PhD Students

Francesco Paolo Candio

Paolo studied his PhD 'Economic evaluation of universal programmes to promote health behaviours: challenges and possible solutions with an application physical activity' at the University of Leeds. His academic background is in Economics (MSc), Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (BSc) and Public Health (MSc).

Paolo's PhD studies looked at developing an analytical framework for economic evaluation of universal programmes to promote healthy behaviours. His project was based on a collaboration with Leeds City Council. During his studies, he addressed methodological shortcomings and explored the implications of methodological assumptions characterising these evaluations, within an application to physical activity. Findings from his research highlighted the importance of broadening the scope of economic evaluation and an early involvement of health economics research.

Dina Jankovic |  

Dina completed her PhD studies at the Centre for Health Economics and Department of Health Sciences, University of York, and is now working as a research fellow. Her thesis explored how subjective priors, formally elicited from individuals considered to be experts in their field, can be used to characterise uncertainty in cost-effectiveness decision models when empirical evidence is limited or not available.  Dina recruited a range of experts for a study (different types of clinicians and researchers), and elicited their beliefs about previously unobserved effects of an intervention designed to prevent falls in the elderly.  She then explored how experts' skills and experience affected their beliefs about the intervention.  The findings have helped develop our understanding of how we define and value experts whose priors were elicit.    

Dina holds a Pharmacy degree from the University of Manchester and an MSc in Heath Economics from the University of York. Her MSc research project involved economic evaluation in public health at the World Health Organisation.

Richard Mattock

Richard Mattock is now working as a research fellow at the York Health Economics Consortium.  His PhD investigated methods to predict the lifetime health benefits and economic costs associated with early childhood interventions.  He applied these methods to assess cost-effectiveness of UK population screening strategy for postnatal depression.  He found the cost-effective screening strategy for postnatal depression changed when the effects of postnatal symptoms of children's lifetime outcomes were included in the analysis. 

Prior to undertaking his PhD, Richard completed a BSc Neuroscience degree at the University of Leeds and obtained an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York, the research element of which explored Health Technology Assessment in mental health.

Hannah Penton

Hannah is now working at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam.  She began her studies at the University of Sheffield in 2011, and graduated with a BSc in Economics in 2014 and completed an MSc in Health Economics and Decision Modelling (HEDM) in ScHARR in October 2015. She undertook her PhD 'Exploring the economics and unified budgets for health and social care' in the School for Health Related Research (ScHARR).   

Her PhD entitled 'An investigation into the validity of existing measures of health, quality of life and wellbeing in older adults' used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the validity of the EQ-5D-5L, SF-12, the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT), the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) and the ONS Personal Wellbeing Questions (ONS-4) in assessing the quality of life of older adults. The study found that social contact and the ability to perform usual activities both inside and outside the home, were central to the quality of life of older adults. A generational stoic attitude led many participants to question the relevance of negatively phrased mental health items. In general, measures which focused more on physical functioning were preferred to subjective wellbeing questions, particularly among the frailest individuals, for whom maintaining basic functionings was the priority. 


Francesco completed his PhD studies at the Centre for Health Economics and Department of Health Sciences at the University of York.

His PhD study entitled 'Framework for a cross-sectoral economic evaluation of public health Interventions: a case study on a brief alcohol intervention' had two main objectives.  First, to develop an analytical framework for the economic evaluation of public health interventions. Second, to show how to operationalise the proposed framework, using a brief alcohol intervention to reduce alcohol consumption among criminal offenders as a case study.   

He developed and implemented an analytical framework that extends cost-effectiveness analysis methods, which are widely used for the evaluation of health care interventions, and consists of a cross-sectoral analysis, with the potential incorporation of health equity concerns and cross-temporal impacts. The case study intervention impacts Health Care and Criminal Justice System.  The analysis showed that conclusions and recommendations differ according to the perspective adopted for evaluation.  Moreover, alternative value judgements and equity considerations incorporated in the economic evaluation also affected the results of the analysis.   

Francesco holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Trieste (Italy) and a MSc in Economics and Public Finance from the University of Padua (Italy). Previous to joining the CHE, he was research fellow in Health Economics at the International Renal Research Institute of Vicenza, and he worked as an intern in a pharmaceutical consulting company in Turin. He is now working in the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York.