An interesting looking project and opportunity (thanks to Michael for sending on link)
PhD StudentshipExplaining The Link Between Income And Physical And Mental Health
The University of Manchester - Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences, Clinical & Health Psychology Research Group
Dr Alex Wood & Professor Graham Dunn
The objective of this fully-funded 4-year PhD project is to explore the relationship between low income and impaired physical and mental health.
The studentship provides full support for tuition fees, all associated research costs and an annual tax-free stipend at Research Council rates (£13, 590 in 2010). The project is due to commence October 2011 and is open to UK/EU nationals only due to the nature of the funding.
Why does low income relate to impaired physical and mental health? The risk could be due to three overlapping factors:
•Having low income in and of itself, and the associated low spending power.
•Relative income, such that having an income lower than the typical or mean income of a comparison group mean carries a psychological burden.
•Ranked position of income, such that having an income that ranks low within a community reflects low social position.
A huge amount of debate has focused on these possibilities, not least as each suggests different policies to reduce the health consequences of income disparity, a central concern for the government and public.
This project will provide the first direct test between these hypotheses. Analysis will be performed on several large datasets including the British Household Panel Survey, the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey and the EMPIRIC database of people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Analysis involves predicting physical or mental health simultaneously from three variables: the actual income, the difference between the income and the mean of the comparison group (e.g., people in the same region or of the same ethnicity), and the rank of the income in the comparison group (plus covariates).
The project is inherently multidisciplinary, taking optimum methods of dataset-analysis originally developed in economics to apply a psychological mechanism to medicine.
The successful candidate will benefit from an extensive support network based in the Clinical & Health Psychology Research Group with co-supervision from within Biostatistics. Training in database analysis, panel analysis techniques and research study design will be provided.
Given the breath of psychology and biomedical training covered by the research, the PhD will provide an ideal platform to progress onto an academic research career path or into public policy consultation/management.
Applicants should hold (or expect to obtain) a minimum upper-second honours degree (or equivalent) in psychology, one of the biomedical sciences, economics or a related area. Previous experience of analysing large datasets and knowledge of either cognitive, social or health psychology would be an advantage.
Please direct applications in the following format to Dr Alex Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org):
•Official academic transcripts
•Contact details for two suitable referees
•A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date.
Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Dr Wood at the address above.
Applications are invited up to and including Monday 4 April 2011.