MARCH Student Summer Projects 2017/2018
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ThemeStatusAreaWorking TitleContact nameContact emailProject typeDescriptionRequirements
AThe association between family structure/father absence and reproductive and sexual behaviourRebecca data analysisA secondary data analysis project investigating the association between father absence/family structure and reproductive and sexual behaviour, including age at puberty, age at first sex, age at first birth (and potentially child health). The first task would be to find an open-access dataset with appropriate data. The following datasets appeared to have appropriate data: the Jamaica 1986 Birth Cohort Study; the Hong Kong 1997 Birth Cohort Study; the Cape Area Panel Study in South Africa; the Cebu Longitudinal study, Phillipines; possibly NATSAL, UK.Quantitative skills. This is a project idea rather than a fully formed research proposal, so that students would need to be reasonably self-motivated in, for example, finding an appropriate dataset
AChildren & motherhood, sexual & reproductive health The impact of legislation banning teenage girls from returning to educationLoveday analysisPolicy analysis of East African countries that have punitive laws against pregnant girls and child mothers Policy analysis. Qualitative interviewing and analysis skills.
A/ RHadolescent health; sexual & reproductive healthReview of adolescent-focused SRH services and utilisation in crises settings in low- and middle-income countriesNeha reviewA literature review of published and grey literature to assess adolescent-focused SRH service provision and utilisation (though these data will be limited) in crises settings in LMICLiterature review skills
A/Bmaternal/adolescentReview of health service experiences among women/girls affected by female genital mutilation in EuropeNatasha review/possible interviewsA literature review of experiences of health services among women/girls affected by female genital mutilation in Europe. There may also be scope to conduct interviews if the student has relevant language/qualitative research experience.Literature review skills; for interviewing - fluency in Arabic, French or other relevant African language
BTAKENMaternal/newbornThe economic burden associated with a range maternal and child infectious diseases in The Gambia Shunmay Yeung, Blandine, field data collection & analysis of qualitative dataWhat are the economic consequences of a range of maternal and neonate post-natal infections on their households? This qualitative study is nested in the PregnAnZI-2 (Pre-delivery Administration of Azithromycin to Prevent Neonatal Sepsis & Death) trial economic evaluation. The data will be collected during interviews with the study participants.
A draft protocol and questionnaire have been developed and will have to be finalized for submission to the local Ethics Committee in April.
Interviews to be conducted in Banjul area (The Gambia) during 4 to 6 weeks in July, in the participants' households, with the help of a field worker. Work in collaboration with the MRC Unit The Gambia study team. Supervision of the student in the field, at the beginning of the data collection, by an LSHTM research fellow.
BNewborn/birthweightKaronga: Longitudinal prospective study of BMI and subsequent birthsMia data analysis Karonga: Longitudinal prospective study of BMI and subsequent births
BNewborn/KMCHealthcare worker perceptions of providing kangaroo mother care alongside other medical treatmentsHelen collectionSetting: Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Banjul, The Gambia
This qualitative study is nested within a clinical trial of early KMC in unstable babies and aims to understand the perceptions of healthcare workers who are providing medical care to participants in the eKMC clinical trial
The student would do a placement at MRC Unit The Gambia for approximately 6 weeks in June/July and would be expected to plan and conduct the studies with my supervision.
BNewborn/KMCMaternal/caregiver perceptions of early kangaroo mother care in unstable babiesHelen collectionSetting: Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Banjul, The Gambia
This qualitative study is nested within a clinical trial of early KMC in unstable babies and aims to understand the perceptions of mothers and caregivers who are providing early kangaroo mother care to their preterm/LBW babies at the same time as other medical interventions.
The student would do a placement at MRC Unit The Gambia for approximately 6 weeks in June/July and would be expected to plan and conduct the studies with my supervision.
