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ESRC WRDTP Collaborative Studentship - The Changing Dynamics and Social Outcomes of Deep Poverty in the UK


Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

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Dr Daniel Edmiston No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Leeds United Kingdom Economic Geography Government Politics Public Policy Social Geography Social Work Socio Economics

About the Project

Since 2010, there has been an increasing depth of poverty in the UK (Edmiston, 2021). However, due to limitations of both methodology and data, there is currently partial or inadequate evidence available on the extent, causes and effects of deep poverty longitudinally. In partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions, this collaborative award will contribute towards wider efforts seeking to address this.

Funding is available to examine whether and how deep poverty is distinctive from the more general trends and challenges of life on a low income. Working closing with the supervisory team, this ESRC collaborative award will support research examining the changing dynamics and social outcomes of deep poverty and what this means for poverty measurement and alleviation. To do so, the doctoral researcher will undertake secondary quantitative data analysis to generate new evidence on the full distributional effects of labour market change and social policy over time.

During the first stage of the award, the student will evidence the changing low-income distribution through new cross-sectional analysis of household income surveys. It is anticipated, but subject to empirical investigation, that households falling in deep poverty are not only likely to be experiencing compromised well-being but in a qualitatively different sense to those closer towards the relative poverty threshold. This complicates a categorical and static understanding of poverty, highlighting problems with how we currently approach poverty research and alleviation. In the second stage of the award, the doctoral researcher will explore the wider socio-material dimensions of deep poverty longitudinally. The successful candidate will explore the trajectories of deep poverty associated with a range of domains including health and wellbeing, work, housing, benefits and social networks. They will do so to establish how those experiencing deep poverty differ from other households below the poverty line over time, particularly since COVID-19.

In light of the findings, the student will establish whether deep poverty affects certain domains of everyday life more than others and to what degree, how deep poverty impacts on the welfare of households over time and what this means for current understandings of low-income dynamics. The student will have excellent opportunities for professional development through collaborative research training and support. Regular meetings will be held with project partners in the Department for Work and Pensions. The student will be responsible for producing two internal research briefings on the methodological and policy implications of their research findings.

The studentship covers full fees plus a maintenance stipend of £15,609 per annum. A Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £666 a year is also available for each new standard full-time research studentship holder to cover support costs. This includes buying equipment and materials, survey costs, UK fieldwork expenses, essential visits, conferences and summer schools etc. 

This project is based in the School of Sociology and Social Policy with the collaborative partner the Department for Work and Pensions and is a part of the White Rose DTP Wellbeing, Health, And Communities (WHC) pathway.

These awards are available to applicants who are both home and overseas rated. UKRI has set a maximum limit of 30% of studentships for international students.

We welcome applications for full and part-time study, and the studentship is available as either '1+3' (one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time doctoral study, or the part-time equivalent), or '+3' (three years of full-time doctoral study or its part-time equivalent), depending on the needs of the applicant. For a 1+3 offer, the successful applicant will take our MA in Social Research Methods with advanced quantitative training available.

Applicants applying for a +3 award must demonstrate that they have already completed substantial social sciences training in research methods which would enable them to undertake an independent research project in a particular discipline or interdisciplinary field. An applicant must have at least 60 credits at Masters level of core social sciences research methods acquired in the last five years. Applicants should read the ESRC WRDTP studentship information and eligibility criteria for further details of pathways, eligibilty and schemes.

The School of Sociology and Social Policy (SSP) has a rich culture of critical social enquiry interrogating dominant ideas surrounding poverty and policy responses to it. The doctoral researcher will be able to capitalise on this environment to make the most of academic events and training offered at Leeds and the White Rose DTP. This includes access to advanced research methods and early career development training available through a range of courses at Leeds.


Funding Notes

The studentship covers full fees plus a maintenance stipend of £15,609 per annum. A Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £666 a year is also available for each new standard full-time research studentship holder to cover support costs. This includes buying equipment and materials, survey costs, UK fieldwork expenses, essential visits, conferences and summer schools etc.
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