Project code



Dental Academy

Start dates

October, February and April

Application deadline


This project is now closed. The details below are for information purposes only. Please see the Dental and Oral Health Postgraduate Research Degree page for further opportunities. 

This 3-year self-funded PhD will be based in the Dental Academy, and will be supervised by Dr Kristina Wanyonyi.

The work will involve:

  • designing a simple, effective routine measure, that captures variation in sugar promoting environments
  • understanding its importance for oral health in children
  • capture variations locally, where there are pockets of high deprivation and poor oral health, and nationally
  • use and enhance local data sources on oral health inequalities
  • develop and compare new ways of defining sugar promoting environments

Oral diseases are preventable, but some of the most common illnesses globally. There's an emerging debate on the availability of sugary food, and how this impacts health.

Surveys in the UK reveal socio-spatial and socio-economic inequalities in oral health, and while there are many health promotion activities in local areas aimed at individuals, the environmental determinants of oral health are rarely targeted.

On this self-funded PhD programme, you'll investigate the nature and variation in sugar-promoting environments, and their impact on inequalities in oral health. You'll design a simple routine measure that captures variation in these environments, and understand its importance for childhood oral health.

The results of this study will inform the future direction of public health interventions to tackle oral diseases and reduce inequalities locally and nationally.

This will help us to understand the relative contribution made to oral health by individual, neighbourhood and collective factors. The study will help promote a wider debate to include retail planning and legislation, similar to the debates surrounding alcohol and tobacco.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

  • A good first degree from an internationally recognised university (depending on the course, minimum second class or equivalent) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject
  • Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
  • All applicants are subject to interview

How to Apply

Please contact Dr Kristina Wanyonyi ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Health Sciences and Social Work’ as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

Please note, to be considered for this self-funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code UPDA4900219 when applying.