Centre for Health Policy
PhD Studentship in Health Economics
Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London
St Mary’s Campus
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the Centre for Health Policy,
commencing October 2015 for the project:
Incentives design and innovation in antibiotic research
The project will be based in the Department of Surgery & Cancer and the Centre for
Health Policy within the Institute of Global Health Innovation (St Mary’s Campus).
The Project: Since the discovery of penicillin, infectious microbial organisms have found
mechanisms to gain resistance to the existing arsenal of antibiotic drugs. Antimicrobial
resistance (AMR) is a huge and potentially devastating challenge facing health systems,
care providers and the general population. It is estimated that AMR is directly
responsible for 23,000 deaths annually in the US and more than 25,000 in the EU. The
economic cost of bacterial resistance is estimated as 20-35 billion dollars annually in the
US alone. The lack of novel antibiotics to tackle AMR is concerning and currently the
development pipeline is very limited, especially for lethal multidrug resistant Gramnegative bacteria. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets are characterised by high
risk and, in particular, antibiotic markets are considered higher risk and relatively
unprofitable. As such, innovative solutions are needed to stimulate innovation and foster
research and development (R&D) in this space.
Market failures can be attributed to both inadequate public and private sector behaviours
in recent years. More research is needed to determine what types of incentives are
needed to drive antibiotic R&D and innovation. This project will use economic theory,
pharmaceutical policy, and regulatory frameworks to generate novel insight on the
impact of various incentives. Broadly, incentives can be categorised as either ‘push’ or
‘pull’ or ‘hybrid’. Push incentives reduce the cost of R&D (for example, grants and tax
subsidies), whilst pull incentives reward successful drug development with added or
guaranteed revenue (for example, monetary prizes and accelerated market approvals).
Hybrid methods combine both push and pull approaches.
This project will take an empirical approach to determine the effectiveness of incentives
at driving the development of novel, clinically and economically beneficial drugs using a
mixed methodology.
Studentship Details: The award is for 36 months (full time) and covers course fees at
the Home/EU rates and a tax-free stipend of £21,000. Applicants must hold (or obtain by
October 2015) a First Class or an Upper Second Class degree (or equivalent overseas
qualification) in a social policy or economics-related discipline, and Imperial would
normally expect successful applicants to hold or achieve a Master's degree in a related
Non-EU applicants, if successful, will be responsible for payment of fees at the overseas
rate (currently £30,000 per annum). Funding for overseas fees is not provided.
For informal enquiries please contact Mr Alexander Carter [email protected]
For application, please send a full CV, stating your nationality, and the full contact details
of two academic referees to [email protected] We regret that due to the large volume
of applications received, we are only able to notify those shortlisted for interview. The
deadline for applications is 11th Sept 2015.

Centre for Health Policy - Imperial College London