Call for four PhD students in the Medical Humanities Research Programme

2022-09-09

The call is now open for several of the PhD positions connected to the graduate programme in Medical Humanities starting in spring 2023. Below are project titles and links to more information about the projects and how to apply.

The Multifaceted Life of Digital Health Records: Between Official Documentation, Personal Information and Cultural Object

The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of ALM (Archival Studies, Information Studies and Museum- and Cultural Heritage Studies) and the Department of Women's and Children's Health.

Healthcare providers around the world have been making considerable efforts to give patients online access to their medical records since the late 1990s. The rationales of online accessible health records are many from effectivising and improving healthcare, empowering patients to transparency and freedom of information. As a result of digitising and opening access to previously closed professional medical documentation and assigning it with new personal, social and technical ramifications, medical records have changed shape both conceptually and in practical terms when they have been reframed as patient accessible online health records. A contemporary health record is not anymore only a doctor’s or nurse’s personal note to oneself. It is an information source used by both care providers and patients, potential research data and an embodiment and a carrier of evidence of deeply personal and emotional experiences and memories. So far historical and contemporary medical and health records have been studied to varying extents in the medical context and in humanities disciplines respectively but what is missing so far is research that brings together different understandings of the health records both as contemporary tools, information carriers, personal and cultural artefacts for their diverse user groups and as future historical and cultural records of our time. The proposed project addresses this specific gap. It inquires from a combined medical informatics and archival and heritage studies perspective into the nexus of different meanings assigned to (digital) health records by different actors in different parts of the lifetime of the records as medical and cultural artefacts to develop conceptual, cultural and technical means to bring the different conceptualisations into discussion with each other to facilitate mutual cross-domain understanding and practices with health records.

Read more and apply here!

Deadline for applications: 7th of October.
 

The cells of the immune system: soldiers, carpenters or housekeepers? How to ask the right questions in the era of big data.

The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Department of Medical Cell Biology and Department of History of Science and Ideas.

The role of the immune system in host defense is well established scientifically as well as in popular  culture.  Accordingly,  the cells  of  the  immune  system  are  often  imagined as  soldiers fighting  wars  against intruders  in  the  form  of  viruses  and  bacteria,  as  well  as  against  tumor cells. Societal challenges including the SARS-Cov2 pandemic reinforces the important role of the  immune system  to  kill  viruses,  as  well  as  to  cause  severe  disease  when  overactivated. Indeed,  novel  treatments  and  potential  cure  of  cancers  not  previously  possible  are  today available due to recent ground-breaking scientific discoveries of how to unleash immunecell functions, a discovery that was awarded a Nobel prize in 2018. The notion of the immune cell soldiers is also closely aligned with the understanding of illness as specific entities invading the body,  which  has  come  to  dominate  modern  medicine.  However,  even  though  the role  of  theimmune  system as  a  defense  mechanism  is undisputed, this  view  is severely limited  and obscures a multitude of ways in  which  immune  cells  function: their role in organic development,  organ function and  the maintenance  of  tissue  homeostasis. This PhD project explores how the simplified narrative ignores other potentially important roles of immune cellsfor physiological processes, and how this has impacted the understanding of the immune system in health and disease by society, health care and research community, with specific focus on the analysis of single cell omics data.

Read more and apply here!

Deadline for applications 28th of September.
 

Laboratories of the future? Complex buildings, flexible organizations and the research and education of life science

The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Economic History and the Department for Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.

Both research and education are investments for the future especially for a knowledge intensive welfare state such as Sweden, and within this welfare sector life science plays a prominent role. However, research and education have been compartmentalized and separated, they might still be conducted in the same buildings but are organized differently within the same organization.

The project combines three overlapping research fields. First, a focus on the performative aspects of university organizations and leadership. Second, an emphasis on the embeddedness of knowledge in the built environment and laboratories. Third, a focus on the radical transformation of medical research in the expansion of a “biomedical complex”.

By looking at one life science building, BMC, our aim is to understand what buildings do to handle this ambiguity, especially through the notion of flexibility, as it is practiced, as a solution on recurring and novel problems that appear. Paradoxically, it might seem, flexibility, is vended as a solution for upcoming obstacles – it remains remarkably stable. Flexibility and vulnerability seem to go hand in hand.

The expected effect is that the project will contribute towards a better understanding of making sites of research and education, in particular the dissolution of the traditional set of biomedical disciplines, the suspension of 20th century institutionalism and the emergence of the current format of biomedical fields of research. Life science and biomedical practice are central in the shift away from modernistic institutionalizations of knowledge into flexible fields of knowledge-networks. 

Read more and apply here!

Deadline for applications: 7th of October.

Soon, one PhD position for the following project will be announced:
 

Ethical dilemmas and ethical competence when providing dietary advice. Evaluation of an educational intervention

The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences and Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics.

The project combines medical ethics andthe field of food studies, nutrition and dietetics. It concerns a subject that is very little investigated, namely ethical dilemmas and the need for ethical competence in providingdietary adviceas part of nutrition care. It is interdisciplinary and includes both empirical studies and theoretical/philosophical parts.The aim is to explore what ethical dilemmas health care professionals (primarily dietitians and nurses) providing dietary advice and nutrition care experience, how they handle them, and what kind of ethical competence they need in their work. A subsidiary aim is to investigate the effect ofan educational intervention aiming to strengthen the ethical competence of professionals providing dietary advice. A four-year PhD projectis planned, organized in four work packages (WPs). WP 1 is an observational study, observing the giving of dietary advice and nutrition care in a Swedish health care context. WP 2 is a qualitative focus group interview study with dietitians and nurses concerning ethical dilemmas they experience and how they handle them. WP 3 comprises an educational education as well as an evaluation of its effect. A study-specific questionnaire will be developed, based on the results from study 1 and 2, and used for base-line and follow-up measurements. The intervention consists of web-based lectures, literature and seminars. WP 4 is a theoretical study, analysing the empirical results concerning ethical concepts and arguments. The aim is to present a useful and well-balanced model of ethical competence for dietary advice giving as well as a method for developing it and keepit to a high standard. The project’s originality lays in its multi-disciplinary approach. The two research fields in the project will enrich each other, so that the results arenot only two additional perspectives, but rather a quite new understanding of the research problem.

Read more and apply here!

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Last modified: 2022-11-18