Home Mental Health & Well-Being 3 Funded PhD Studentships in Biomedicine, Self and Society: University of Edinburgh

3 Funded PhD Studentships in Biomedicine, Self and Society: University of Edinburgh

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The Biomedicine, Self, and Society research programme, funded by the Wellcome Trust, brings together social science, law, and humanities researchers from across the University. We aim to develop innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to exploring the issues, challenges, and questions raised by biomedicine, biotechnology, and healthcare in today’s society. Details of the Centre are available here.

Project areas

We are delighted to offer, as part of the University’s investment in this programme of work, three fully-funded PhD studentships to begin in September 2018 within the Usher Institute. Students will be enrolled on the PhD in Population Health Sciences and supported to develop their own research project within one of the following broad areas:

  1. The social life of (bio)technologies in sexual and reproductive health: How do emerging (bio)technologies in sexual and reproductive health shape, redefine, or disrupt existing health practices in a global context? What role do these technologies play in shaping illness, bodies, identities, communities, and inequalities; and what are the implications for embodied experiences of health (paying particular attention to gender, sexuality, race, disability, class, or migration)?  How have communities demanded, taken up, used or modified such technologies?  This PhD will draw on social science theory and methods to engage with some of these questions. Principal supervisor: Dr Ingrid Young (ingrid.young@ed.ac.uk).
  2. Ethics of emerging biotechnologies: Project proposals are welcome on a range of topics examining ethical, social and policy dimensions of biotechnology and new modes of biomedicine. Examples include ethics of gene editing; stem cells and regenerative medicine; reproductive technologies; experimental therapies; health and genomic data research; and animal biotechnologies. Principal supervisor: Dr Sarah Chan (sarah.chan@ed.ac.uk).
  3. New public roles in healthcare governance: developments in biomedicine and continued policies of austerity in high-income contexts create new dilemmas for the governance of contemporary healthcare. Proposed empirical social science projects might look at the roles created for, created by, and taken up by members of the public in particular decisions about healthcare change, or at public perceptions of new developments in healthcare.  Principal supervisor: Dr Ellen Stewart (e.stewart@ed.ac.uk).

Each student will have a second supervisor and be fully supported in their career and skills development.


We welcome applications from candidates who have a good first degree, and preferably a Masters (or who are studying towards one) in either ethics or a social science discipline.

Applicants must meet the entry requirements for acceptance to the University of Edinburgh PhD programme.

Further details are available here


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