PhD opportunity

THE INTERNATIONAL DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN GLOBAL HEALTH, HUMANITARIAN AID AND DISASTER MEDICINE

The International Doctoral Program in Global Health, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Medicine is an interdisciplinary and intersectoral PhD designed and offered by the University of Piemonte Orientale (UPO), through the Center for Research and Training in Disaster Medicine, Humanitarian Aid and Global Health (CRIMEDIM).

This is a unique opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary and international way, building on your knowledge, skills, interest, and passion to carry out innovative research on global health, humanitarian aid or disaster medicine with mentorship from expert faculty.

Next round of applications will open in June 2022

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Program Start: 1 November 2021 Program Length: 3 years

PhD candidates will perform their research activities in CRIMEDIM headquarters in Novara (Italy) or within other UPO departments or laboratories, in strong cooperation with a young and motivated team of junior and senior researchers and PhD fellows.

Applicants are encouraged to develop a research proposal adhering to one of the following topics:

Chemistry/CBRN
Development of multifunctional solids for the protection, detection and decontamination from hazardous CBRN agents during disasters and armed conflicts
Objectives

Development of innovative materials for the in situ detection of chemical and/or biological hazardous agents and their decontamination and abatement with environmentally-sustainable approaches in disasters and conflict settings. The materials should also find applications in personal protective equipment suits for professionals, first responders and humanitarian workers working in potentially CBRN contaminated environments.

Supervisors

C. Bisio, F. Carniato, M. Guidotti

IT/engineering
Advanced Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Clinical Guidelines in Disasters and Humanitarian Contexts: Theory and Applications
Objectives

The project aims at developing artificial intelligence methodologies to support the management of clinical guidelines in disasters and humanitarian settings. Applications include (support to) medical decision making, mass casualty triage, treatment of patients with disaster or conflict-related injuries, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and training of first responders and humanitarian workers.

Supervisors

P. Terenziani, A. Bottrighi, L. Piovesan

Epidemiology/Forensic Medicine
Epidemiological, legal, clinical and forensic aspects in the management of violence against migrants
Objectives

As for the legal and health (clinical and forensic) management of migrants there is a lack of common guideline, one of the main goals of the project is the formulation of recommendations / guidelines to be adopted by the countries most affected by the phenomenon of migration. Discrimination, gender inequalities and exclusion from health, legal and social services emerge as negative health influences for migrants

Supervisors

S. Gino, P. Castagna, A. Fantauzzi

Biology/Forensic Medicine
SNP polymorphisms as a potential tool for personal identification in mass disasters and in cold cases
Objectives

The proposed project aims to evaluate the usefulness of a panel of 980 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology in an attempt to determine the phenotypic peculiarities and the geographical origin of the individual to whom evidence found at the crime scene or corpse remains found in a mass disaster belong.

Supervisors

S. Gino, L. Salvaderi, P. Linarello

Humanities/Literature
Narrative patterns in contemporary nonfiction about disasters and conflicts
Objectives

The project aims at identifying the characteristic features of nonfiction literary genre about disasters and conflicts, mainly in terms of linguistic and expressive means, by focusing on a corpus of texts concerning events which have occurred in the last decades. The research also accounts for the similarities with the language used in the communication and perception of the current COVID-19 pandemic

Supervisors

S. Sini, M. Loddo

Disaster Medicine
The future of mass casualty triage
Objectives

The project aims at thinking about the future tools of emergency medical response in disasters and humanitarian crises. Such efforts revolve around the question of how triage can be upgraded, what needs to be optimized during pre-hospital life support, how civilian and military tactiques may enhance damage control, how operational situational awareness and sense-making can be augmented and whether by truly unlocking collaboration among different discipline responding can be efficient and effective.

Supervisors

L. Ragazzoni, F. Della Corte

Humanitarian Aid/pre-hospital medicine
Developing a sustainable prehospital emergency medical service in low-resource countries
Objectives

Following the World Health Organization (WHO) call for universal access to emergency care, this project aims at developing a model to support governments of low-resource countries in the implementation of sustainable, cost-effective and integrated prehospital emergency medical services (EMS). The research attempts also to provide evidence based recommendation and guidelines for EMS performance monitoring in context of resource scarcity.

