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ERC-funded PhD in the Department of Sociology (Fixed Term)


The Department of Sociology invites applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to work on the ERC project 'Screening for cancer in the post-genomic era: diagnostic innovation and biomedicalisation in comparative perspective' supervised by Dr Stuart Hogarth.

A decade after the Human Genome Project, major public and private investments continue to fuel expectations of a genomic revolution in biomedicine. The freight of expectations surrounding the new "age of diagnostics" is accompanied by much uncertainty about how public policy should steer diagnostic innovation, however, due to the paucity of research on diagnostic innovation, policy deliberation is driven more by anecdote and expert opinion than empirical evidence. With a specific focus on screening/early detection of cancer, this project will develop a new body of empirical data on innovation in the IVD sector, mapping industry dynamics, technological trajectories and regulatory developments in a comparative study across Europe and North America.

The project combines qualitative and quantitative methods to chart changing dynamics of diagnostic innovation over a twenty-year period (1996-2016) using a comparative method focused on three countries (France, UK and USA) and three clinical areas (screening/early detection for colorectal, lung and prostate cancer). The first phase of the project involves a broad mapping of the diagnostics sector, comprising: development of a comprehensive database of diagnostics firms; comparative analysis of regulatory regimes and the evolution of regulatory standards; and, mapping of R&D activity using bibliometrics and patent mapping (the latter to be delivered by collaborators at the University of Sussex). The second phase involves a series of in-depth comparative case studies examining the technological trajectories of six diagnostic tests, tracing their development from research through to clinical adoption.

The PhD student will undertake research on one of the three countries in the study: France. The candidate must be a fluent in spoken and written French. Experience of qualitative research on the political economy of biomedical innovation is required. The candidate must be available to start on 4 January 2018.

The PhD is funded at BHF studentship rates: https://www.bhf.org.uk/research/information-for-researchers/how-to-apply/costing-salaries-and-stipends

Please apply online for the PhD in Sociology (course code is HUSC21) through the Applicant Portal (http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applicant-portal) of Graduate Admissons.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

The application deadline for this post is Wednesday 29 November 2017.

Please quote reference JM13599 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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