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Vice Chancellor's Studentships 2021

University of the West of Scotland

Funded PhD opportunities with University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is one of Scotland’s most innovative modern universities. It’s ranked by Times Higher Education in the world’s top 150 young universities, and in the top 600 universities overall in their world university rankings. 

Research-led solutions for global problems

Under the UWS Vice-Chancellor’s Studentship Scheme 2021, twelve funded PhD studentships are offered for October 2021 start. These highly selective studentships span the University’s four academic schools: Business & Creative Industries; Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences; Education & Social Sciences; and Health & Life Sciences. 

Professor Craig Mahoney, UWS Principal & Vice-Chancellor says: “I am delighted to announce the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Studentships. They provide exciting opportunities for talented and committed individuals to join a truly dynamic and innovative research environment at UWS, and to help to make a real difference to society.

The studentship themes are aligned with the ambitions of UWS Strategy 2025 which sets out the University’s commitment to distinctive research and innovation, and addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 

In the 2021 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings which assess more than 1100 universities worldwide in their delivery against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UWS was placed first in Scotland and fifth in the UK for SDG 10 – reducing inequalities. UWS was ranked overall in the 101-200 category of universities worldwide and recorded an institutional score of 83.4 out of 100 for its efforts in meeting the UN goals. 

Professor Milan Radosavljevic, UWS Vice-Principal (Research, Innovation & Engagement), comments: “UWS is committed to globally relevant research. The University currently has teams undertaking pioneering work that’s having a real impact worldwide. The Vice Chancellor’s studentships are designed for exceptional candidates who have the drive and enthusiasm to enable us to build on our research output, and help provide research-led solutions to many of the problems facing society globally.”

About these Projects

University of the West of Scotland is seeking to attract PhD candidates of outstanding ability and commitment to join our vibrant and growing programme of internationally excellent research. 

The funded studentships are open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status. Funding for applicants meeting these criteria will cover UK fees and they will also receive an annual stipend (currently £15,609). The studentships with stipend are also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. 

How to apply

Applications can only be accepted through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application).

Submit your application along with the required documents mentioned in UWS guidance: https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/postgraduate-research-application-guide/  

Closing date for applications - 30 June 2021 

You will find more details on these exciting funded studentship opportunities, as well as details of the contacts for more information, in the project summaries below.

 

PROJECT 1

AI and IoT enabled enabled Health and Well-being System over 6G networks 2021SC62

Our vision is to create new knowledge in the form of an intelligent tool and develop a cost-effective health and well-being monitoring and predicting system based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) for healthcare. Combined with (1) lifestyle data collected through mobile App, such as mobility/known health conditions and (2) sensor data such as vital signs and heart rate etc and (3) camera/visual data such as emotions and feelings, we aim to identify data markers for compromised health and well-being conditions; deliver interventions or create alert and identify routes to change the delivery of healthcare services.  

This research network will develop an integrated approach to remotely monitoring and intelligently predicting health and well-being of general public, e.g., stress and anxiety which could increase the risk of suicide contemplation (UN mental health Target 3.2), with the objective of improving health and well-being services and promoting mental health (UN Goal#3) and reducing further healthcare burden. The study will be validated with the use case where multimedia content, e.g., music therapy can be delivered over enhanced ICT infrastructure (UN Goal#9) such as highly reliable 5G/6G networks including small cells as an intervention to influence the well-being of individuals suffering from stress or anxiety and related mental health. 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. 

Candidates should hold a first- or second-class honours or a master’s degree in computer science/computer engineering/electrical and electronic engineering or other relevant disciplines or have equivalent industry experiences. It is essential that the applicant has very good skills in computer programming (e.g., Python and C/C++) and good knowledge in data science, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and mathematical modelling. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr. Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir (Muhammad.Shakir@uws.ac.uk).

Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/ ). Submit your detailed resume with cover letter and a copy of relevant research publications in addition to the required documents mentioned in UWS guidance

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021 

 

PROJECT 2 

Contemporary Transitions from Education to Employment 2021SC05

Young people today face extraordinary challenges in making their transitions from education to employment. Job shortages, automation, and the pace at which skills become obsolete are some of the obstacles facing young labour market entrants (ILO, 2020). The COVID pandemic brings new difficulties through disruptions to key developmental activities known to ease transitions, namely education, volunteering and employment. 

