Respiratory Health and Global Governance

Funded PhD studentship

This PhD studentship will join the growing multidisciplinary NIHR Global Health Research Unit RESPIRE (directed by Prof. Aziz Sheikh and Prof Harry Campbell) and the Global Health Governance Programme (directed by Prof. Devi Sridhar) to examine respiratory health interventions in Asia, specifically Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Malaysia.

Aims & Objectives 

The study will adopt a global governance perspective to address key questions for RESPIRE’s work, including: 

  1. How are health systems in the study countries structured, and how do these respond to respiratory conditions across the life course?

  2. What changes would need to be made to health systems to incorporate the evidence on interventions coming out of RESPIRE projects, what would these changes cost, and who would pay for them?

  3. What is the role of donors and international organisations in each of these countries, and what evidence are they demanding to tailor their financing packages and operations towards the interventions highlighted by RESPIRE. The research will enable RESPIRE to properly interpret its research findings and consider their applicability in these, and other, Asian country settings and make plans for the scale-up of promising interventions.                                                                  


This project will rely heavily on primary sources from Ministries of Health and Finance, the World Bank, the World Health Organization and other key donors, and relevant secondary sources. A mixed-methods approach will be used including interviews, ethnography, and the analysis of quantitative data on financing as well as primary documents (e.g. meeting transcripts, meeting agendas).


Informal enquiries to: Lead Supervisor Professor Devi Sridhar, Usher Institute, and to co-supervisor Dr. Mark Hellowell, School of Social and Political Sciences,

More details about studying for a PhD at University of Edinburgh can be found at

We welcome applicants from women and other underrepresented groups.


  • Applicants should have obtained 2:1 or higher in relevant undergraduate degree.  

  • Post-graduate degree, or its equivalent if outside the UK, in relevant field is essential with high marks on the dissertation component.

  • Willingness to travel across the world including fieldwork in low income settings

  • Willingness to work in a collaborative manner and work closely within a dynamic team

  • Applicants must meet the entry requirements (including English language proficiency) for acceptance onto the University of Edinburgh Usher Institute 3-year PhD programme in Population Health Sciences. Details at:


The studentship covers UK/EU fees for the PhD degree and a stipend.

Application procedure

Please provide

  • CV

  • Personal statement indicating how you meet the criteria for this studentship, your motivation for pursuing a PhD in population health sciences at the University of Edinburgh, and your research interest in respiratory health and governance in these 4 countries (max 2 A4 pages).

  • Marks for your degree(s) including for the dissertation component

  • Writing sample (maximum 4 A4 pages from masters dissertation)

  • Contact details of two academic references

Email to:

Interviews will be held in Edinburgh (interviews may be conducted by videoconference or Skype).

The studentship will ideally begin in September 2019.

Closing date for applications is 5pm 10 June 2019