Gender inequalities in health – Learning from the Global Burden of Disease study

Gender inequalities in health – Learning from the Global Burden of Disease study

Keywords - Epidemiology, Inequalities, Natural experiments, Gender, Public health, Health inequalities, Political economy, Politics, Economics, Quantitative.

Gender inequalities girls 2016 Katikireddi

Project Summary – Large differences in health exist by gender throughout the world. This PhD will offer an opportunity for a suitable student to investigate why these exist, using a global dataset of health outcomes. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study provides estimates of mortality and morbidity in a consistent way, over time and across the world. In the first part of this PhD, you will describe gender inequalities in health and try to understand what risk factors might contribute to any differences identified. In the second part of the PhD, you will try to understand why the observed differences have arisen and how they might be reduced. This will include looking for ‘natural experiments’ (times when a country has faced a major change that might impact on health or gender equity) and then trying to understand how health has changed as a consequence.

This PhD is highly interdisciplinary and will require an understanding of the social determinants of health, advanced statistical techniques and the impact of macro-economic trends. Please note that this PhD will not involve fieldwork in any low- or middle-income countries.

Project Team  – The student will be based at the MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow. The Unit’s aim is to promote human health by the study of social, behavioural, economic and environmental influences on health.

You will be supervised by three experienced researchers, each from a different disciplinary background. Dr. S Vittal Katikireddi is a public health doctor and Senior Clinical Research Fellow whose research interests focus on understanding the health and equity impacts of major changes to public policy. He is a collaborator of the GBD study. Prof. Alastair Leyland is an experienced statistician and epidemiologist, who also leads the ‘Measurement and Analysis of Socio-economic Inequalities in Health’ programme at the Unit. Prof. Sayantan Ghosal is Professor of Economics at the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School. His research expertise includes welfare economics, political economy and studying financial crises. The student will therefore benefit from an exceptional research environment, bringing together a diverse range of disciplines.

Person Specification - This studentship is open to candidates of any nationality – UK, EU or International.

Applicants should demonstrate the following:

Academic qualifications:


Undergraduate degree: 1st or 2:1 in a subject with a substantial quantitative or epidemiological component (e.g. Statistics, Medicine, Economics)


Relevant Master’s degree e.g. Public Health, Epidemiology, Economics

Recipient of scholarships/awards/prizes/other recognition of outstanding achievement

Publication of previous research in a scholarly journal



Academic experience in epidemiology and/or economics

Previous relevant employment/other experience in epidemiology/public health/economics

Evidence of prior interest in global health and/or development economics



Highly numerate

Evidence of resilience and problem solving skills

Evidence of previous success in or interest in research activity

Evidence of both independence and ability to collaborate and function as part of a team

Ability to act as an ambassador/advocate for research project, including communication with policymakers


Track record in communicating previous research e.g. conference presentations, public talks

Application Process - In the first instance prospective applicants should contact Dr. S Vittal Katikireddi, to discuss your eligibility. Applicants may submit applications up until the application deadline of 12 noonFriday 13 January 2017.