Job offer in england ERC-funded PhD in the Department of Sociology at University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge – Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology invites applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to work on the ERC project ‘Screening for cancer in the post-genomic era: diagnostic innovation and biomedicalisation in comparative perspective’ supervised by Dr Stuart Hogarth.

A decade after the Human Genome Project, major public and private investments continue to fuel expectations of a genomic revolution in biomedicine. The freight of expectations surrounding the new “age of diagnostics” is accompanied by much uncertainty about how public policy should steer diagnostic innovation, however, due to the paucity of research on diagnostic innovation, policy deliberation is driven more by anecdote and expert opinion than empirical evidence. With a specific focus on screening/early detection of cancer, this project will develop a new body of empirical data on innovation in the IVD sector, mapping industry dynamics, technological trajectories and regulatory developments in a comparative study across Europe and North America.

The project combines qualitative and quantitative methods to chart changing dynamics of diagnostic innovation over a twenty-year period (1996-2016) using a comparative method focused on three countries (France, UK and USA) and three clinical areas (screening/early detection for colorectal, lung and prostate cancer). The first phase of the project involves a broad mapping of the diagnostics sector, comprising:  development of a comprehensive database of diagnostics firms; comparative analysis of regulatory regimes and the evolution of regulatory standards; and, mapping of R&D activity using bibliometrics and patent mapping (the latter to be delivered by collaborators at the University of Sussex). The second phase involves a series of in-depth comparative case studies examining the technological trajectories of six diagnostic tests, tracing their development from research through to clinical adoption.

The PhD student will undertake research on one of the three countries in the study: France. The candidate must be a fluent in spoken and written French. Experience of qualitative research on the political economy of biomedical innovation is required. The candidate must be available to start on 4 January 2018.

The PhD is funded at BHF studentship rates:

Please apply online for the PhD in Sociology (course code is HUSC21) through the Applicant Portal ( of Graduate Admissons.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

The application deadline for this post is  Wednesday 29 November 2017. 

Please quote reference JM13599 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Share this PhD
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts.
If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert,
or its categorisation then please
send us your feedback
Advert information


South East England


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here