Past economic challenges have shown that the oldest and youngest workers are most at risk of employment disruptions (Grzegorczyk & Wolff, 2020). With the current pandemic set to follow this pattern - researchers have warned of the potential ‘lost COVID generation’ (Resolution Foundation, 2020). Likewise, early unemployment has been linked to long-term scarring effects, e.g., lowered wages (Gregg & Tominey, 2004) and adverse psychological consequences (Mousteri et al, 2018). 

Engagement with education has been shown to provide protection against poor transitions (Spengler et al, 2018) and adolescent’s jobs provide opportunities to learn a range of key skills that are critical for future jobs (Simpson et al, 2018). However, the COVID-pandemic has disrupted both these key developmental experiences, placing youth transitions and SDG Targets 8.6 and 4.4 at further risk. Nevertheless, youth volunteering, which is on the rise (nfpSynergy, 2020) may be an alternative way to develop the necessary work-relevant skills. 

Contributing to the literature on student employment and skills development, this project will explore current experiences of work, volunteering and education alongside employment expectations and aspirations to understand how future transitions might be impacted. 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first or second class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Amanda Simpson (Amanda.Simpson@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/ ). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021 

 

PROJECT 3 

Creative Assemblages and Urban Space: The Role of Creative and Cultural Ecologies in Tactical Urban Placemaking 2021SC21

This proposal explores how we can sustainably engage with creativity and culture in cities that have urban contexts typified by unsustainable industrial pasts, in this case Greater Glasgow. The project aims to identify neglected and derelict urban spaces that have, and can be, reimagined as contributors to sustainable places, explored through the lens of a creative and cultural ecologies framework. Through creative and participatory methods, the study will explore the re-imagination of neglected and derelict spaces. It will research the value of collaborative design, programming and use in creating community assets that effectively connect citizens to their urban environment(s). 

This project contributes to existing ideas about how to deploy creative and cultural assets and techniques to improve the places people live in, with a focus on the (co) production of improved quality of life, health and wellbeing. Connecting space, place, culture and quality of life, this project aligns with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) #3. Furthermore, the spaces included in the study require the participation of the community and continued community engagement to ensure they are sustainable. By ensuring community ownership of these spaces, there is substantial potential for leveraging spaces that in the long-term can produce sustainable community assets. By focusing on derelict spaces rather than building new spaces, the study emphasises the value of the circular economy and tactical urbanism, aligned with UN SDG #11. Evidence suggests that when people have good quality community spaces (indoor and outdoor) close to their homes, their health and wellbeing are improved (GCPH, 2020). 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status. Candidates should hold a first or second class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when applying for this studentship. Applicants should include a statement of purpose/intent (1000 words max) when submitting their application. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Rachael Flynn (Rachael.Flynn@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/ ). 

Closing date 30th June 2021 

Interview July 2021 

Start date 1st October 2021  

 

PROJECT 4 

The Dementia-Cancer care pathway: developing an integrated pathway to improve care of people with dual dementia-cancer diagnosis. 2021SC19 

People with dementia often have sub-optimal experiences of hospital care, further exacerbated when cancer is diagnosed. This studentship aims to develop the first integrated pathway to enhance care accessibility and equality for people with a dual dementia-cancer diagnosis. This is a multi-method qualitative study. It will involve conducting a systematic review of care experiences of people living with dementia and cancer, qualitative interviews with cancer and dementia healthcare professionals and people with dual diagnosis and their carers, two process mapping exercises, two months of field observations in two acute cancer care areas, and the collaborative development of a Dementia-Cancer Care Pathway with stakeholders. 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first or second class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Rhoda MacRae (Rhoda.MacRae@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021

 

PROJECT 5 

Fostering sustainability in children and young people using the school environment 2021SC48 

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is seeking to attract a PhD candidate of outstanding ability and commitment to join its vibrant and growing programme of internationally excellent research. The successful applicant will receive an annual stipend (currently £15,609 per annum for three years) and payment of tuition fees (current value £4,500 per annum for 3 years). 

The Scottish Government prioritises Learning for Sustainability (LfS) and advocates all learners are entitled to LfS, all teachers demonstrate LfS in their practice, and school grounds and policies adopt LfS. LfS encompasses education for sustainable development, global citizenship and outdoor learning. The Scottish Government has further committed to LfS via the £1 billion investment in the Schools for the Future Programme. However, LfS is not always enacted in practice, and questions remain regarding how School Estates can support the adoption of LfS, particularly through outdoor spaces, and how this impacts children's and young people's attitudes and sustainability behaviours.

