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Using data analytics to understand children’s food choice behaviour


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Tuesday 14 April 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Source of funding
Research council
Dr Hannah Ensaff
School of Food Science and Nutrition
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Understanding children&rsquo;s food choice behaviour is critical to addressing the high levels of childhood obesity in the UK and elsewhere. Automatically collected food choice data provide a high quality, and voluminous source for investigating dietary patterns and can reveal valuable insights to how food decisions are made. Some primary schools are beginning to utilise systems to register pupils&rsquo; food selections from lunchtime menus. This now affords a unique opportunity to explore these emerging datasets in order to understand their potential, and what they can reveal about children&rsquo;s food choice behaviour. This project will use food choice data across multiple schools and for full academic years. Food choice will be scrutinised with respect to available sociodemographic characteristics (such as school year group and free school meal entitlement), in order to investigate children&rsquo;s food choice patterns within a school food environment. This data-driven approach will look to inform food choice models and theory relating to children&rsquo;s food choice behaviour. There is scope to explore data-linkage to additional school-held pupil data (e.g. further student characteristics, attainment). In relation to this, logistical and other issues will be examined, in order to explore the possibilities of providing associative evidence of relationships between food choice and these student factors. Working in collaboration with an external partner, SchoolGrid, this interdisciplinary project will demonstrate the potential of food choice data in primary schools. The intention is that findings will have policy and practice implications, and directly inform the design and delivery of future interventions to change children&rsquo;s food choice behaviour, thereby contributing towards improvements in children&rsquo;s dietary health.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Please see the&nbsp;<a href="">Data Society &amp; Society</a> website for more information</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the planned course of study that you wish to apply for Integrated PhD Data Analytics and Society.&nbsp; In the research information section, please state&nbsp;the research project&nbsp;you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Using data analytics to understand children&rsquo;s food choice behaviour&rsquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Hannah Ensaff </a>as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>A standard studentship consists of academic fees paid at standard Research Council rates, a doctoral stipend and a Research Training Support Grant. The National Doctoral Stipend for&nbsp; 2020-2021 is &pound;15,285.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions</p> <p>E:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;or T: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Hannah Ensaff</p> <p>E:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;or T:&nbsp; +44 (0) 113 343 3418</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>
<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>