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PhD Studentship Opportunity at University of Birmingham



The Department of Social Work and Social Care is recruiting to one fully funded, full-time, three year PhD studentship, starting in October 2020.


The studentship aims to support a promising researcher in the field of community-based health and social care for older people.


Located within the Department of Social Work and Social Care, College of Social Sciences, the studentship is shared with the Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences. The studentship is funded through the National Institute of Health Research Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands (ARC WM). ARC WM is a £9 million, five-year initiative which started in October 2019 with a mission to create lasting and effective collaborations across health and social care organisations, universities and local authorities by using research to improve the services delivered across the West Midlands and further afield.

This studentship falls within the Acute Care research theme.


The focus is a new community-based service in Birmingham that provides acute care to older people in care homes or their own homes, avoiding the need for hospital admission. There is scope to develop a proposal in line with the student’s specific interests but examples of relevant areas of enquiry include (but are not restricted to):


  • How does this model compare with other ‘hospital at home’ initiatives both in the UK and internationally?

  • How effectively do health and social care organisations collaborate in the design and delivery of the service?

  • What are the implications for social care of the community-based acute service and how are these addressed by the service?

  • What are the experiences of older people and carers (both unpaid and paid) of the model and what can we learn from these?


The scholarship is available to a candidate of high academic calibre who has experience in health and social care with older people and wishes to conduct doctoral level study within this field. A successful applicant will be expected to have a very good undergraduate degree: a minimum of a 2:1, preferably a first class honours. They should also hold, or expect to achieve, a very good Masters degree (at a distinction level) in a relevant subject.


Applications will be assessed on (a) the quality of the student's academic achievements and preparedness for doctoral level study; (b) the student’s knowledge and experience of health and social care practice with older people (c) the quality of the research proposal; (d) the potential to contribute to cutting edge research.


We encourage applications from women and those of diverse backgrounds, including Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates, as these groups are underrepresented across the University of Birmingham.


A full scholarship covers Home/EU fees plus a living allowance (stipend) of £20,707 per annum for three years, subject to satisfactory progress.


For further information, please contact the supervisors:


Dr. Denise Tanner, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Department of Social Work and Social Care at d.l.tanner@bham.ac.uk or


Professor Daniel Lasserson, Professor of Ambulatory Care, Institute of Applied Health Research at d.s.lasserson@bham.ac.uk


How to apply

Potential candidates should apply to undertake a PhD within the Department of Social Work and Social Care at the University of Birmingham, and indicate when applying that they want to be considered for this studentship. Visit the following page for guidance on the application process: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgr/requirements-dr/index.aspx

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