Healthy green schools: investigating the actions and policies that schools can take to develop healthy and environmentally aware young people
The rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and climate change, are two of the critical challenges facing humanity (General Assembly of the United Nations, 2011, The Academy of Medical Sciences, 2016). Novel approaches such as ‘ecological public health’ (Rayner and Lang, 2012) and ‘planetary health’ (https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/our-work/initiatives/planetary-health/) emphasise the complex interactions between health and the environment. These approaches recognise that interventions to prevent NCDs could help mitigate climate change and vice versa.
The University of Exeter Medical School is seeking to attract PhD candidates of outstanding ability to undertake this exciting and innovative mixed methods project. The student will become part of the internationally recognised, highly interdisciplinary European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Truro, Cornwall.
As the 21st century progresses we need people to be healthier and environmentally aware. For many decades schools have played an important role in health, and currently Ofsted are developing methods to inspect school food environments. At the same time many schools also teach children about climate change and maybe even use renewable energy, have sustainable buildings or promote environmentally aware behaviours (e.g. Unicef’s Climate change and environmental education https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/CFS_Climate_E_web.pdf and The Ocean’s Academy http://oceans.digitalexplorer.com/about/), however, these are not currently co-ordinated in anyway. Therefore, the purpose of this PhD is to explore what motivates schools to adopt ‘green’ policies or actions, whether the health co-benefits are considered, and to explore with education providers how best they would like to be supported with these actions and policies.
The studentship will employ both qualitative (e.g. interviews and focus groups) and quantitate (e.g. survey and data analysis) methods. However, the candidate need only have experience in one of these areas, instruction will be provided to develop skills in in the other. Candidates with experience or strong interest in public and stakeholder engagement, and knowledge exchange are desirable as these are important aspects of the PhD. The specific aims and methods are negotiable and candidates who are invited to interview will be encouraged to discuss their own ideas.
Lead supervisor: Dr Andrew James Williams
Interview date: Tuesday 4th April 2017
Applicants should be highly motivated and have either a first or upper-second class BSc (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline and ideally have, or expect to obtain, a master’s degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent experience. International applicants must also have IELTS [International English Language Testing System] score of 7 and above (or equivalent qualification). The candidate should have experience in either qualitative or quantitative methods and have a strong interest in developing mixed methods skills.
The studentship will be fully-funded for UK/EU students, including a stipend of £14,296 per annum (based on the full-time 16/17 rate). Tuition fees will be paid at the UK/EU rate. Candidates from countries outside the European Union will be liable for the difference between ‘home student fees’ and ‘international student fees’ which was just over £14,000 in 15/16 but is likely to increase slightly each year. Non-EU students who wish to be considered must confirm their ability to pay the international portion of the fee (please View Website). If selected, financial assurances will be required.