Understanding Inequalities & Interconnections in Health and Social Care

University of Sheffield

Understanding Inequalities & Interconnections in Health and Social Care
Information School
PhD Research Project Competition Funded Students Worldwide
 Dr P Bath
Application Deadline: 10 April 2023


Project Partner: The Health Foundation

Primary Supervisor: Peter Bath (email: [email protected]; webpage here

Academic Supervisors: Dan Holman, Matt Bennett

Research Themes: Social care, Health & wellbeing, Social Inequality, Geography and Spatial Analysis 

Project description:

This studentship offers an outstanding opportunity to work with the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to improving health and care in the UK, to understand inequalities and help improve the health and social care systems in the UK. 

Compared to other sectors such as health and education, data infrastructure and analytical capacity in social care lags behind. Following the COVID pandemic and the ongoing crisis in the NHS, there is an urgent need for improving the evidence base on social care to inform decisions by providers and policy-makers, and ultimately improve outcomes for the millions of people who receive social care services.   

The successful student will use person-level data from integrated administrative systems including health and social care information to explore timely and policy-relevant research questions relating to inequalities in access to care, care quality, experience or health outcomes between population groups, and inequalities between different population groups (e.g. geographical, deprivation, ethnicity, multimorbidity). The research will inform national policy debates and deepen public understanding of the interconnections between health and social care, and demonstrate the value of data for care planning and improvement to local and national audiences.  

Based in the ESRC Centre for Care, University of Sheffield, the successful student will join other researchers studying the social care systems and landscape, and benefit from an exceptional research environment; multidisciplinary supervision; opportunities to engage with non-academic partners across the care sector; and extensive development opportunities for early career scholars.

This project would be well suited to a prospective PhD student with solid data analysis skills and a strong interest in health and social care and evidence-informed policy-making. Experience analysing administrative data sources and an interest in engaging patients and the public would be an advantage.

Entry requirements


  • 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject area

English language requirements (for international/EU candidates)

You have must have one or more of the following:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – 7 overall, 7 writing, 6 other sections
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Internet based test – 100 overall, 25 writing, 22 other sections
  • A degree in any subject completed in the English language from a majority English speaking country may also be acceptable – please check here https://www.leeds.ac.uk/admissions-qualifications for the country where you completed your degree.


A standard studentship covers the cost of tuition fees, provides a doctoral stipend of £16,062, ( 2022 rate- to increase slightly each year with inflation), and a Research Training Support Grant, for four years. Applications will be open to both Home and International fee rated applicants.

Study mode

Options to study part-time are available, if you wish to study part-time please indicate this when you apply. If selected for interview, the project supervisor will discuss options with you.

This studentship is part of the Data Analytics and Society CDT. Applications should be made through the University of Leeds portal. More information is available here.

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