BTAKENNewborn/stillbirthWOMAN trial analysis of perinatal outcomes Joy data analysis Analysis of stillbirth and perinatal outcomes from WOMAN trial dataset Strong quantitative skills, clear understanding of perinatal data definitions
BTAKENNewborn/KMCQuality of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) facility registers Louise Tina Day/Georgia data analysis Analysis of data quality of KMC facility registers in Tanzania, Nepal and Bangaldesh for improvement of KMC programme data. Strong quantitative skills
BTAKENNewborn/birth certificatesReview of facility-based birth registration initiatives and innovations in low and middle income countriesDorothy reviewA literature review of published and grey literature to assess facility-based birth registration initaiitves and innovations in LMICs and to make recommendations for closing the gap. This is linked to wider Every Newborn Metrics research coordinated by LSHTM and working closely with partners, specifically UNICEF who is leading on CRVS work globally.None
BMaternalCommunity-level motorised transport ownership and facility-based deliveryEmma Radovich/Oona data analysis Delivery with a skilled birth attendant—most often provided in a health facility—is a key strategy to improving maternal and newborn health. It is difficult to predict which women will develop life-threatening pregnancy complications, and particularly for women in rural areas, the availability of timely, effective transportation to obstetric care is critical. Yet little is known about how women reach health facilities and how the availability of motorised transport in the community impacts delivery in a health facility. This project will use Demographic & Health Survey data to examine ownership of motorised transport at the cluster-level as a determinant of individual women’s facility-based delivery. This analysis is appropriate for a range of country contexts, and the student is encouraged to discuss the selection of the specific country’s DHS with the supervisor.SME or ASPD
BMaternalBypassing frontline facilities for childbirth careEmma reviewImproving the quality and accessibility of childbirth care services in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is essential to addressing unacceptably high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality. Many LMICs have pursued policies to increase the number of primary care or frontline facilities providing for uncomplicated deliveries in the community. However, studies suggest these frontline facilities are underutilised and that many women bypass their closest facility and choose to seek care at more distant, higher-level facilities. This systematic review aims to identify, collate and interpret published literature on the prevalence of and factors associated with bypassing frontline facilities for childbirth care in LMICs.None
BTAKENMaternal/newbornAn exploration of parents' role in neonatal care in RwandaSarah Moxon exploration of parents' role in neonatal care in RwandaMothers of babies admitted to neonatal units in Rwanda stay in hospital until their babies are fit for discharge home, often providing kangaroo mother care. This project will explore the role mothers play in the care of their babies on the neonatal unit and if this could be extended. It will also explore parent’s preparedness for taking their babies home. Staff perceptions of parental roles will also be explored. Experience working in LMIC and/or working with children and their families. Funding for visa and living expenses for field work is available. Students will be expected to apply for flight expenses to LSHTM travel fund.
BMaternalCleaning behaviour on labour wardsGiorgia data collection and analysisObserving and analysing cleaning behaviour on labour wardsNone
BHand hygiene compliance during birthGiorgia data analysisQuantitative analysis of existing dataset to estimate hand hygiene compliance in Tanzania, KenyaGood quantative skills
BCrowding in facilitiesGiorgia Build a model to assess impact of crowding on facilities bed and staffing capacityNone
CTAKENEarly childhoodBorn in Bradford: Associations of sleep timing patterns with adiposity in early childhoodVicki Ponce data analysisIs the timing of sleep onset or termination in early childhood associated with markers of adiposity, independent of total sleep duration? Meta-analyses suggest that children who sleep less than their peers have an approximate doubling of risk for overweight and obesity. However, it has been queried if sleep duration per se is the critical factor, or if other sleep parameters such as late sleep onset may underlie the sleep-adiposity relationship. This study will be the first to investigate associations between sleeping patterns, ascertained from parent-reported diaries (n≈500), with multiple adiposity indicators (weight, BMI, waist circumference, skinfolds) in a biethnic sample of children aged between 18- and 36- months from a deprived location.
B/CTAKENBirths/ChildBorn in Bradford: Operative delivery and BMI in early childhoodVicki Ponce data analysisIs there an association between operative delivery and offspring BMI at age 4/5 and does any association differ depending on ethnicity? Previous research has found a relationship between LSCS and increased offspring BMI, this work could establish if this association is present in our cohort and if yes, whether it differs in South Asian compared to White British children.
