PhD Studentship: Enterprising Homes, Enhancing lives in Housing Association Neighbourhoods (BIKAU17)

University of East Anglia - Norwich Business School

Start Date: April 2017

Supervisor: Dr Zografia Bika

Project description:

Social innovation refers to new ideas that work in meeting social goals (Mulgan et al., 2007). The INCREASE VS project (2017-2020) is a social innovation project with 11 housing association partners located in the France (Channel) England region (FCE). It is funded by the INTERREG V Programme and aims to inspire economically inactive residents, living in social housing neighbourhoods across the FCE region, to start micro enterprises and get jobs. It is an innovative 6 step training and support pathway for 4,000 economically excluded people in Housing Association (HA) neighbourhoods. It uses resident ambassadors and incentive schemes to drive interest from such communities and develops a new web based support service to nurture cross border, business to business support that creates a sustainable project legacy. UEA’s role in the project includes impact evaluation work combining a review of social housing data, findings from structured questionnaires and more qualitative findings from key-informant interviews and case studies. The evaluation objective is to track the participants’ journey in trying out micro-enterprises, securing employment and engaging in personal development progressions. Within this context, social value is approached as difficult to measure (Mulgan, 2010). The proposed PhD studentship provides additional academic research capacity to support the project’s evaluation work and generate new insights into the local socio-economic and cultural dynamics that underpin the life course of those HA residents furthest away from the labour market. It will involve work with HA residents (developed in consultation with the PhD candidate) to produce a scholarly social science study into entrepreneurship and social innovation among marginalised communities.

Person specification: Applications for this studentship are invited from suitably qualified graduates.

Candidates applying for a 3 year studentship should hold or expect to hold a Masters qualification (which includes training in research methods and a independently researched dissertation) in a relevant subject area. A portion of the research for this project will take place in France so applicant’s language skills will be taken into account.

Candidates will be interviewed, usually via telephone or Skype, as part of the selection process. EU and International applicants may be required to provide evidence of competence in the English Language.

Funding notes:

The studentship is open to Home/EU cover tuition fees (UK/EU rates), a tax-free maintenance grant (£14,533 for entry during 2017/8), and a research training support grant. The Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) position provides a studentship for doctoral research studies along with offering teaching experience and other support to help fast-track academic careers while at the same time gaining a PhD. The successful candidate will be enrolled on the Developing Teaching Skills module as part of this studentship.

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South East England