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Developing the involvement of experts by experience social work education: an exploration of impact and identity (ref: RDF20/SWECW/LONBAY)


Project Description

The involvement of Experts by Experience (EbE) is a core element of social work education. Opportunities to engage with EbE within social work (SW) education have increased and this is now a requirement of SW programmes with such involvement taking place within the selection and assessment of students, the design of the degree, and teaching and learning provision (HCPC, 2017). EbE involvement itself is underpinned by principles and values of equality, empowerment, respect, dignity and a focus on rights. These are similar to values underpinning the social work profession which has its roots in empowerment and self-determination (Beistek, 1961). Within social work education, empowerment may come from involvement in a space within which people’s identities may shift from ‘passive recipient’ of social care services to ‘expert’ in their field. Overall though there is very little literature which actively seeks to examine and understand service users’ views about involvement in social work education and how this shapes their own sense of identity and wellbeing. This is a significant gap in the literature.

This project therefore seeks to address this gap in the literature by exploring service user perspectives on engagement within social work education. The research will focus on the following questions:

1. What are the personal motivations for involvement and how might these change for different people under different circumstances?
2. What does being an educational expert by experience mean in terms of changing identity to those involved in the delivery of education?
3. What is the possible impact on the individual, academia and wider community of this role?

It is proposed that this project would make use of participatory action research (PAR) as a methodology. This approach is recognised for enabling the inclusion of service users and carers in research. Ultimately, PAR seeks to understand and change phenomena under examination through a process of collaboration, action, and reflection.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:

• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020
Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU students with a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.

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