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2022-23 Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Studentship

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is pleased to invite applications for a three-year full-time PhD studentship, starting in September 2022, funded by a donation from the Wilkinson Charitable Trust. Only those applicants who meet all the eligibility criteria outlined below can be considered for this studentship.

The research training environment

Students, academics, and professionals come to LSHTM from all over the world because of its international presence, collaborative ethos, research excellence and prestigious study programmes in public and global health. Find out details of the School’s rankings and awards as well as current research in action.

The studentship will be based in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy (PHP) which is focussed on the improvement of health throughout the UK and worldwide. We do this through research, teaching and the provision of advice in the areas of health policy, health systems and services, and individual, social and environmental influences on health. Interests and activities embrace the health needs of people living in countries at all levels of development. We run a range of popular and highly respected MSc courses, short courses and CPD. We encompass the disciplines of epidemiology, public health medicine, economics, political science, international relations, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, statistics and mathematics.

General information about the MPhil/PhD programme structure at LSHTM can be found on the Research Degrees and Doctoral College pages. Students will be mentored by supervisors at LSHTM, and be guided by an Advisory Committee consisting of at least two other experienced researchers who may be external to LSHTM. Students are expected to take part in the academic life of their department and can also be members of Academic Centres. All research seminars and journal clubs are open to PhD students from across LSHTM. Students are able to take up to four Master’s level Study Modules per academic year, subject to approval from their supervisor. The PhD programme also facilitates national and international conference attendance by students.

Support for research students’ future career development is covered through the supervision process, through the Transferable Skills Programme (in the School and the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network) and the LSHTM’s Careers Service.

The successful applicant will have unprecedented opportunities to network and establish professional contacts through formal and informal interactions with members of staff at LSHTM and other students. 

Doctoral research project

The Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Studentship is available to applicants interested in pursuing a PhD project in the history of public health.

The research project will be supervised by one of the following Centre for History in Public Health (CHiPH) staff:

The exact focus of the project will be developed by the successful candidate in discussion with their proposed supervisor. Possible topics for historical research include, but are not limited to the areas listed below.

  • Contact Janet Weston for projects in the history of:
    • Health laws and ethics
    • Mental illness
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Healthcare in prisons
  • Contact Martin Gorsky for projects in the history of:
    • Colonialism and schools of tropical medicine
    • Colonialism and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine
    • Health systems and policy, including the British NHS 
  • Contact Alex Mold for projects in the history of:
    • Health education/promotion
    • Health consumerism
    • Drugs, alcohol and tobacco
    • Public health in post-war Britain

Financial support

The studentship award covers:

  • tuition fees (at the LSHTM Home fee rate);
  • a tax-free stipend at the UKRI Studentship rate (2021-22 rate, with London weighting, is GBP 17,609.00); and
  • up to GBP 2,000.00 per annum research training support grant (RTSG) for relevant research study costs determined by the supervisory team (eg travel to archives, meetings and/or attendance at conferences and necessary equipment, training and fieldwork)

for three years. 

Eligibility criteria

All applicants must meet minimum LSHTM entry requirements.  

Applicant must hold relevant undergraduate and Master’s degrees in history, or a cognate social science discipline, both awarded at a high grade. Applicants with a very strong undergraduate degree in these disciplines and relevant experience will be exceptionally considered.

This PhD Studentship award is only available to candidates who meet the eligibility requirements for the Home fee rate. Please see the LSHTM fee assessment policy, in particular the ’criteria‘ section, for further details. Further information about fee status assessment can be found on the UKCISA website.

Please note that due to the high volume of enquiries we receive, we will not be able to respond to emails from applicants who do not meet these eligibility criteria.

How to apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their proposed primary supervisor for an informal discussion before applying. The proposed supervisor must be one of the following:

To apply, submit a completed research degree application online using the LSHTM application portal by the scholarship deadline of 23:59 (BST) on Sunday 15 May 2022.  

Applicants must confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria before contacting their proposed primary supervisor. When contacting their proposed supervisor, applicants are encouraged to write a short paragraph about their experience and research interests, including ideas for the PhD and explaining how these match the proposed supervisor’s expertise, and to provide a short CV.

Proposed primary supervisors may be able to comment on one draft proposal, or offer other suggestions to strengthen the application: applicants are therefore encouraged to get in touch at an early stage.

Applicants must only contact one proposed supervisor.

Applicants must ensure all information and standard required documents outlined on the LSHTM ‘before you apply’ page is included/uploaded with the application, including:

  • academic transcripts (official transcripts for all completed study; interim transcripts for any ongoing programmes of study);
  • a two-page Curriculum Vitae;
  • a research proposal (the research proposal should identify a specific research question or hypothesis, expanding on one of the topics listed on the website, summarise the relevant background information (with no more than five key references) and should outline an appropriate research methodology by which the question can be addressed); and
  • references.

In addition, applicants for this scholarship must upload the following documents:

  • A personal statement outlining why you are interested in, and suited to, undertaking a PhD in this area at LSHTM; and  
  • A writing sample (this may consist of your dissertation, an essay, a blog post or other piece of long-form writing and should be around 5,000-10,000 words long).

Applicants must indicate that they wish to apply for this funding by entering ‘2022-23 Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Studentship’ under the ‘Funding’ section on the application.

Incomplete applications will not be considered for this studentship. This includes any applications missing supporting/supplementary documents (eg transcripts or references) at the deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete and therefore applications should be submitted as early as possible to give referees time to submit their references prior to the deadline.

By submitting an application for this funding applicants agree to its Terms & Conditions.

All applications for this studentship will be held by the PHP Research Degree Office, and will only be reviewed and processed after the deadline. All applications that are submitted before the deadline will be considered equally, regardless of submission date.  

Applicants short-listed for funding will be invited for interview. Interviews will likely be held remotely (via Teams or Zoom).

The successful applicant will be notified of the outcome by the week beginning Monday 20 June 2022.