PhD Studentship

Opening Date:
11 Feb 2022
Closing Date:
4 Mar 2022
Salary Range:

Published a month before the global pandemic, the Marmot Review 10 Years on identified that since 2010, life expectancy had stalled in the UK, the first time in over 100 years. This has led to a decrease in health improvement and quality of life. Life expectancy follows the social gradient, with deprivation negatively affecting how long a person may live. People living in deprived areas spend an increased proportion of their shorter lives in poor health than people living in less deprived areas. The detrimental impact on health for people living in deprived areas has increased since 2010.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and widened the inequalities reported in the 2020 Marmot Review . The economic and social harm because of national lockdowns and social distancing measures to contain the virus increasing health and inequalities. Mortality from COVID-19 has followed the social gradient seen for all causes of death in the UK and causes of inequalities from the virus are similar to the causes seen in overall health inequality in the UK. Social determinants of health that cause inequalities in health need to be addressed to ‘build back fairer’.

Sunderland City Council is tackling health inequalities through the Sunderland Healthy City Plan 2020-2030 and the COVID-19 Health Inequalities Strategy with the vision of ‘Everyone in Sunderland will have happy, healthy lives, with no one left behind’ . Using qualitative methodologies, the aim of the PhD is to explore health inequalities in deprived population in Sunderland to contribute to the delivery of these strategies to reduce health inequalities in Sunderland.

This fully-funded PhD studentship is a collaboration between the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute at the University of Sunderland, and Sunderland City Council, with supervision across both organisations. The studentship is full-time only, based on campus at the University of Sunderland. Candidates are expected to live in the North East. A stipend will be paid in line with UKRI rates. Candidates are permitted to work a maximum of 6 hours per week outside the studentship.

Eligibility: Applicants must have an MSc in a health-related discipline, possess experience of qualitative methodologies and have an understanding of health inequalities.

Application process: (please do not apply through any other method)

1. Interested applicants should email Dr Yitka Graham at to request an Expression of Interest form. Please allow yourself sufficient time to complete the application process.

2. The completed Expression of Interest (EOI) form, along with a current CV, a pdf of your MSc Dissertation, academic transcripts and covering letter to Dr Yitka Graham, Head of the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute at: by the closing date of Friday, March 4, 2022, 17:00 GMT. Any applications received after this date/time or without all documentation will not be considered.

2. The EOIs will be reviewed by the academic panel and shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview to be held on Teams.

3. To be successful, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for PhD candidates set by the University of Sunderland.