Prospective PhD students

Funded PhD place available

Investigating Novel Systems Promoting Efficient Cluster-investigation and Outbreak Response

Geographic profiling (GP) is a statistical technique developed in criminology to identify likely candidates from large lists of suspects in cases of serial crime such as murder or rape. GP uses the spatial locations of crime sites to make inferences about the location of the offender’s home or workplace and is used by law enforcement agencies around the world. Recently, GP has been adapted to identify the geographical source of infectious disease outbreaks. This PhD will apply the technique to clusters of infections identified by DNA fingerprinting of isolates (analogous to clusters of crimes with the same offence profile). The work will focus on the exemplars of Legionnaires’ disease (usually due to poorly maintained cooling towers or other water systems) and tuberculosis (often centred around transmission “venues” such as pubs, clubs, crack houses or QAT houses). This is a truly cross-disciplinary project adapting techniques from criminology, geospatial investigation and infectious disease epidemiology to develop a practical tool for outbreak investigation. The project will be conducted with the HPA who are responsible for outbreak investigation and will be co-supervised by Dr Steve Le Comber who has pioneered this approach and Dr Andrew Hayward (co-director UCL Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology).

Funding Notes:

The Centre for Health service and Academic Partnership in Translational E-Health Research (CHAPTER) is looking to recruit to its 3-year doctoral training programme. Potential students must first discuss with the appropriate academic supervisors the project and obtain permission to apply.Students should hold or be completing a master’s qualification in an appropriate discipline and have a minimum of a 2:1 in their first degree.Overseas applicants who are self-funding or in receipt of a scholarship are also welcome to apply, but are requested to contact CHAPTER prior to submitting their application.

To apply:


Other PhD places

I welcome applications from externally funded PhD students, particularly in the field of geographic profiling and epidemiology. Applicants will be expected to have a strong mathematical background, and some facility for computer programming. Experience of GIS software would also be desirable.

Details of current PhD students in my lab can be found here. Information for self-funded PhD students can be found here. Other information relating to PhD study in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences can be found here.

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