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PhD Studentship: Understanding the Use of Evidence in Civil Service Policy Making

University of East Anglia - Norwich Business School

Qualification Type: PhD, Integrated Masters / Doctorate
Location: Norwich
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: ESRC studentship that pays tuition fees, a stipend, and funding to support research and training costs
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 22nd January 2024
Closes: 23rd February 2024
Reference: DANIELS_NBS24SENSS

Primary supervisor - Prof Kevin Daniels Kevin.Daniels@uea.ac.uk

Mode of study: Full-time or part-time

Programme type: Masters+PhD or PhD 

This is an excellent opportunity to work with the Evaluation Task Force in the UK’s Civil Service. The Evaluation Task Force is a joint unit of the Cabinet Office and Treasury that aims to ensure robust evidence is plays a key role in UK Government spending decisions. Working closely with senior members of the Evaluation Task Force (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/evaluation-task-force) you will examine how social science evidence is used by the Civil Service. The studentship will be suitable for students with backgrounds in any social science discipline, including anthropology, sociology, political science or organisational psychology.

The main aim is to understand the methods and reasons behind the Civil Service's use of social science evidence in shaping government policies. The research has five main objectives:

  1. To provide a typology of different actors and institutions that influence the quantity, quality and use of evidence in governmental decisions and policy.
  2. To develop a typology of how evidence is acquired, from whom it is acquired and used by the actors identified under objective 1. This may include political or symbolic aspects, as well as rational aspects.
  3. To understand the factors that may influence the actors identified under objective 1 to acquire and use evidence in the ways identified under objective 2.
  4. To identify and make explicit a model of what the Evaluation Task Force and wider Civil Service consider to be procedurally appropriate and inappropriate procurement and use of evidence.
  5. To develop recommendations of how use of evidence can be enhanced to inform better policy decisions and evaluation.

A comprehensive package of training will be provided by the supervisors, University of East Anglia, and by other providers. In addition, you will have access to some Civil Service professional development activities.

This is a SENSS collaborative doctoral training studentship project.

The deadline applying to University of East Anglia for a place is 23:59 GMT on 23 February 2024.

The deadline for submitting your application for SENSS funding on HEIApply is 12:00 GMT on 11 March 2024. https://senss.heiapply.com/application.

No extensions to this deadline will be permitted.

Funding:

The successful candidate will be awarded an ESRC studentship that pays tuition fees, a stipend, and funding to support research and training costs. Funding may be awarded for four years if the successful candidate needs to undertake a Master’s degree before the PhD, or for 3-3.5 years for the PhD alone, depending on training needs.

Unfortunately, no additional funds are available to assist with relocation or visa costs.

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