This opportunity is now closed.

Funded PhD Opportunity

Handwashing facilities and usage in public restrooms

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Good hand hygiene practice is one of the most effective methods in preventing the spread of hygiene-related communicable diseases from person to person. It is a simple measure in the prevention of the spread of communicable diseases however previous studies have found that compliance in the general population is often poor.

There has been some work carried out to investigate the compliance and reasons behind non compliance in relation to handhygiene however very few studies have explored the provision of public restrooms and how the how the design and layout of public restrooms affects handwashing.

This study aims to bridge this gap in the knowledge in investigating the provision and usage of public restrooms handwashing facilities.

This proposed reach is building upon current funded research in hand hygiene and would avail of tools and techniques used in this work. Proposed research outcomes include disseminating key knowledge and findings that potential to raise standards of handwashing provisions and address barriers to handwashing in public restrooms. It is expected that findings will also inform how government policy could achieve better hand-hygiene standard through changes in the built environment (design and layout of public restrooms).

Essential criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology


    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to:

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 10 June 2019

Interview Date
19 June 2019


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Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses

Contact supervisor

Dr Marie Vaganay Miller

Other supervisors

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