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PhD project

Pathways through the health system for better equality in health

Call for applications for a fully financed PhD fellowship

Project description

Fragmentation of health services especially affects people in vulnerable positions. They face challenges in navigating and maintaining contact with services and need more integrated access to care. The novel model FACT (Flexible Assertive Community Treatment) in Central Denmark Region offers people with severe mental health problems individually tailored core teams of professionals from across the region and the municipality.

Initial experiences are positive, but we lack knowledge about how the model can be sustained in the longer term. How can cultures of collaboration and coordination become embedded across the organisations involved in the core teams? How can people with severe mental illness engage in processes of integrated access over a longer period-of-time?

This four-year research project funded by the Novo Nordisk Research Foundation aims to analyse how to sustain models for integrated health access such as FACT. The specific aims are:

1-To understand how people with severe mental illness experience and engage in processes of integrated access as part of ongoing long-term treatment

2-To analyse the organisational mechanisms of sustaining innovative practices

3-To support people with severe mental illness, professionals, managers, and policy makers in sustaining practices for integrated health access and ongoing treatment

We are looking for a PhD student to conduct a study of users’ long-term experiences and engagement with FACT and to contribute to the facilitation of bridge-building committees.

We envisage a qualitative study of in-vivo meetings of users, professionals, managers, and politicians at the interfaces between the health and social care sectors. The focus is on everyday practices to discover how formal and informal practices support coordination for integrated health access. The study will draw on material collected through observation, informal conversations, interviews and photo/video diaries.

The bridge-building commitees aim to establish links between the different organisational and sectoral interfaces in the FACT model by creating sustainable relationships and practices among the actors involved. The project will establish a user-practitioner committee, a practitioner-manager committee, and a manager-politician committee, to discuss specific coordination and collaboration challenges as well as possible solutions.


We are searching for a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a strong academic background.

Prerequisites are:

  • An MA-degree in public health, health promotion, anthropology, sociology, political science or related disciplines.
  • Excellent skills relevant for qualitatíve studies of social inequality within the fields of critical public health, health organisation and health services research. Experience with co-creation processes are an advantage.
  • An inquisitive mind-set and the ability to plan, organise and execute work independently and collaboratively.
  • Excellent English, scientific writing and oral communications skills, authorship of peer-reviewed publications, experience with presentation of research results.
  • Working knowledge of Danish to conduct qualitative research.

How to apply

Please submit your application via this link. Application deadline is 15 January 2024 23:59 CET. Preferred starting date is 1 August 2024. 

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide 

Further information

Please contact Professor Viola Burau, viola@ph.au.dk for more information.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.