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Compassionate Communities: Digital technology and building resilience in supporting informal carers post COVID19


Department of Psychology

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Dr Paula Smith , Dr Ben Ainsworth No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The University of Bath is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD position open to UK and EU applicants.

OVERVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT:
The individual impact of being an unpaid family or friend carer has substantial physical and mental health burden (Carers Week 2018). Carers have found a reduction in the level of formal services and support they can access and this may get worse in future years as the need for informal carer support increases. Despite this the number of people who are caring for someone they love is set to continue to increase and so finding ways to support them in this role is an important health and wellbeing issue.

Bath & North East Somerset Carers’ Centre is an established charity that works to create an environment where unpaid carers feel supported, involved and connected. The Centre currently works with over 5000 carers from the age of 5 upwards, helping them to stay well, stay connected with others and take control of their caring situation. BaNES Carers Centre aims to energise communities around carers to have a positive influence and provide support directly so that a caring community is the norm, with care responsibilities belonging to communities as a whole.

This project will help to understand what support means to both carers & communities and what ‘communities of support’ look like, so that the Carers Centre will be able to design and pilot tools which will support the development of carer friendly communities. Support with the ongoing evaluation of these tools will enable us to refine and deliver them at scale, supporting not only the 20,000 carers in B&NES but potentially the 7 million carers across the UK.

Phase 1: A mixed methods approach to data collection including stakeholder meetings and workshops, surveys, documentary analysis, literature reviews and individual interviews will be used to identify the support needs and development required to provide appropriate tools and resources to support the proposed changes.

Phase 2: Collaborative planning and development of support tools and resources (some digital) will be undertaken.

Phase 3: These will then be piloted and embedded in services prior to an evaluation with the wider community, service users (carers) and stakeholders. Following this a roll out of services across other carer organisations will be undertaken.

The successful PhD student will have the opportunity to work in a thriving third sector organisation at a pivotal moment in the development of informal carer support. Academic support will be provided for the research from the University of Bath, where the student will have the opportunity to access a wide range of training in research methods and evaluation. The academic support team will be able to provide the student with a range of research methodologies and theoretical understanding relevant to the overall research project. The student will also have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the way in which health and social care services research can impact the delivery and potential development of complex interventions, policy and practice.

CANDIDATE REQUIREMENTS:
• Undergraduate qualification – a First (1st) or Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1) in Psychology
• Postgraduate qualification – A Master’s degree in Health Psychology or other relevant subject area such as health and social care, social psychology at distinction or merit level.
• Good qualitative research skills.
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
• An interest in working with policy makers and 3rd sector organisations

Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/english-language/index.html.

ANTICIPATED START DATE: 28 September 2020
INTERVIEWS TO COMMENCE FROM: 30 July 2020

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Psychology:
https://samis.bath.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=RDUPS-FP01&code2=0014

Please ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here: http://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/how-to-apply-for-doctoral-study/

NOTE: Applications may close earlier than the advertised deadline if a suitable candidate is found; therefore, early application is strongly recommended.

Funding Notes

Home/EU citizens applying for this project will be considered for a studentship jointly funded by the University of Bath and BaNES Carers Centre. The studentship will cover Home/EU tuition fees and will provide a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,285 2020/21) for a period of up to 3 years. In addition, a budget will be available in support of research expenses, training and travel.

Candidates classed as 'Overseas' will not be considered without evidence of their ability to fully self-fund their studies (Overseas tuition fees, training support fee and living costs).


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