PhD Studentship Anthropometric Assessments and Oral Health in Children in Plymouth

Full-time, 3 years

The Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry are seeking to attract PhD candidates of outstanding ability to join their exciting and rapidly expanding programme of internationally-rated research.

As part of our new developments i.e expanding the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry and our commitment to research excellence, applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates, 2:1 or above, for a PhD Studentship. International students must also have score of 7.0 or above (or equivalent qualification). 

It is recognised that nutritional status is important for child development and general health, and considerable literature shows that nutritional disorders, and both under and over nutrition, are major risk factors for numerous childhood diseases (Vavy 2009). In addition, a relationship between nutrition and dental decay has been postulated for more than a century (Moynihan 2005) but the affect size, or direction, have not yet been established (Kantovitz 2006). 

It is proposed that the incumbent of the post firstly reviews and meta-analyses the literature relating to childhood caries and adiposity, and then conducts an ecological study using extant data held by the local authority to investigate the relationship between dental caries experience of children living in Plymouth and their adiposity. Finally, it is envisaged that the doctoral student will conduct a survey of five year old children to record and compare their anthropometric indices to their oral health.

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Thus the issue to be investigated is whether, amongst children in Plymouth, there are high levels of dental caries, high levels of adiposity and whether the two variables are associated. 

The studentship would be suitable for graduates from dentistry, nursing, dietetics or psychology. Some experience of systematic reviewing and meta-analysis would be advantageous.

Closing date for applications: 30th September 2013
Start date: 1st January 2014

To apply for this studentship please download an application form from the Apply button below and return it with a statement outlining your reasons for wanting to pursue this course and details of any other achievements or experience that will support your application. Also send copies of your qualifications, transcripts, two academic references and c.v. to: pupsmd‑ or Bernice Wilmshurst, Senior Administrator (Research Degrees), Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry, The John Bull Building, Tamar Science Park , Plymouth PL6 8BU

Telephone 01752 437471 email:

For an informal discussion about the project, please contact: Professor Elizabeth Kay (

Funding Notes:
The stipend will be £13,726 (based on full time 13/14 rate). Tuition fees will be paid at the home/EU rate. Candidates from countries outside the European Union will be liable for the difference between ‘home student fees’ and ‘international student fees’. For the 13/14 academic year the difference in fee is £18,050. If you are selected you will be required to provide financial assurances.

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