B/CEarly childhoodBorn in Bradford: Factors which predict school readiness at age 4Vicki Ponce data analysisWhat factors influences whether a child has a ‘good level of development’ when they enter school? School readiness as measured by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at the end of reception is a key marker of children’s development. In Bradford the number of children achieving an expected Good Level of Development (GLD) is a lot lower than the national average. Research in this area suggests a number of contributory factors that influence a child’s ability to achieve a GLD

BiB has the quality of data to understand the factors that influence a child achieving a GLD in Bradford. This will help to increase the knowledge base in this area as well as help Bradford council target resources appropriately to improve outcomes
CEarly childhoodBorn in Bradford: Physical activity in 3 year old childrenVicki Ponce are the levels and correlates of 3 year old children parental reported physical activity? Using BiB1000 data – run hierarchical regression models based upon a socio-ecological model to identify possible moderators and predictors of 3 year olds physical activity (outcome variable). This analysis has been conducted using the 24 month old BiB1000 data, so replicating the analysis for 3 year olds would be interesting, and help identify possible avenues for future intervention. The outcome variable is a validated physical activity questionnaire.
Early childhoodEstimating the trends in antimicrobial prescribing practices after the introduction of SMC. An analysis of data from sentinel sites in 7 West African Countries. Sham Lal data analysisWe have collected outpatient and inpatient data from 240 sentinel sites across 7 west african countries to monitor in the impact of SMC scale-up. We are also interested in the patterns of antimicrobial use after the introduction SMC for children who presented at these faciltiesSME and quantitative data skills
CTAKENSchool-aged childrenInfant feeding, nutrition, growthSunil Bhopal & Betty data analysis of recently collected dataWe collected a range of data in the SPRING cluster randomised controlled trial ( SPRING is an integrated intervention addressing growth & development in the first 1000 days (from conception through the first two years of life), a critical period for child health with impacts that last into adulthood. It’s crucial that feeding is done right and that children grow well in this period because after this period, ‘catch-up growth’ has damaging consequences for cardiovascular disease, for example.

We have collected data on breastfeeding, timing of introduction of complementary foods, nutritional intake over 24hours at 1 year of age, parental feeding styles (at different ages), maternal knowledge around feeding (done when children are 1 year of age) and anthropometry measurements (length & weight at 12 & 18 months). Some of this is questionnaire data and some is from direct observations. We have some videos of the observations, too.

We think there is a really interesting summer project here that would be useful for the field, worthy of publication & an opportunity for you to use quantitative skills.
Quantitative skills - ideally SME +/- ASME. This can be discussed & these skills will determine exactly how the project gets formulated
CTAKEN0-5 years child
Sex differences in 0-5 mortality rates in India over the last 100 years
Sunil Bhopal & Alex analysisThis is a broad idea rather than a fixed project. We think that there is a great deal of historical data which could be unpicked to look at sex-differences in child mortality. Alex has published on a hypothesis that this gap increases as food and medicine become more available & we think there could be an interesting project to examine this using historical records. If you are interested in this project we would need to do some exploration of possible data sources & research question. We wondered about focussing on one state or even picking specific districts as exemplars in several states. skills. May suit a demography MSc student.
CChildImpact of anaemia on child development in Southern maliSian data analysis of existing datasetWe collected a range of biomedical, cognitive and socioeconomic data as part of a cluster-randomised trial in pre-school children in southern Mali, an area with a high prevalence of anaemia in childhood. We were interested in the impact of interventions against aneamia (malaria and micronutrient supplementation) on child development, with a particular focus on foundation cognitive skills for learning and school readiness. This secondary analysis will focus on exploring variation in cognitive outcomes in relation to stunting, malaria infection and anaemia in the children, as well as household characteristics. Data was collected in two groups of children (aged 3 and 5 years)Good quantitative skills - ideally SME. Scope for 1-2 projects, depending research interests
CChildSystematic review of micronutrient interventions, with a focus on recent studies in sub-Saharan AfricaSian reviewComparison of findings from a recent cluster-randomised trial of home-fortification with micronutrient powders in pre-school children in southern Mali, with previous studies carried out in settings characterised by high burden of malaria and other infections. Literature review skills
CSchool-aged childrenMalaria chemoprevention in schoolchildren Sian reviewA literature review to summarise the current state of evidence, with regard to the benefits and risks of this intervention approach, and to identify knowledge gaps. The review will draw on evidence from published trials in school-aged children, as well as studies of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) in younger children and infants (IPTi) Literature review skills
CSchool-aged childrenDevelopment of a cost-constrained package of interventions to improve aneamia in school-aged childrenSian reviewThe aim of this project is to investigate how malaria interventions aimed at school-aged children could be integrated with other school-health interventions to address anaemia, with a focus on how to most effectively and efficiently use this platform. This will involve a critical appraisal of current policy guidance, as well as published literature, across a range of school-health interventions, with a focus on practicality and cost, as well as impact.
