Back to search results

MRC PhD Studentship: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Adolescents in Out-of-home Care and Care-leavers

University of Bath

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bath
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,104 p.a. in living costs (current rates), travel grant (£300 pa), plus home tuition fees and research training support
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 3rd October 2019
Closes: 25th November 2019

The University of Bath (Department of Psychology) is pleased to offer a PhD project starting in October 2020, supervised by Dr Rachel Hiller (Bath), Prof John Macleod (University of Bristol), Prof Sarah Halligan (Bath), and Dr David Wilkins (University of Cardiff). This project is in competition for funding from the ‘GW4 BioMed MRC Doctoral Training Partnership’ for entry in October 2020.


Young people in care are one of the most vulnerable groups in the UK. Many have experienced maltreatment, while the experience of being in care can involve further challenges. While young people in care can be incredibly resilient, lifelong poor outcomes have also been well-documented in this group, including high rates of unemployment and homelessness. The unaddressed mental health needs of this group have been identified as a key driver of these wide-ranging poor outcomes.

The potential vulnerability of young people in care is particularly pronounced in adolescence, as they move closer to a particularly challenging transition - 'aging-out' of care at 18 years old. Exploring ways to address the mental health needs of teenagers in care is vital, given (a) it is a time when most mental health difficulties first emerge and (b) they are the fastest growing age group entering care.

Via a series of mixed-methods projects, the overarching goals of this project are to understand the mental health needs of adolescents in care and care-leavers and how services are responding, as well as to explore meaningful and feasible ways to address these needs. This will include (a) a series of qualitative studies interviewing service-providers, as well as teenagers in care and care-leavers; (b) a large quantitative data linkage study linking social-care and health service data to provide evidence for the emotional needs of these teenagers, and their access to both child and adolescent mental health services, and later adult mental health services; and (c) a multiple baseline single case experimental study that will explore the feasibility of directly addressing the mental health needs of teenagers in care at a social-care level, particularly in relation to their trauma-related mental health (e.g., PTSD).

The project also comes with a number of rich training opportunities, including potential for a placement at CASCADE, University of Cardiff, to learn how research can inform social care policy.

Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree in Psychology, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. An MSc or experience of working with potentially vulnerable groups is also desirable.

IMPORTANT: In order to apply for this project, you should apply using the DTP’s online application form:

More information on the application process may be found here:

Applications open on the 29th September and close at 17:00 on the 25th November 2019.

You do NOT need to apply to the University of Bath at this stage – only those applicants who are successful in obtaining a funding offer from the DTP will be required to submit an application to study at Bath.

We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:

Subject Area(s):


PhD tools
More PhDs from University of Bath

Show all PhDs for this organisation …

More PhDs like this
Join in and follow us

Browser Upgrade Recommended has been optimised for the latest browsers.

For the best user experience, we recommend viewing on one of the following:

Google Chrome Firefox Microsoft Edge