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Newcastle University PhD Studentship Opportunity

Exploring opportunities to improve the food and drink environment in UK secondary schools - Application Closing date 21 April 2021.

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Are you interested in improving children’s diets? This exciting PhD will help develop the evidence-base on potential interventions in secondary schools to improve students food and drink choices, and, influence practice and policy.

Children do not consume enough fruit or vegetables but consume too much saturated fat and sugar. Individual, social, environmental and policy all influence what we eat. The Covid-19 pandemic has re-highlighted societal inequalities, including for children. The school environment can play a significant role in addressing some of these inequalities.

Over 3 million children attend a secondary school in England for 190 d/year. Each year, a group of students transition from primary to secondary school leading to more independence in food and drink choices due to different school food environments and the opportunity to influence food and drink choices of large numbers of children. Although there are food-based standards that apply across the whole school day in secondary schools there is little research beyond the lunch period.

Under the Prevention, Early Intervention and Behaviour Change theme of the NENC ARC, this PhD will enable the candidate to develop key research questions exploring opportunities to improve food and drink choices in secondary school students. The candidate will have the opportunity to (i) develop independent thinking, (ii) refine the research question(s) and review the literature (iii) consider data collection methods for student food and drink choices and (iv) use theory and qualitative methods to explore co-designing an intervention with stakeholders. In addition, this PhD provides opportunities to:

  • work collaboratively
  • undertake post graduate training
  • disseminate findings
  • engage with NIHR ARC North East and Cumbria and Fuse Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.


For more information