PhD Scholarship in Health Economics (2020 Entry)
 Reference: 2003HTC_CRH
 Length of Scholarships: up to 36 months, subject to satisfactory progression
 Programme PhD Economics               
Shool/Department School of Economics
 Place:  1
 Closing Date:  15 May 2020 


The available PhD scholarships cover:

  • Tuition fee
  • Monthly stipend (RMB4,500)
  • Medical insurance with designate providers
  • All above items are covered for up to 36 months based on satisfactory progression
  • All regulations set out in the UNNC PGR Scholarship Policy apply

In addition to the above scholarship, successful candidates also have the opportunity to carry out paid teaching (after complete Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) training) or research assistant duties at UNNC from second year.

Available PhD research areas:

The above scholarship is to support research projects outlined under the following theme:

The dynamics of trust in physicians and its impact on the performance of the health care sector 

This research project aims to address the following two questions: (1) how trust in physicians evolves over time? (2) how the dynamics of trust affects the performance of the health sector? 

In this research, we will employ the Bayesian learning framework to trace the dynamics of trust in physicians: in the first period, patient trust is formed by a set of beliefs and this prior belief is subject to change or update as patients learn through more experience with their physicians. We develop a model of trust dynamics (i.e., how trust between patients and physicians evolves over time) and tests that model in China. Using the three waves of longitudinal data set obtained from China Family Panel Studies (in 2012, 2104, and 2016), we will empirically test the Bayesian learning framework to investigate how consumer learning from the encounter to health care sector update the individual trust in physicians.

Furthermore, by using both individual-level data (CFPS) and country-level data (ISSP and OECD health statistics), we will investigate the impact of trust in physicians on the performance of the health care sector with the special focus on health costs and health outcomes. By using the three wave longitudinal data with more than 90,000 observation, we are able to infer the causal relationship between trust in physicians and annual total health expenditure and health outcome. 

Informal inquiries may be addressed to, but formal applications should follow the instructions in ‘How to apply’ section. Please specify 2003HTC_CRH as scholarship reference code when submitting application. 

PhD programme structure

PhD programmes at the UNNC are composed of 3 years research and submission is expected within 3 years for full-time students. PhD supervision is undertaken jointly by academics from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) and the University of Nottingham UK (UNUK). On successful completion, students will be awarded the University of Nottingham PhD degree, and no reference will be made on the degree certificate as to where the degree has been completed. The University of Nottingham PhD degree will be accredited by the Chinese Ministry of Education.


  • Applicants must have a first class honours undergraduate degree or 65% and above for a Masters’ degree from a British university, or the equivalent from other institutions.
  • Applicants must meet the required English language proficiency for the relevant subject area. IELTS 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all elements) or its equivalent is required for Faculty of Science and Engineering (FoSE) scholarship applicants.
  • More details can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ page of the website.

How to apply

No separate application is required for applying for a scholarship but please make sure you quote the scholarship reference number in your PhD application form. It normally takes 7-8 weeks for a final decision to be made after the closing date.  List of required documents can be found on the ‘how to apply’ page.