Views from public health and welfare economics.
"The ScHARR Wellcome Trust programme is a unique opportunity to integrate your existing knowledge within a broader context of health. As I am from a Health Psychology background it was important to me to shift my understanding from an individual level, to tackling major health challenges such as NCDs from an upstream perspective. The programme has allowed me to develop the skills necessary to do this and I have felt supported in pursuing research opportunities including plans to attend conferences and potential future publications".
Prior to joining ScHARR, Amy obtained a BSc degree in Pharmacy and a MSc degree in Clinical Pharmacy both at the National Taiwan University. Besides bed-side training, she has also interned at the Centre for Drug Evaluation (HTA body) in Taiwan where she performed a systematic review of the effectiveness of target therapies in non-small cell lung cancer. For her Master’s thesis, she has evaluated the cost-effectiveness of a pharmacist-assisted Warfarin monitoring program. She then worked as a Research Assistant at the School of Pharmacy, National Taiwan University, where she was in charge of model adaption for drug economic evaluation projects as well as model construction for the Taiwan EQ-5D-5L tariff derivation study. She has also conducted health care utilisation and pharmacoepidemiology studies, primarily in the area of oncology and maternal health, using national health insurance claims database and survey database
In the first year of her programme, Amy is taking modules in Introduction to Health Economics, Medical Statistics and Evidence Synthesis, Advanced Simulation Methods, and Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems.
Besides modules, Amy has undertaken several research attachments including looking at appropriate response options in preference based outcome measures, investigating how the relationship between runner characteristics and sustained participation in Parkrun events, and is currently busy with her third attachment exploring the impact of uncertainty in health economic decision models.
In her first year Amy has received training in Data Manipulation and Visualisation in R, and Causal Inference Affected by Treatment Switching. She has also assisted in manuscript preparation for her first attachment regarding response options and submitted a conference abstract about sustained participation in Parkrun events upon completion of her second attachment.
Amy has assisted organising the “Meet the Decision Maker” session for the programme and facilitated the invitation of key speakers from academic, Public Health England, local authorities, NICE, WHO, and other NGOs to share their experience in public health decision making and how research may inform public health decisions.
“The programme provides huge flexibility in terms of training opportunities (i.e. scheduled attachments at ScHARR and additional off-campus training upon request). The funding allows the training progress to be tailored to our own needs and mentors play an important role in guiding us to best allocate our resources in the first year. The programme has really stretched my limits and pushed me away from my comfort zone regarding research topics and disciplines that I used to work with. I felt privileged to meet experts and decision makers from all kinds of organisations through the network that has already been built up within the programme”
Artur has studied a variety of aspects of economics, mathematics, and statistics during his time at the Universities of Lancaster, British Columbia and St. Gallen. During his BSc and MSc in Economics, he has developed a deep interest in mathematical modelling and statistical examination of those models. Artur was led to the Wellcome Trust Ph.D. program by his desire to develop his knowledge of those methods by applying them to the study of the impact of recreational drug use and dependence on society and the policy responses to these phenomena.
In the first year of his programme, Artur is taking modules in Cost-eﬀectiveness Modelling, Health Needs Assessment, Advanced Simulation Methods, Study Design and Systematic Review Methods, and Contemporary Health Psychology and Behaviour Change.
"The Wellcome Trust program allows the freedom to pursue my interests, yet supports me with the training necessary to do this".
Paul is an MD from Germany. During his medical studies, he became interested in health service research and completed his dissertation on staffing and the quality of care in hospitals. After graduation, he went to Maastricht in the Netherlands, to do a research master’s in health sciences, with a specialization in Health Technology Assessment. He also worked on a project in the field of digital epidemiology. Paul’s research interests are in learning health care systems and the use of real world data to continuously inform decision making.
In the first year of his programme, Paul is taking modules in Agent-based Modelling and Multi-Agent Systems, Public Policy Evaluation, Health Economics, Further Statistical Methods for Health Economic Analysis, and Inference.
Paul has completed a research attachment investigating Parkrun as an example of an intervention that generates inequalities. He is currently undertaking a research attachment that looks at treatment switching for post-study therapies.
Tazeen worked as a Senior Research Investigator at the Maternal and Child Health Division of ICDD,B in Bangladesh. Tazeen has a BSc and MSc in Economics and substantial experience in the area of public health research. She has been involved in large community based research trials as well as development and costing of national strategies and action plans related to adolescent, maternal, newborn and child health. She is particularly interested in measurement and validation of indicators and equity in health services.
In the first year of her programme, Tazeen is taking modules in Cost-effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment, Medical Statistics and Evidence Synthesis, Further Statistical Methods for Health Economic Analysis, and Contemporary Health Psychology and Behaviour Change.
Tazeen's first research attachment looked at maternity services in low-middle income countries. Her second research attachment is titled Inequalities: Views from public health and welfare economics.