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Police brutality as a public health concern

The PhD student will investigate how the prevalence and threat of police brutality results in negative health consequences for racially minoritised persons. Specifically, they will utilise empirical evidence to document the pervasive impact of police brutality on physical health and subsequent overall health of a population. Persons most suited to the project will have a strong background in research on racism, racial theory, and social science research methods.

The student should also have a solid understanding of intersectionality theory as well as recent current events in the UK, US and globally, including the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. They should be passionate about social justice in the field of public health and in particular, have a vested interest in anti-racist public health research. Quantitative research methods are preferred although qualitative proposals will be considered.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)


Adrienne Milner - Dr Adrienne Milner is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Health Sciences and a member of the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies. Dr Milner’s research addresses issues of health equity in terms of race and ethnicity and sex and gender in education, political, and sports contexts. Specifically, she has studied racial and sexual attitudes, policy preferences, and inequality to examine issues such as police brutality, discrimination of transgender individuals, and affirmative action. Her current work analyses racial and sexual disparities in health outcomes, health policy, and health systems and focuses on COVID-19, the Affordable Care Act, and the NHS. Dr Milner is co-author with Prof Jomills Henry Braddock II of the monograph, Sex Segregation in Sports: Why Separate Is Not Equal, which uses a socio-legal approach to compare racial and sexual policy and argue that sex segregation in sport should be eliminated. Specifically, Milner and Braddock II focus on why large-scale sex integration in sport would result in a number of social benefits, such as increased safety and access to athletic participation and decreased prevalence of violence against women, eating disorders, and use of performance-enhancing substances. She is also co-editor with Prof Braddock of the collection, Women in Sports: Breaking Barriers, Facing Obstacles. Dr Milner graduated from Emory University with a double major in Sociology and Women's Studies and went on to complete her MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of Miami. Prior to her move to Brunel, she was a Teaching Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Lecturer in Social Determinants of Health at Queen Mary University of London.