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ESRC White Rose DTP Collaborative Studentship

University of Leeds - School of Law

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leeds
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 29th January 2019
Closes: 8th March 2019

Session 2019-20 - Closing Date 17:00 (UK time) 8 March 2019

The online application form can be found at:

Project: Reclaiming the lost years: supporting young adults with severe and multiple disadvantage

Awards provide fees and maintenance at standard Research Council Rates (£14,777 in Session 2018/19) for eligible applicants.

This studentship is in collaboration with Humankind

A substantial body of academic literature now exists on young or emerging adulthood (18-25). During this short period, young people make significant transitions (e.g. entering the labour market, leaving the family home). Studies have observed how these transitions have become elongated, leaving young people dependent on their parents for longer than in the past with delayed access to adult identities/activities (e.g. living independently or forming long-term relationships) They have also highlighted the difficulties young people face. Their transitions have become more individualised, fragmented, risky and unpredictable as they attempt to negotiate significant challenges such as insecure employment and a lack of affordable housing. Many young people have extensive social networks which provide them with support during this period. These serve as protective factors for young people’s health and wellbeing and reduce the likelihood that they will engage in crime, anti-social behaviour or experience addiction, homelessness and mental ill-health. However, some young adults find these transitions difficult and need additional support to compensate for their limited social capital. Accessing support as a young adult can be problematic: specialist young people’s services are limited and adult services may struggle to accommodate young adults’ distinctive needs.

The project will focus on young adults experiencing multiple and severe disadvantage (defined as experiencing three or more of homelessness, addiction, reoffending and mental ill-health). Its origins lie in observations by the project partner (Humankind) that this group were not engaging with services and after a period of being ‘lost’, they re-engaged with services in their mid-20s. By this time, they had developed additional and more complex needs.

The project will focus on discontinuities in access to services as young people make their transition to adulthood. It aims to enhance service access for young adults; providing valuable opportunities to address their immediate needs so they do not escalate, alongside promoting resilience and social inclusion. It is envisaged that the project will be largely qualitative in its approach, using interviews and focus groups to capture young adults’ experiences of accessing support. It will be based predominantly in Leeds, extending to other localities within West Yorkshire should it be necessary to recruit participants.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work closely with the project partner, particularly the research team, and will benefit from two internships designed to enhance the impact of the project. A DBS check will required.

Further information on the application procedure can be found at

For more information on the project, please contact Dr Emma Wincup (

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