PhD Opportunity: A data analytic assessment of the health risks and impacts from wildfires

PhD Opportunity: A data analytic assessment of the health risks and impacts from wildfires
Supervisors: Professor Majid Ezzati (Imperial College London) and Professor Sandy Harrison (University of Reading)

We welcome applications for a funded 4-year PhD studentship to start in October 2022. This is an exciting opportunity for a motivated and ambitious student with a strong analytical background to conduct cutting-edge and high-impact interdisciplinary research on the health risks and impacts of wildfires.

Wildfires are increasing throughout the world and can affect human health through a number of routes. These include diseases caused by air pollution, injuries, disruption of healthcare and nutrition, and psychosocial impacts. The risk may also depend on individual and community socioeconomic status, quality of housing and local infrastructure.

The PhD research will apply methods from spatiotemporal statistics and machine learning to traditional (e.g., death registration and censuses) and emerging (e.g., remote sensing and street level imagery) data to understand the public health impacts of wildfires and their inequalities. Throughout this PhD, the student will develop expertise in analytical methods that will be applicable to studying the public health impacts of other environmental risks and extreme events, including those related to climate change.

The studentships will be based in the Global Environmental Health Research Group ( The group is internationally renowned for its work on spatiotemporal analysis of multi-dimensional health and environmental data. The group is highly interdisciplinary and the students will interact regularly with peers that have diverse backgrounds and specialisations There are also regular interactions with other parts of Imperial (e.g., Mathematics, Physics and Engineering) and at other leading global universities.

The student will also join a vibrant interdisciplinary research community in the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, which includes staff and PhD students and staff from Imperial College London, King’s College London, the University of Reading and Royal Holloway, University of London, with a common vision of producing evidence-based understanding of the human-fire nexus that can help inform policy and practice.

Applicants should have, or expect to receive, a first or upper second class degree or equivalent in physics, mathematics, engineering, population studies, mathematical ecology or related discipline, and have exceptional quantitative preparation.

The studentship is funded by the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society. The student will be funded at the UKRI London rate, £17,609 stipend per annum (including London allowance) paid for four years. The studentship will start in October 2022. It will cover UK fees for three years, and writing-up fees for the final year. There will be support funding for fieldwork and conference attendance.

The closing date for application is 15th Feb 2022 (23:59 GMT). Please download the application form and send it together with your CV to

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place in March.