In exploring these questions, this PhD project may consider how LfS influences sustainability behaviours, what facilities are available to students, the quality and quantity of outdoor learning and play across schools, and whether the benefits of outdoor education are similarly experienced by all age groups. This project will adopt novel and innovative methodologies to explore these questions. 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first or second class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Nicola Douglas-Smith (Nicola.Douglas-Smith@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021

 

 

PROJECT 6 

Investigation of doped IV-VI polycrystalline thin films deposited by sputtering methods for high speed and room-temperature mid-infrared photodetectors - 2021SC12 

Pollution is nowadays a major issue for human health as reflected by UN SDGs Goal-3. It has been demonstrated that contaminated air could have irreversible hazards on human health, causing chronic respiratory conditions. Human beings living in large cities are subjected to a bad quality air, consisting of carcinogenic gases such as NO2 and CO2, which drastically increases allergic reactions, risk of lung cancers, and negative effects on the transmission of COVID19. IV-VI semiconductors such as PbSe presenting a direct band gap (leading to a lower-power consumption and more efficient light radiation/detection) as well as possibility to improve its optoelectronic properties and internal quantum efficiency via doping (band gap energy tuning) and sensitization through plasma oxidation processes, are considered a promising alternative to III-V materials, as active material to detect low concentrations of NO2 and CO2 for applications, including air pollution monitoring and point-of-care breath analysis. 

The successful student will have access to West of Scotland Science Park (WSSP) facilities where thin films optical properties will be characterised by state-of-the-art photoluminescence technique. The project has a strong support from two industrial partners, including AlbaSense Ltd. (ASL) and Helia Photonics Ltd. (HPL)ASL is specialised in the deposition of thin films for sensor applications; HPL is a company specialised in deposition of thin films for optics and semiconductors. 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first or second class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Carloz Garcia Nunez (carlos.garcianunez@uws.ac.uk) . Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021 

 

PROJECT 7 

Neutron activation analysis for heritage science 2021SC45 

Identifying and preserving the rich variety of cultural heritage assets present in Scotland forms a key part of the strategic vision of several national funding bodies and organisations in the UK including the Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee and Historic Environment Scotland. This project seeks to apply a well-established, non-destructive sample-analysis technique (neutron activation) to examine the changing composition of building materials and how this information may be harnessed, including as an input for predictive models of care and maintenance. This information will be used to inform wider policy decisions regarding the management of tangible cultural heritage. 

This project will use neutron-activation analysis (NAA) techniques to support the sustainable management of historic sites in Scotland. NAA uses neutron radiation to ‘activate’ materials which undergo radioactive decay via gamma rays, allowing isotopic ratios to be measured. Isotopic ratios are applied extensively in heritage science to determine the origin and age of materials. The successful candidate will investigate the role of nuclear data in emerging isotopic analyses of benefit to heritage science. 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first or second class honours degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

Key competencies

The main skill areas encountered in this project will include,

-      Gamma-ray spectroscopy,

-      Radiation-detector physics,

-      Laboratory work and maintaining an experimental logbook,

-      Sample preparation,

-      Analytical calculations,

-      Uncertainty analysis,

-      Computational work and simulations,

-      Scientific writing,

-      Reviewing relevant literature. 

In the process of conducting research, the successful candidate will work as part of an interdisciplinary team within the School of Engineering, Computing and Physical Sciences at UWS and attend regular meetings with the supervisor(s). Work will be partly conducted using facilities located at UWS administered by the Nuclear Physics Research Group. 

There may be opportunities for international travel both for research purposes and to attend scientific conferences to present results. In addition to writing a formal thesis describing the work carried out during the project, it is expected that the successful candidate will contribute to the publication of a scientific article in a relevant, peer-reviewed journal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Michael Bowry (Michael.Bowry@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021

 

 

PROJECT 8 

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)-Driven Photo-Reading Data Convergence for Facility Digital Twins 2021SC35 

This project aims to develop a predictive maintenance-focused facility digital twin model by harnessing deep learning and Building Information Modelling (BIM) techniques. The intellectual merit of this project is driven as a holistic and predictive maintenance approach in facility operation and management, drawing upon image sensed big Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) data gathered from multiple structural components in numerous locations of the facility. The proposed analytical approach comparatively analyses the effect of what-if maintenance planning (i.e., schedule and cost) scenarios in the BIM-driven common data environment, which can be repeatable to extend such an analysis to a wide variety of scenarios.  