CChildThe perceptions of healthcare worker and parents about the use of diagnostic tests in febrile children in Europe Shunmay Yeung, Manuel, field data collection & analysis of qualitative dataDistinguishing viral from bacterial infections in children is difficult, which leads to the overprescription of antibiotics. Innovative research is being undertaken to develop tests that accurately identify children with bacterial infections. However, the impact of new tests will depend on how they are actually implemented in clinical practice. Exploring the perceptions and experiences of healthcare workers and parents about the use of current diagnostic tests will inform the most appropriate approach to the implementation of new diagnostic tests. Students will conduct qualitative interviews and/or focus group discussions with healthcare workers and parents in an European country. This project is part of an European project aiming to develop new diagnostic tests to improve the differentiation between viral and bacterial infections in children (PERFORM) Skills in qualitative interviewing and analysis of qualitative data. Students can select one European country where to conduct the project (preferably, but not exclusively, one of the following: the UK, Netherlands, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Latvia or Greece). The student must be fluent in the local language of the selected country.
Assessment and initial management of fever in children: a review of guidelines
Shunmay Yeung, Manuel, reviewA literature review to describe and compare guidelines for managing fever in children, to assess their quality, and to assess the evidence they are based upon. This review will focus mainly, but not exclusively on European guidelines. The review is part of an European project aiming to develop new diagnostic tests to improve the differentiation between viral and bacterial infections in children (PERFORM). The review will inform PERFORM about the current clincial practice, including use of diagnostic tests, for managing febrile children in Europe. Literature review skills
MAMI (Management of nutritionally At-risk Mothers and Infants)
Marko review (+few data analyses)A variety of projects available around this theme of work. Please see for details of work done to date and discuss with Marko re details of sub-projects available.None
RHReproductive HealthReproductive, health and socio-demographic factors associated with age at menopause Alison regression
Outcome: age at menopause
RHIs obesity a form of ‘maternal depletion’? Rebecca data analysisSecondary data analysis project testing for associations between parity and body weight in middle/lower income countries. The first task would be to find an open-access dataset with appropriate data; cross-sectional surveys such as DHS may be possible, though longitudinal surveys might be betterQuantitative skills. This is a project idea rather than a fully formed research proposal, so that students would need to be reasonably self-motivated in, for example, finding an appropriate dataset
RHViolence against women & girls/FGMThe impact of current legislation on utilisation of services by women and girls affected by FGM in the UK Loveday data analysis Qualitative study with communities and policy analysis None
RHViolence against women & girls/FGMThe impact of migration on the practice of FGM in the UKLoveday data analysis Qualitative and secondary data analysis on attitudes towards the practice of FGM among first and second generation migrants living within the UKNone
RHThe association between kinship system and attitudes towards gender and gender-based violence. Rebecca data analysisSecondary data analysis project. The first task would be to find an open-access dataset with appropriate data, such as DHS from a country such as Malawi, where there is variation in kinship system within the population (i.e. matrilineal and patrilineal ethnic groups)Quantitative skills. This is a project idea rather than a fully formed research proposal, so that students would need to be reasonably self-motivated in, for example, finding an appropriate dataset
RHTAKENSexual & reproductive healthSystematic review of qualitative studies of women’s contraceptive choices Cicely review Systematic review to identify and describe studies where women's contraceptive choices have been examined in the context of women’s whole lives (i.e. not simply looking at fear of side effects etc.) None
RHViolence against women & girlsPredictors of wellbeing in women clients of a microfinance organisation in South Africa, and the mediating effect of exposure to intimate partner violence Giulia Ferrari
RH/AViolence against women & girls/FGMAttitudes of young people living in the UK on FGM from affected communities Loveday data analysisQualitative analysis of online survey data None
Summer Project Ideas
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