School of Nursing and Midwifery

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  Dr Anne Grant  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Parental mental illness (PMI) is a major public health issue internationally. Parental mental illness can negatively impact children’s cognitive, emotional, social, physical and behavioural development (Acri & Hoagwood, 2015). In order to promote children’s resilience there is a critical need to understand their experiences and needs related to living with a parent who has mental illness and what supports they would find useful. This project will involve undertaking: systematic reviews of the literature, interviews with children whose parent have a mental illness and possibly piloting a low threshold intervention.


Emerging evidence suggests that family focused practice (FFP) can support families when parents have mental illness (Siegenthaler et al., 2012). However, there is limited understanding of children’s experiences of living with a parent who has mental illness and the supports that would best promote their resilience.

Aims and objectives

This qualitative study aims to increase understanding of children’s experiences of parental mental illness and the supports they require to promote their resilience. If possible, in an additional phase (using quasi experimental design), a low threshold intervention could be implemented on a small scale and evaluated.

Research impact

Recommendations for research, education, practice and policy will be made to help develop, trial and imbed optimal supports and interventions for children whose parent has a mental illness.

How to Apply

Complete the online application via the Direct Access Portal. Applicants must supply a cover letter (2 pages max) detailing your interest and experience applicable to this PhD and you should attach this when prompted to upload a proposal.

Closing date: 2 February 2024

Anticipated interview date: 6 March 2024

Start date: 16 September 2024

For further information please contact Dr Anne Grant at [Email Address Removed].


Funding Information

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University Belfast is offering one Department for the Economy (DfE) studentship which is open to INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ONLY for September 2024 entry. The studentship will cover tuition fees and stipend. The current studentship for 23/24 academic year is £18,622 but the amount for the academic year 24/25 is to be confirmed. More information on DfE studentships can be found here.

Please note that this is a competitive award – there are 8 advertised projects for 1 International DfE Award

Applications are also considered throughout the year from applicants who have secured external funding or are willing to self-fund the project.

Essential criteria

IELTS (or equivalent) of 7.0, and a 2.1 class honours degree (or equivalent).

Experience of empirical data collection and analysis.

Desirable criteria

A 1st class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Biological Sciences (4) Nursing & Health (27) Psychology (31)

 About the Project