According to the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET, 2019), it is expected that more than 68% of the global population by 2050 will be concentrated in cities to live. Given the trend in the built space, the unique spectrum of global societal challenges is represented by United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 8, 9, 11 and 12. In this sense, developing and managing digital twins for facilities can play a pivotal role in responding to these particular SDGs, by evaluating facility performance during the whole life cycle. More specifically, the digital twin proposed in this project can advance understanding and verification of existing conditions of facilities and provide a digital blueprint for future maintenance planning, responding to the aforementioned SDGs. In line with UWS Strategy 2025, this project highlights scalable and systematic technology innovations on built asset management, which can contribute to regional, national and global economic growth through business-to-university interaction

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first or second class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Junseo Bae (Junseo.Bae@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021

 

PROJECT 9 

Obesity and Bariatric Cohort Study 2021SC06

This is an exciting opportunity to join a multidisciplinary team to develop a research proposal and conduct a cohort study comprising bariatric patients. The project builds on cutting edge research developed by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and University Hospital Ayr, NHS Ayrshire & Arran (NHS AA) collaboration aimed at modelling referred patients’ dynamics using statistical methods and follow up pattern. Furthermore, NHS AA has externally funded five MRes studentships with UWS to facilitate the clinical research of surgical registrars in training with publications and international conferences relating to bariatric and metabolic. 

Obesity compromises health and quality of life (QoL). The increasing incidence of obesity is negatively impacting on health across Scotland, UK and globally. The prevalence of obesity has tripled over the past 40 years and there are now more than 650 million obese adults worldwide with a greater increase in developing compared to developed countries. The UK has the sixth highest prevalence of obesity according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). About 64% of UK adults are overweight or obese, with lower socioeconomic groups over-represented, fuelling a rise in cases of type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease, fatty liver disease and cancer and a negative impact on quality of life (QoL). In the UK, rising obesity levels are estimated to quadruple by 2030. 

Evidence suggests high BMIs are associated with complications influencing the immune system, QoL and economy with increased risk of severe illness/death from Covid-19. As a major global public-health problem, obesity closely aligns with UN SDG 3: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. 

Surgical operations facilitate weight-loss and lead to wellbeing benefits e.g. improving diabetes remission. This PhD will focus on a cohort of obese adults referred for bariatric surgery. The cohort will be divided into two groups: those who have had or did not have bariatric surgery. The study will investigate groups in relation to a range of specific key health issues. Data will be collated from the Bariatric and Metabolic Unit database and statistically analysed using the programming package R. 

Evidence supports bariatric and metabolic surgical interventions, which offer remission or cure large number of patients from metabolic syndrome (obesity, high triglyceride level, reduced HDL ‘the good lipid’, Type II diabetes and high blood pressure). There remains lack of evidence to identify the patient cohort benefitting the most from bariatric surgery. Through purposeful research, this PhD study will follow a cohort of patients referred for bariatric and metabolic surgery at University Hospital Ayr. Short and long-term health and wellbeing parameters will investigate the impact of bariatric surgery on diabetes and QoL. 

University Hospital Ayr is one of the four main referral centres in Scotland for bariatric and metabolic surgery. Patients who are potentially eligible for bariatric surgery are referred to this centre from all around Scotland. The most common procedures performed at this unit includes sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and one anastomosis gastric bypass (mini Bypass). 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first or upper second class honours degree or Master’s degree in a relevant discipline. 

The successful candidate:

  • will have a health or bioscience background with good knowledge of data analysis and willing to learn/use the statistical programming package R for the analytical approaches
  • will undertake comprehensive UWS PGR training including study designs and programming skills. 
  • will have multiple opportunities to present their work in conferences, workshops and seminars to develop their communication skills and facilitate dissemination of results.
  • will be based at Paisley Campus with regular commuting to University Hospital Ayr in the first year for data collection and follow up procedures.
  • will contribute to teaching/workshops in UWS and University Hospital Ayr.  

Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

Supervisory Committee and Research Team

The candidate will join a supervisory team composed of:

  • Dr. Andisheh Bakhshi from University of the West of Scotland.
  • Dr. Lyz Howie from University of the West of Scotland.
  • Prof. Jean Rankin from University of the West of Scotland.
  • Prof. Abdulmajid Ali from University Ayr Hospital and University of the West of Scotland.

