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PhD Studentship - Setting the assets-based agenda: a critical realist exploration

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bournemouth
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: 15,450 maintenance grant per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 22nd September 2021
Closes: 31st October 2021

Lead Supervisor name: Professor Sam Porter

This is an exciting opportunity to make an important contribution to the understanding of community development. Its focus is on assets-based approaches to health and well-being. This approach involves building on the assets found in communities and mobilising individuals and community-led organisations to develop their strengths and their capacity to improve the health and well-being of community members. 

The PhD will be part of a wider programme of research that is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research, called ‘Common Health Assets: a mixed-methods, realist evaluation and economic appraisal of how community-led organisations (CLOs) impact on the health and wellbeing of people living in deprived areas’. The student will have the opportunity to be part of a strong interdisciplinary team that includes academics from universities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

This PhD will take a step back from the immediate analysis of how effective community led organisations have been in mobilising community assets to look at how community assets approaches have developed and what has influenced their development.  

The basic premise of the PhD is that community assets approaches mean different things to different constituencies. While practitioners are an important constituency in the provision of assets-based initiatives, they are only one of a number of stakeholder groups, which also include policy makers and administrators in central government, local government and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and community members that engage with the initiatives.

This PhD project will examine how these various social groups have influenced the direction of asset-based interventions, and in turn how (if at all) those interventions have influenced social relations.

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,450 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 36 months. In addition, research costs, including field work and conference attendance, will be met.

Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

  • Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree (or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA) or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent
  • An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language and this must be evidenced at point of application.

Closing date: The first call for applications will close on 31st October 2021

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button or email

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