Supervisors

F. Barone Adesi, M. Caviglia

Global Health/Sociology
Towards implementation of the Health EDRM framework: mapping vulnerable populations and building capacities for disaster preparedness
Objectives

The project aim is to conduct a bottom-up study of how vulnerable populations access the healthcare system. Research tasks will likely encompass: mapping of NGOs/programs that serve vulnerable groups (migrants, minorities, individuals with disabilities, etc.), assessment of vulnerable communities´ needs in relation to current disaster preparedness measures, an exploration of opportunities for strengthening community preparedness, and the development of evaluation tools to measure how well the healthcare system serves vulnerable groups.

Supervisors

A. Lamberti-Castronuovo, M. Valente

Global Health/Law
The legal nature and the effectiveness of the Health-EDRM Framework: defining obligations and assessing implementation at the national level
Objectives

The project aims at analyzing in a legal perspective the nature of the Health-EDRM Framework and its impact in defining the obligations related to health emergencies and risk reduction management. The focus is firstly on the role of the framework in establishing duties or in guiding the application of existing obligations. Secondly, the project will aim at assessing the implementation of the framework at the national level, in order to identify gaps and inconsistencies and to put forward solutions - both from the legal and the operational perspective - that might contribute to an evolution of risk management capabilities.

Supervisors

S. Saluzzo

Applicants can also propose an original research proposal not adhering to the mentioned topics, but focusing one the following themes:

Humanitarianism and humanitarian assistance
Emergency public health
Disaster risk reduction, disaster management and global resilience
Health and medicine in natural and technological disasters, humanitarian crises and conflicts, migration and displacement
Health systems management in low-resource environments
Ethical and legal aspects in disasters and humanitarian crises

PhD students will attend an induction course in Novara (February 2022) in which basic and advanced research skills will be taught. Students will then follow the route of their research proposal with the supervision of CRIMEDIM senior researchers.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND ADMISSION

Admission to the Doctoral Program is highly competitive: a maximum of 5 students will be accepted for the 2021-2024 course, of which 4 with scholarship and 1 without. Applicants must possess a very good academic record, previous research experience, and a keen interest in global health, humanitarian aid and/or disaster medicine research.

The minimum academic requirement for admission as a PhD student is to hold a Master’s degree. Candidates who did not graduate in an English-speaking country must provide evidence of their proficiency in English, which will be tested during the oral interview.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FUNDING

UPO offers 4 scholarships of

€ 1.132
per
month

awarded to the first 4 candidates who received the highest score in the selection process.

Fees

212

per year as a tuition fee
140

per year for the regional education tax (EDISU)

Candidates who do not receive a scholarship will be exempt from the payment of the tuition fee (212 €)

HOW TO APPLY

The next call for applicants will open in June 2022.

01
Cover letter including a personal statement about your motivation and interest in a specific field of research, including prior experience in research and/or fieldwork related
02
Curriculum Vitae
03
Scientific publications
04
Reference letter
05
Research Proposal
(click here to download the form)
The research proposal must necessarily be in English. Proposals in any other languages will not be considered
06
Copy of your academic degrees and transcripts in English or in Italian
07
Copy of passport or ID

The selection committee will select candidates with a two-step process:

Evaluation of the Curriculum

(Curriculum vitae, academic records, scientific publications and recorded experience and pertinence of the research proposal presented (max 30 points, min 15 points);

Oral Interview

Discussion of the research proposal, motivation, and interest (max 70 points, min 45 points).

Candidates who succeed the two-step evaluation procedure will register at UPO during the first half of November 2021. Foreign students will be asked to provide an official declaration of conformity of their academic titles (Diploma Supplement issued by the University, declaration of value issued by the Embassy, or Declaration of Comparability issued by CIMEA).

PROGRAM TIMELINE

Watch the video of the induction course of the first edition of the Doctoral Program.

Do you want to know more about courses?
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