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Investigating the Impact of Extreme Heat on Maternal and Neonatal Health in India


Dr Gabriel Jones

Dr Manu Vatish

Aris Papageorghiou

Fadil Hannan

Second Supervisors:

Jane Hirst (Imperial College London), Basky Thilaganathan (St George’s London)


We invite applications for a funded DPhil project focusing on the critical global health issue of climate change and its profound impact on maternal and neonatal health. This project, titled "Effects of Extreme Heat on Pregnant and Lactating Women and Their Offspring in India," is designed to attract candidates with a keen interest in global women's health and data science. It presents a unique opportunity to contribute to a field of growing importance and urgency.

The consequences of climate change, including extreme weather events, pose significant threats to vulnerable populations, particularly pregnant women and their offspring. This project aims to examine the effects of excessive heat exposure on maternal and fetal health in India, a region experiencing severe heat waves. Through an innovative approach integrating over 300,000 fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring traces and a subset of clinical information with climate data, candidates will explore the relationship between environmental heat exposure and pregnancy outcomes. The project leverages established algorithms and expertise in FHR monitoring and global health, providing an exciting opportunity to delve into a vital area of maternal and neonatal health research.

This research will employ a combination of algorithmic FHR evaluation and climate data processing, followed by robust statistical and machine learning modelling. Candidates will be expected to acquire and develop knowledge in global women's health while developing skills in data science and modelling. The project's goal is to investigate the correlation between environmental heat exposure, FHR changes and maternal and neonatal outcomes, thereby enhancing our understanding of women's and newborn children's health in the context of environmental stressors. The findings are anticipated to inform public health strategies and clinical practices in regions affected by rising temperatures, making a significant contribution to the field.

We are seeking a dedicated and enthusiastic candidate who ideally possesses foundational knowledge in data science and a strong interest in global health, particularly in advancing understanding in maternal and neonatal health. We welcome applications from individuals with backgrounds in global health, clinical fields, statistics, or data science. Please note that funding is available exclusively for UK students. International applicants are welcome but will be required to cover the funding difference. This project presents a unique and stimulating opportunity to participate in impactful research with the potential to influence global health outcomes.

Funding information

DPhil fees and travel associated with the project will be covered through the Wellcome Trust grant for UK students. Please note that funding is available exclusively for UK students. International applicants are welcome but will be required to cover the funding difference.


To apply for this research degree, please click here