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ESRC-funded PhD Studentship - Do mental health interventions contribute to educational outcomes for children and young people with a history of maltreatment or other safeguarding needs?


   Department of Public Health and Primary Care

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  Dr Robbie Duschinsky  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The studentship is open as either a one-year masters followed by three-year doctoral programme or a three-year doctoral programme.

Young people with experiences of maltreatment or other safeguarding needs often have less positive education outcomes. Mental health difficulties such as trauma and depression are thought to play a key role, yet few studies have examined this relationship empirically, which has hindered provision of well-judged and targeted services.

This doctoral study will draw on unprecedented datasets of linked, anonymised health, education and social care records from two regions of the country. This includes data on c.15,000 young people with a history of maltreatment or other safeguarding needs. It also includes mental health data and safeguarding assessments by mental health services for another c.55,000 young people without social care involvement.

The student will explore:

1.      What role do mental health difficulties play in the relationship between safeguarding needs and educational attainment by age 16?

2.      Do different mental health supports provided to young people with social care involvement contribute to their educational outcomes?

For 1) and 2), the role of potential moderators and covariates will be examined, including:

        i.           Differences between young people known to social care who remain in their family home, and those removed by the Local Authority; and the age at which this happens

      ii.           Demographic factors such as poverty, ethnicity, gender, and child age.

In evaluating the effects of different forms of mental health provision, the doctoral study will suggest potential causal mechanisms and yield recommendations for policy and practice. This impact will be supported by collaboration with organisations including the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, the British Association of Social Workers, the National Children's Bureau and the Care Leavers Association. The student will also be supported by a practitioner advisory group and an Experts-by-Experience group.

Research Environment: The PhD studentship will be hosted at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care (https://www.phpc.cam.ac.uk/).

Requirements: Applicants are expected to hold (or to have achieved by the start date) at least a good upper second class (good 2:1) honours degree from a UK university or an equivalent standard from an overseas university; and a Master's degree in a relevant subject. Please ensure you meet the University of Cambridge entrance requirements: see https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/application-process/entry-requirements.

To check if your international qualification meets the University minimum requirement, please consult the International section of our website.

Benefits: We invite applications from UK and non-UK students. An ESRC DTP studentship will cover Home rate fees and provide £17,668 p.a. in living costs (current rates). DTP students also receive a personal allowance for additional training costs, and can apply for further funding to pursue fieldwork, academic exchange, and collaboration with non-academic partner organisations. UK-level tuition fees are covered: non-UK applicants will need to secure additional funding for overseas student fees.

Enquiries: We welcome informal discussions about this post. Please address any questions about this studentship to Dr Robbie Duschinsky at [Email Address Removed]

To apply please visit https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/cvphpdhpc and click 'Apply Now'.

Course details: PhD in Public Health & Primary Care (Full-time)

Closing date: 1st December 2022

Start Date: Michaelmas Term 2023

Supervisor(s): Robbie Duschinsky (Department of Public Health and Primary Care), Claire Hughes (Department of Psychology), and Christine O'Farrelly & Paul Ramchandani (Faculty of Education).

Research Title: PhD Studentship - Do mental health interventions contribute to educational outcomes for children and young people with a history of maltreatment or other safeguarding needs?

Please quote reference SN34276 on your application form and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

Interview and Selection process

The deadline for applications is 1st December 2022. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by week ending 9th December 2022 Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview on 15th December 2022 Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their interview soon after.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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