Horizon Europe Phd Scholarship Opportunity

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The Department of Economics, Cork University Business School (CUBS) in University College Cork (UCC) invites motivated and talented graduates with outstanding academic records to apply for a Horizon Europe PhD funded position for a project entitled on micronutrient malnutrition in Europe. The supervisory team includes Dr Brendan McElroy UCC and Dr Lee-Ann Burke, UCC.

Project Synopsis

Micronutrient deficiencies, known as ‘hidden hunger,’ present a significant economic challenge both globally and in Europe, where the WHO estimates that they affect 70% of the populationComprehensive economic data are crucial for informed discussions and for developing effective, safe, and sustainable mitigation strategies. Mitigation strategies will apply across the entire European population, and to nutritionally vulnerable sub-groups affected by life stages, social inequality, exclusion or poverty.

Specifically, this PhD will address three research questions:

1: How do micronutrient deficiencies currently impact economic productivity and healthcare costs across Europe: A Systematic Review

A systematic review of the literature will identify the current knowledge gaps in estimating the healthcare costs and productivity effects of MN deficiencies. The published literature will be reviewed, and relevant datasets identified and reviewed. As well as the cost of illness approach to the valuation of economic burden, the value of Health-Adjusted Life Years (HALYs) will be reviewed.

2. What are the estimated healthcare costs and income losses from micronutrient deficiency in Europe?

To estimate the cost of MN deficiency, the systematic review of the burden of disease from research question objective (1) will be expressed in clinical code (ICD-10) categories. This will allow us to use the OECD (2019) to estimate healthcare expenditure.  Methods for calculating income losses will follow the work of Blakeley et al. (2021). To model the high degree of uncertainty in the costing, a decision analytical model will be applied (Briggs et al., 2006)

3What is the cost-effectiveness of proposed micronutrient strategies for the European population?

An economic evaluation will compare the costs and health outcomes of alternative dietary strategies proposed to reduce micronutrient deficiencies for the total European population. The framework outlined in Drummond et al. (2014) will be implemented, including a detailed description of all dietary strategies proposed and the identification, measurement, and valuation of all relevant costs and health outcomes of each dietary strategy.


The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated with an ability to work independently and be willing to undertake recommended coursework. Strong quantitative skills and good communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential requirements. Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) and ideally hold an M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Economics, Epidemiology or related). Please see the following link for English Language requirements:


Responsibilities and Duties

• To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of the supervisory team.

• To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the supervisory team, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.

• To engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which you are engaged, as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of the supervisory team.

• To become familiar with the extant literatures and publication process.

 To acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision).

• To engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the research group, School or College.

• To carry out administrative work to support the programme of research.

• To carry out additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

The PhD student will be based in the Department of Economics, Cork University Business School, University College Cork, Ireland. Cork University Business School is committed to providing a dynamic and supportive learning and research environment, which recognises the diverse backgrounds and interests of both students and staff. In line with this, the successful applicant will be provided with a supportive supervisory team and will be provided with learning and networking opportunities to attain the highest standards of academic excellence.


The Ph.D. position is funded by Horizon Europe. The student will be required to undertake coursework as part of the UCC Structured PhD programme.

The scholarship funding includes a stipend with a value of €25,000 per annum. The PhD position is tenable for 3 years.

Further Information/Applications

For informal discussion of any aspect of the studentship please contact either of the following:

Dr Brendan McElroy, Department of Economics, University College Cork, Cork

Email: b.mcelroy@ucc.ie

Dr Lee-Ann Burke, Department of Economics, University College Cork, Cork

Email: la.burke@ucc.ie

Application Procedure

Candidates should firstly submit an electronic copy of your Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to Dr Brendan McElroy (b.mcelroy@ucc.ie) and Dr Lee-Ann Burke (la.burke@ucc.ie) for shortlisting. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited for an online interview.

Applicants who have not been successful but who have received a positive evaluation will be put on a waiting list to cover possible withdrawals and future positions.

Closing date Monday 29th April 2024.

About Cork University Business School (CUBS)

Cork University Business School (CUBS), UCC is Ireland’s largest business school, we produce 1,000 graduates annually, many of whom go on to reach the highest echelons of organisations across the world and create real world impact. Adopting a research led and practice informed approach, CUBS offers a high-quality student learning environment that delivers talent pipelines to transform the future of organisations regionally, nationally and internationally.


With a proud heritage dating back over a century, business education in UCC is undergoing a rebirth since our unprecedented investment in 16 new professors to launch the business school in 2015. Committed to lifelong learning and building on our successful, AMBA accredited, Executive MBA, we acquired the FT ranked Irish Management Institute in 2016, Ireland’s largest provider of executive education, strengthening UCC’s position as a provider of whole-life learning, development, and education.

Leading on our theme “Shaping leaders for a sustainable future”, CUBS offers a fresh and bold ambition to be globally recognised for attracting, nurturing and channeling diverse talent to deliver sustainable, productive organisations which contribute positively to societal health and well-being. Seeking to attract and develop the best globally, we continually strive to offer a world-class faculty that will build our academic excellence while also reinforcing our relevance by engaging in cutting-edge research. Indicative of our bold ambition to provide a world-class educational experience, we are investing in our new business campus in Cork city centre.

Our focus is on positively shaping the world in which we live to serve future generations and transform the future of business and society. This stems from the values and skills we seek to impart in our students and the innovative research undertaken. With UCC ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide we have ambitions to become a Triple Crown Accredited Business School, currently a ‘club’ of less than 100 schools. With highly ambitious staff and students, CUBS seeks to take its place among the leading business schools of the world. In sum, we seek to make a positive difference in individuals, business and society


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