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Dr Gwilym Owen wins Best Doctoral Research Theses prize 2016/17

Gwilym at hand-in Gareth Griffith

23 October 2017

Former PhD student, Dr Gwilym Owen has been awarded the Best Postdoctoral Research Theses prize for 2016/17 for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. His thesis entitled ‘New methods, measurements and data in health geography: a study of obesity’ was supervised by Professor Rich Harris.

An annual prize is made for the thesis considered to be the best within each faculty. Internal and external examiners were invited to nominate suitable theses and one winner has been selected from each faculty by members of the Research Degrees Exam Board, which oversees the examination process for research awards. The Board is chaired by Professor Sally Heslop, Academic Director of Graduate Studies. Gwilym will receive a certificate of commendation and a cheque for £500.

Gwilym's thesis explored the frontier of modelling using multilevel approaches applied to a variety of complex and ‘big data’ looking at some of the causes and patterns of obesity at a range of scales and how those may respond to the neighbourhood conditions in which a person lives. This particularly involved data on twins and the effects of genetics and the social environment in determining obesity outcomes. During his PhD which was funded as an ESRC Advanced Quantitative Method bursary in the Centre for Multilevel Modelling and the School of Geographical Sciences, he published two articles in international journals (Progress in Human Geography and Social Science and Medicine). In addition, the ESRC funded an extended internship during the PhD with the Welsh Government where he conducted research on the National Survey for Wales and provided training from them on the quantitative modelling of discrete outcome data.

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