The UG has awarded a Sustainable Society PhD Research grant to Manuela Fritz. The grant of € 2,500 is to be spent on research in the field of sustainability. As a PhD student at FEB, Fritz focuses on research at the intersection of health economics and development economics.
Fritz’ research mainly contributes to solutions for societal challenges relating to health care systems, with a special focus on Southeast Asia. In her research, the PhD student investigates the health consequences of climate change for individuals with chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), focusing on low- and middle-income countries in Southeast Asia.
Climate change is one of the most pressing societal challenges of the 21st century and will pose a detrimental threat to decent health in the coming decades. Moreover, the disease burden of NCDs is estimated to increase in low- and middle- income countries in the coming decades – due to population aging, unhealthy lifestyles and urbanization – yet, health care systems in these countries are often not well positioned to combat these “diseases of affluence”. Hence, health effects of climate change can be tremendous for these countries, and research on how exactly climate conditions and NCDs interplay and which policies are required to counteract this trend are urgently needed.
Fritz addresses this challenge by investigating the impact of extreme temperatures on NCD morbidity in Indonesia. In her research, she combines meteorological weather data with insurance data from one of the world’s largest health insurance schemes and uses climate simulation models to investigate the long-term health consequences for individuals at risk. Thereby, she aims to identify local solutions and policies that can effectively protect individuals at risk from severe consequences. Fritz will use the Sustainable Society grant to conduct supporting qualitative field research in Indonesia.
To spur young researchers to work on societal challenges, each year the UG offers a grant for eight University of Groningen PhD candidates. This grant enables PhD candidates to broaden their horizon and give their research output an extra push. The jury granted the proposals which have a close connection to the Sustainable Society theme, which showed the most explicit contribution towards societal challenges and where the grant could make the biggest difference for the project or the applicant.
For more information, please contact Manuela Fritz.
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