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PhD Studentship - Community Sports Programmes as a Means of Reducing Violence and Antisocial Behaviour in Young People in London: Mixed Methods

Queen Mary University of London

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £20,622 - please see advert
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 14th February 2024
Closes: 1st March 2024
 

Funded by ESRC London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership, commencing 1st October 2024.

Background to the project

Homicide is the third leading cause of death in youth. As knife crimes rise in socioeconomically deprived areas, tackling youth violence warrants urgent action. This can take many approaches, but sports programmes have been highlighted as an engaging method for reducing violence and antisocial behaviours.

Youth violence prevention cuts across a range of West Ham United Foundation’s (WHUF) community projects. However, such projects need to draw on guidelines that are rooted in evidence. Before such guidelines are produced, a clearer picture of how sport and physical activity relate to reducing youth violence is needed.

What the studentship will encompass

This project will use innovative study designs and mixed methods. We will test whether sport participation is associated with externalising behaviours and other antecedents of violent behaviours. We will do this in children in East London, straddling boroughs with crime rates higher than the national average and the highest child poverty levels in the country.

We propose three studies. Study 1 will use secondary data to explore whether sports engagement is associated with early precursors of youth violence. Study 2 will explore if changes in physical activity (assessed using wearables) co-occurs with and predicts changes in externalising behaviours, emotion regulation and social cognitive capacities. Study 3 will use an audit and qualitative approaches to understand how different community sports organisations target antisocial behaviour. Our findings could better inform how sports programmes can be structured to maximise their benefits.

Details of supervision

This project will be supervised by Prof Jennifer Lau (j.lau@qmul.ac.uk) and Dr Francois van Loggerenberg (f.vanloggerenberg@qmul.ac.uk) in the Youth Resilience Unit. Co-supervision is provided by the Director of WHUF Outreach Programmes. On Study 2 the student will collaborate with researchers in the Centre for Primary Care.

Requirements:

Candidates are required to have a good Masters degree in a relevant subject such as psychology or in a social science. You must have covered at 75% of the key social science perspectives and methods in Masters-level modules. We can consider professional experience, but this is in conjunction with a Masters degree. More details regarding these ESRC core research training areas are available online here.

How to apply

The deadline is 12:00 (GMT) 1st March 2024. Interviews will be scheduled for the third week of March 2024.

Please apply via the QMUL application site. Include:

1) The application form (email p.mullan@qmul.ac.uk  to request)

2) CV (2pgs);

3) Personal statement (1pg) – this should include: why you are interested in this project; what relevant existing skills, training, and knowledge you would bring.

Shortlisted applicants will also be required to provide transcripts and two references.

All candidates also need to complete the LISS DTP Diversity Monitoring for CASE Candidates: app.onlinesurveys.jisc.ac.uk/s/kings/liss-dtp-diversity-monitoring-for-case-candidates-2023-entry-du

Funding notes

Funding will cover tuition fees at the UK rate only, and a stipend, for three years.

The student stipend for 2023/2024 is tax free £20,622. During the award the student can apply for additional funding to support research training and development and overseas visits.

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