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ESRC White Rose DTP Collaborative Studentship – Shaping the Future: Bradford Young People’s Engagement With the Future Through Action in the Present

University of Leeds - School of Sociology and Social Policy

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leeds
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Awards provide fees and maintenance at standard UKRI Rates (£18,622 in Session 2023/24).
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th February 2024
Closes: 15th March 2024

Session 2024-25 - Closing Date 17:00 (UK time) 15 March 2024

Awards provide fees and maintenance at standard UKRI Rates (£18,622 in Session 2023/24). 

The studentship is run in partnership with Born in Bradford (BiB) through its Age of Wonder (AoW) qualitative longitudinal study, following young people through their teenage years. Conventional possibilities for young people doing well in life are overshadowed in contexts of climate and environmental crisis. Young people in Bradford are concerned about their local environment and anxious about wider environmental and climate futures. This project will complement and build on the Age of Wonder project, working with young people, already involved. The student will explore Bradford young people’s current lives and expectations for the future, particularly focusing on how much they feel that they can shape their futures. It will focus on how young people in Bradford think about their personal futures but also how engaging in collective activity geared towards making positive social and environmental changes may influence their outlooks. The student will explore how young people perceive and experience living in an increasingly precarious world and how this intersects with social inequalities.

Research questions:

  • What does doing well in life mean to young people?
  • Do young people plan and make decisions they see as relevant to their futures and how do they perceive their own efficacy, and influences on their decision making?
  • How do young people perceive local and wider social influences on their futures, and how do they perceive scope for effecting change here?
  • Does the perceived scope for effecting change vary when young people act collectively? How do they perceive and engage with possibilities for changing practices and policies, or reshaping the contexts in which they will live their lives?

The research will commence with an initial, supported, secondary analysis of AoW qualitative data and the student will then design and run a new qualitative study with young people in their mid to late teenage years, primarily sampled from the current AoW cohort and supplemented with the help of AoW networks. Finally the student will lead on the design and running of a dissemination workshop with young people and other key city stakeholders and decision makers.

Born in Bradford will offer a 3 month Research in Practice placement providing exceptional opportunities for developing professional research skills alongside ongoing opportunities to link with BiB research groupings, stakeholder events and city region and national policy networks. The successful applicant will be supervised by Professor Sarah Irwin and Professor Kahryn Hughes at Leeds and by Dr Sufyan Dogra (Born in Bradford and lead of Age of Wonder), who have expertise in researching young lives.

Further information about how to apply, please contact the Admissions Team.

For more information on the project, please contact Sarah Irwin.

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