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An asset-based approach to improving safeguarding, health and wellbeing amongst Deaf SASL users in South Africa (GCRF)

Project Description

This four year PhD studentship is offered jointly by SORD (Social Research with Deaf people), University of Manchester and the Centre for Deaf Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. It focusses on Deaf SASL users (South African Sign Language) and all data will be collected exclusively in South Africa using ethnographic visual methods including film and photography.

The study objectives are:

1.To enhance the health, protection and wellbeing of Deaf SASL users in South Africa who face multiple health inequalities arising from both linguistic barriers to accessing health information/health services and discriminations on grounds of disability and deafness.
2.To introduce and promote strategies of self-management of health/wellbeing and protection from abuse in a context where basic health literacy is very low but internal Deaf community bonds of mutual support and knowledge transfer are very high.
3.To explore and experiment with a variety of Deaf service-user-authored filmic approaches to achieving objectives 1 and 2, with the aim of creating new materials for broadcast and testing their effectiveness and impact.

Essential requirements of the successful candidate for this specific PhD are:

- Native Deaf South African Sign Language user
- Excellent, fluent written English user.
- Masters degree in Anthropology or similar
- Previous experience in health-related research
- Demonstrable experience of data collection and analysis in a signed language

Additional desirable experience

- Previous film making, film editing and visual anthropology methods skills
- Lecturing experience in a signed language at a higher education level
- Respected leader and role model within the Deaf community in South Africa.

This PhD will be supervised by Professor Alys Young, Dr Lorenzo Ferrarini and Dr Emma Ferguson Coleman (university of Manchester) and Professor Claudine Storbeck (University of the Witwatersrand).

Entry Requirements
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.

If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - choose PhD Communication Disorders. Full details on how to apply can be found on the GCRF website

Funding Notes

The GCRF PhD studentship programme is a 4 year programme with integrated teaching certificate. There are up to 12 studentships available. Applicants can apply to one project which will start in either April or September 2020.

Funding for the programme will include tuition fees, an annual stipend at the minimum Research Councils UK rate (around £15,000 for 2019/20), a research training grant, training allowance and travel allowance.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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