Research Degree Studentship to Participate in Study of Rural Sanitation in Orissa India

The Environmental Health Group at LSHTM is undertaking a three-year randomized, controlled trial in Orissa, India to investigate the impact of improved rural sanitation on diarrhoeal disease and helminth infection. The grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation includes three years of funding for a PhD studentship at LSHTM to participate and support various aspects of the study, including design and data analysis. A principal focus of the studentship will be to investigate the use of previously installed latrines, assess the impact of sub-optimal latrine use on exposure to faecal pathogens and improve methods for assessing latrine use. While the student will develop the actual research plan, it is envisioned that the work will involve a cross-sectional study in Orissa to assess the extent to which latrines installed during the past five years have been fully adopted by householders. In addition, the researcher will undertake a trial of a “smart” technology for assessing latrine use and compare this with more conventional approaches.

The studentship is available immediately. After an initial orientation of several months in London, the study will be expected to live and work in Orissa for 18 months to conduct fieldwork and support the work of other investigators. During this time, the student will be based with other team members at our facilities located on the campus of Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar.

The successful candidate will be fluent in English, have an exceptional educational record, and have earned a masters degree in public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, economics or social science, in each case with a strong quantitative component. Demonstrated capacity in statistical analysis is required. Prior experience in field research in India and fluency in Oriya is preferred. Indian nationals and others committed to work long-term in India are particularly encouraged to apply. Candidate must meet all other admission requirements for research degree students at LSHTM.

The studentship covers three years school fees at LSHTM, research costs, a stipend for subsistence, and regular travel between London and Bhubaneswar. Interested candidates should email a CV and cover letter with any additional details to the Principal Investigator of the study, Dr. Thomas Clasen (

This is an exceptional opportunity to join one of the leading research groups worldwide in water, sanitation and hygiene and to be part of an expanding regional research centre in South Asia for LSHTM and its partners in India.

Website :
Supervisor: Thomas Clasen, JD, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Environmental Health Group

Attachment: Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious & Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT
Applications and information:
Closing date: applications will be accepted until the studentship is filled

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