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Exploring social isolation in the veteran population of Sunderland


Project Description

Location: University of Sunderland, City Campus

Terms of PhD Studentship: 3 year, full-time, on-campus. A stipend will be paid in line with UKRI rates

Supervisors: Dr Yitka Graham, Professor Catherine Hayes

Informal enquiries: Dr Yitka Graham, email:

Application process: applicants should fill in an expression of interest (please click on the ’Visit Website’ link below to download) and email to Dr Yitka Graham, with a CV and covering letter by February 28th 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview to be held in Sunderland in March 2020, date to be confirmed.

We welcome applications from ex-service personnel with the relevant academic qualifications.

About the research:

Social isolation and loneliness has been identified as an increasing health concern within the ex-service personnel population in the UK. Social isolation is linked to poor health and well-being and increased risk of mortality. For many veterans, the transition to civilian life from a military environment is a significant life change, with a loss of identity, established social networks no longer accessible, which may impact on mental health and wellbeing. Research has identified gaps in provision of services and care to support veterans as they attempt to integrate into civilian life and longer term. Additionally, the stigma associated with mental health, which has specific military contexts, may be a barrier to ex-service personnel of all ages in seeking help.

This study will help to provide a better understanding of the impact of social isolation on veterans living in Sunderland.

The project will employ qualitative research methods to investigate:

1. The experiences of ex-service personnel as they transition to civilian life

2. The perspectives of family and friends of veterans, to be able to explore the issues of social isolation from those who live with and
support veterans in a domestic environment

3. The role of organisations, formal and informal networks in the identification care and support of veterans in Sunderland

This project will be carried out in collaboration with Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group and Veterans in Crisis Sunderland.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Sunderland in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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