Our response to COVID-19

SPHR / ARC studentship hosted at Northumbria University

An examination of the impacts of local authority initiatives to deal with crisis, with a particular focus on marginalisation and intersectionality

Ongoing research funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) is highlighting the key inequality dimensions in five case study sites in the UK. One of these is Gateshead, where key concerns are gender inequalities and mental health issues. The management of the Covid crisis is likely to impact on such pre-existing issues in ways that are as yet ill understood, potentially leading to further marginalisation of certain groups and deepening of inequalities.

This studentship offers an opportunity to undertake novel research that fills this important gap, and that will have national and international relevance. The project will explore how local responses to a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, because of its inevitable singular focus on the emergency, has the potential to override deeper seated and longer standing health and inequalities issues. The crisis management has led to the implementation of an unprecedented range of measures to reduce spread and minimise the impact of the pandemic. Preventative measures such as social distancing, restriction of movement, closure of schools, reductions in services, and closure of businesses have had considerable impact on the day to day lives of communities and individuals. Research from previous outbreaks suggests that the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly, disabled, people living with chronic illness, and those living in deprivation are disproportionately affected, both by the disease and by responses to it.

The studentship will investigate how short term responses to a crisis such as Covid-19 impact on people’s experiences of marginalisation (with particular attention to mental health) in relation to intersectionality. Thus it will shed light on the ways in which different kinds of inequalities shape people’s experiences of prior enduring issues, such as mental health, in times of crisis, and how this is impacted on by local strategies to deal with the crisis.

NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) North East North Cumbria and the NIHR SPHR invite applications for this jointly-funded 3-year PhD studentship.

This collaborative initiative will allow unparalleled access to leading applied and public health supervisors, channels for dissemination of research, participation in bespoke training, and a strong network and community of graduate students and researchers.


  • Deadline for applications: 3 August 2020
  • Interviews: mid August
  • Start Date: 1 October 2020

Any informal enquiries to Dr Monique Lhussier (monique.lhussier@northumbria.ac.uk), Ref: ARC20/HLS/NMH/LHUSSIER.

Last modified: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:16:52 BST