2023-24 Bloomsbury Colleges PhD Studentship - Project 2

Project 2 – Examining the role of climate change in the transmission of enteric pathogens in a low-resource neighbourhoods of Maputo, Mozambique.

The Bloomsbury Colleges group was set up in 2004 and consists of five institutions: Birkbeck, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and the UCL Institute of Education (UCL–IOE). These studentships were set up to increase collaboration and interdisciplinary research opportunities across the colleges.

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship, to start in the academic year 2023-24 based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) as the lead institution.


The studentship will provide:

for the duration of the award.

Project details

For details of studentships available at other Bloomsbury colleges but in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, please see the Bloomsbury Colleges website. Please apply directly to the lead institution only.

Project 2: Examining the role of climate change in the transmission of enteric pathogens in a low-resource neighbourhoods of Maputo, Mozambique.

Supervisory Team

Principal Supervisor: Jacqueline Knee (LSHTM)

Co-Supervisor: Aideen Foley (Birkbeck)

Co-Supervisor: Oliver Cumming (LSHTM)

Project Description

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to global public health in the 21st century, with increases in temperature and the frequency and intensity of flooding, droughts, and severe storms likely to increase the global burden of infectious disease, including diarrhoea. Vulnerability to climate change is likely to be highest in low- and middle-income countries, including in cities like Maputo, Mozambique that must also address urgent challenges like rapid urbanisation, lack of adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, and high disease burden2. In such urban contexts, these challenges can put pressure on existing sanitation systems, increasing the risk of pathogen exposure and disease3.

The aim of this PhD will be to characterise present and future enteric pathogen exposure and diarrhoeal disease risks associated with flooding events in Maputo, Mozambique. The specific objectives include:

To assess the relationship between rainfall, reported flooding, and enteric pathogen exposure and reported diarrhoea between 2015 – 2023 in Maputo, Mozambique To predict risk of enteric pathogen exposure in Maputo, Mozambique due to flooding under several future climate and population growth scenarios. To describe perceptions of risk, opportunities, and challenges related to climate change, sanitation, disease, and their interplay among community members and organisers, sanitation workers, and government officials in Maputo.

Deadline for applications

The deadline for applications is 23:59 (GMT) on Thursday 2 March 2023.

Further details about the project may be obtained from:

This work will help to fill a critical evidence gap for how flooding influences infectious disease risk in low-resource coastal cities like Maputo which are threatened by the dual challenges of climate change and rapid, often informal, urban population growth.

The successful applicant will join the Environmental Health Group (EHG) at LSHTM, a group of 30 academics with expertise in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The student will be co-advised by a member of the Environment, Landscape and Climate Change Research Cluster in the Department of Geography at Birkbeck which has a strong focus on effective adaptation to future climate change.

Subject areas/keywords

Enteric pathogens, climate change, environmental transmission, modelling

Key references

  • Levy K, Woster AP, Goldstein RS, et al. Untangling the Impacts of Climate Change on Waterborne Diseases: a Systematic Review of Relationships between Diarrheal Diseases and Temperature, Rainfall, Flooding, and Drought. Environmental Science & Technology 2016 doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06186
  • Knee, J., Sumner, T., Adriano, Z., Anderson, C., Bush, F., Capone, D., ... & Brown, J. (2021). Effects of an urban sanitation intervention on childhood enteric infection and diarrhea in Maputo, Mozambique: a controlled before-and-after trial. Elife10, e62278.
  • Howard G, Calow R, Macdonald A, et al. Climate Change and Water and Sanitation: Likely Impacts and Emerging Trends for Action. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 2016;41:253-76. doi: 10.1146/annurev-environ-110615-085856
  • Hyde-Smith, L., Zhan, Z., Roelich, K., Mdee, A., & Evans, B. (2022). Climate Change Impacts on Urban Sanitation: A Systematic Review and Failure Mode Analysis. Environmental science & technology56(9), 5306-5321.


Applicants must meet minimum LSHTM entry requirements. Please see the specific project details above for any further requirements.

This studentship is open to applicants assessed as both ‘Home’ and ‘Overseas’ fee status.  For further information about Fee Status Assessments please see the School’s Admissions policies.

Successful applicants who are nationals of low income countries and lower middle income countries (LLMICs) may be eligible for an LSHTM bursary to cover the fee top up costs. LLMIC applicants who are short-listed for interview, will be contacted by the LSHTM Scholarships Team at that time to provide further details of the LSHTM bursary scheme as per our UKRI international recruitment statement.  

Successful international applicants who are not from an LLMIC will be required to cover the tuition fee top up costs from other sources (e.g. other scholarship or bursary awards). Awardees may not use their Bloomsbury studentship stipend to top up fees. 

To apply

Information about the MPhil/PhD programme structure at LSHTM, as well as application guidance and a link to the portal, can be found on the School’s Research Degrees and Doctoral College pages.

To apply for this studentship, applicants should submit an application for research degree study via the LSHTM application portal. The applicant should apply via the Faculty of the Primary Supervisor for their proposed project. ‘2023-24 Bloomsbury PhD Studentship’ must be selected in the Funding Section on the application. Students should submit a research proposal based on the advertisement for this project.

Incomplete applications will not be considered for this studentship.

Applications for this project 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.  

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


The application deadline for this project is 23:59 (GMT) on Thursday 2 March 2023.