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PhD Studentship: Evaluating Therapeutic Life Story Work Among Young People with Multiple Disadvantages.

University of Kent - School of Psychology and Oasis Domestic Abuse Service Collaborative Studentship 2021

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Canterbury
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,285
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st April 2021
Closes: 31st May 2021

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent, in collaboration with Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, under the supervision of Dr Jennifer Storey and Professor Jane Wood. The studentship commences September 2021.


This studentship is suitable for applicants who have or will have both an undergraduate and a BPS-accredited Master’s degree (ideally in Forensic Psychology) in psychology by September 2021.

The studentship awardee must undertake a School of Psychology PhD programme on a full-time basis.

The studentship award covers tuition fees at the Home rate and also provides a stipend (£15,285 for 2021/22). Subject to performance, this renews for the second and third year of registration.

Research project

Therapeutic Life Story (TLS) practice as developed by Richard Rose grew from his social work with young people who had experienced toxic stress. Life Story work is widely used in UK social work teams, most specifically for adopted children. In November 2014, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which reports on English medical, social and health issues, but also makes recommendations for UK – wide awareness, stated that all children in the care of English local authorities have a right to have life story work.

In Rose’s 2012 book, ‘Innovative therapeutic life story practice’ it is noted that social work practice is usually life history work whereby a story of the child’s pre-existing family facts is constructed for their future reference. However, Richard has developed, through his understanding of trauma and attachment, the practice for the therapeutic benefit of the young person.

TLS was developed with children who had been removed from the care of their parent(s) allowing them to reconstruct their history. It is now being applied worldwide to children and young people with a range of adverse experiences and Oasis intends to work with young people (across the full range 11-24) who have experienced domestic abuse and other difficult life experiences (substance misusing parents for example) and are those that might be deemed to have ‘latent vulnerability’.

The aim of the research will be to independently analyse the impact of this therapeutic method for adolescents who might be considered to have lives filled with abuse.

The successful candidate will work closely with the academic supervisors and Oasis Domestic Abuse Service throughout the research process (developing methods, data collection, analysis, disseminating findings in various formats).

For full information about eligibility criteria and how to apply, please see the funding advert on the Kent website.

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