2019-20 Medical Research Foundation Antimicrobial Resistance PhD Studentship: Project

Project details

Project Title: Systems, structures and change: conceptualising and intervening on AMR in LMICs

Main supervisor: Dr Justin Dixon, Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Co-supervisor: Prof Martin Gorsky, Department of Health Services Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Host institution: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Project description

Antimicrobial resistance is often referred to as a complex challenge, and a variety of systems thinking approaches are being applied to describe the drivers of emergence and transmission as well as the drivers of antimicrobial use. The roles of structural factors are also being identified, including physical infrastructure, ecological structures, as well as social, economic and political structures that shape biosocial worlds. Various mapping, visualisation, quantitative and qualitative techniques have been used to illustrate the interfaces of humans, animals, microbes, medicines. These maps can form an implicit or explicit intervention guide, drawing attention to points of focus or connection that may be amenable to change, with an impact on resistance.

Figure 1. Example from UK Department of Health, 2016

Drivers that increase the burden of infection (Department of Health diagram)

This PhD project will analyse the contemporary history of a range of heuristics used to map systems and structures that shape AMR, will relate these to existing and planned interventions that aim to change the course of AMR, and will draw on existing data in the two parent Consortium projects that are based in Thailand, Uganda and South Africa (Chandler – AMIS, and Grant – Umoya omuhle) to develop a pilot for a pathway for action relevant to one or more of these study settings. The PhD will require interdisciplinary working, particularly anthropology and history. The perspective and methodological approach will be developed and defined by the student, but it is expected that a broadly poststructuralist approach will be taken, with inspiration from Science and Technology Studies. Methods may include ethnographic fieldwork in the transnational research and policy space, as well as archival analyses.

Potential applicants wishing further information are encouraged to contact Justin Dixon or Martin Gorsky. For details of how to apply please use the 2019-20 Medical Research Foundation Antimicrobial Resistance PhD Studentship page.


Antimicrobial resistance, anthropology, history, systems, structure, interventions, ethnography, documentary research and oral history