ESRC Wales DTP 1+3 or +3 PhD in Social Sciences: Child Welfare Inequalities in the Four Nations of the UK

Cardiff University - School of Social Sciences

Start date: 1 October 2017

Duration: 3 or 4 years

Number of studentships: 1

Applications are being sought for a prestigious, full-time ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP) PhD Studentship to be based in the School of Social Sciences, to begin in October 2017.

Children are much more likely to come into the child protection system and into care (ie be ‘looked after’) in areas which are more deprived. Furthermore there are big differences in intervention rates between the nations of the UK, with the rate of looked-after children in Wales, for example, being 1.5 higher than that in England.

The proposed project will explore this terrain of child welfare inequalities and variation between nations. The doctoral project will explore questions such as why the looked-after children rates are higher in Wales than those in England, even after taking account of the relatively higher levels of deprivation in Wales and how the social gradient, with children in more deprived areas more likely to be looked after or in the child protection system, is different in Wales from in the other four nations of the UK.

Potential research methods could include secondary analysis of administrative data, a practitioner survey and/or mixed-method research in local authorities. There is an expectation of at least some quantitative research as part of the doctoral project, so the successful candidate will either need to have these skills already or to have an appetite to develop them.

The partner organisation is Social Care Wales, which is responsible for workforce development, regulation and improvement in the sector. Looked-after children are a research priority for the Welsh Government.

Funding details

Full UK/EU tuition fees

Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum.

Eligibility criteria

Residency: UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply.

Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements.

To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education.

EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.

Academic criteria           

ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a Masters degree (preferably an ESRC -recognised Masters or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award.

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