 The project is funded by the University of the West of Scotland.

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Andisheh Bakhshi (Andisheh.Bakhshi@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021

 

PROJECT 10 

Positronium in PET imaging: measuring hypoxia levels in cancerous tumours 2021SC22

This project will investigate a transformative alternative modality of PET imaging: one which combines the imaging of cancerous tissue with simultaneous treatment of the tumour with the use of very-high energy electrons accelerated using a laser-wakefield accelerator. There is a growing body of evidence that the lifetime of positronium is sensitive to oxygen levels within biological tissue. A lack of oxygen is often associated with an increased tendency to metastatic progression and can indicate that a tumour is more resistive to radiotherapy. This technique will permit discrimination between healthy and cancerous tissue based on oxygen levels. 

The successful candidate will join the Nuclear Physics Research group of the University of the West of Scotland and work within an international collaboration performing experiments at the Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA) in Glasgow and at CERN in Geneva. This project will also involve significant use of the Monte-Carlo simulation toolkit Geant4.   

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first- or second-class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr David O'Donnell (David.ODonnell@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021 

 

PROJECT 11 

Supporting university lecturers to work inclusively with students with disabilities 2021SC16

The project will use psychological theory to examine lecturer beliefs towards inclusion, their teaching and learning practices for students with different disabilities and will develop tools to enhance staffs’ inclusivity. The number of disabled students pursuing higher education (HE) is increasing. Universities must make appropriate adjustments for disabled students to ensure participation of all in HE and develop important graduate attributes (Higbee et al., 2010). At an institutional level, universities have made significant progress to enhance the inclusion of students with a range of disabilities (e.g. disability services, assistive technologies). Although institutional advancements have enhanced inclusion, barriers may still exist (Slee, 2011). For example, student attainment is influenced by lecturers’ practice and thus successful inclusion is reliant on teaching staff i.e. the support they provide to learners with different disabilities and their use of appropriate adjustments (Diez, 2015). 

The successful candidate will be at the forefront of supporting lecturers’ inclusive teaching practice and the research will contribute to tackling barriers of inclusivity. This aligns with UN SDGs Quality Education; Peace, Justice, Strong Institutions; Reduced Inequalities. 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status, it is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. Candidates should hold a first or second class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Claire Wilson (Claire.Wilson@uws.ac.uk) . Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/). 

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021 

 

PROJECT 12 

Transforming the Transition to Retirement 2021SC07

This studentship aims to extend the healthy life years of older women by transforming their transition to retirement (TtR) through physical-activity-related social prescription. This research combines narrative psychology with design-based methods to co-create social enterprise prototypes that innovate women’s TtR. Retirement is often accompanied by a sharp downturn in wellbeing, the impacts of which vary widely by health status, gender, and socioeconomic circumstances. This project works with older women to understand what wellbeing in retirement should look like and to co-create desirable, sustainable ways of achieving it. Their stories will inform a practice framework for lifestyle intervention through social enterprise. 

This project addresses UN Sustainable Development Goals at the nexus between non-communicable disease prevention, intervention sustainability, and meaningful ageing. The project’s central focus is to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by promoting health and wellbeing. The USPs of the project involve empowering social and economic inclusion by recognising the value of older women in the promotion of social protection services. This will be achieved by taking an innovative approach to social prescription informed by human-centred design. 

Using participatory approaches, the research will work with older women to design accessible and sustainable social enterprise ideas that improve the fit between health promotion practices and the TtR while maintaining older adults’ potential for employability. A signature output of the work develops an intergenerational component linking UWS sport graduates with the prototype dissemination to take them forward as potential KTPs. 

The studentship is open to UK citizens and EU applicants with pre-settled or settled status.

It is also open to international applicants if they can cover the difference between Home and International fees for the duration of the programme of study. 

Candidates should hold a minimum of first or second class honours degree, but preferably Masters, from a university in the United Kingdom in a relevant discipline. Please quote the Project Reference number above when submitting your research proposal. 

In the first instance, any informal enquiries and applications to these competitive studentships should be made by email to Dr Angela Beggan (angela.beggan@uws.ac.uk). Successful applicants will then be asked to submit their application through the UWS online system (https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/admissions-application/).

Closing date 30th June 2021

Interview July 2021

Start date 1st October 2021

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Paisley
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Funding for applicants will cover UK fees and they will also receive an annual stipend (currently £15,609)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th June 2021
Closes: 30th June 2021
   
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