Field: Geriatrics

Location: Centre for Health Services Research

Type of student:

  • Higher Degree Research only i.e. PhD or MPhil (intercalated MD-PhD & MD-MPhil)
  • 4 Unit Masters of Public Health (MPH) Student

Type of work:

  • Secondary data analysis
  • Statistical analysis

Brief synopsis: 

The reliability theory conceptualizes ageing as the progressive accumulation of random damage to a complex system composed of redundant parts. As defects accumulate, an organism loses its redundancy until eventually it becomes comparable to a system with elements connected in series. Accordingly, mortality kinetics of the longest-lived individuals should become exponential, resembling the law of radioactive decay.


In this program of work, open-access datasets will be interrogated. These include the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (N ≈ 9000) and the UK Biobank data (N ≈ 500,000). Frailty index (FI) scores will be created for each participant and the behaviour of the FI will be analysed to provide new insights into maximum life expectancy.

Prerequisite skills: Statistical experience would be an advantage


Professor Ruth Hubbard

Masonic Chair of Geriatric Medicine
Centre for Health Services Research