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Intersections and Experiences of Violence Growing Up on the Streets of African Cities

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, April 08, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Thirty years ago, the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) cemented into global policy a commitment to children’s rights. However, street children continue to experience unprecedented rights violations. The 2017 General Comment on Children in Street Situations (UNGC21) highlights violence as a major concern. This PhD explores the nature of violence in African street children and youth’s lives. Through secondary data analysis of the Growing Up On the Streets (GUOTS) data set, the PhD will provide evidence to advocate for practice and policy change. GUOTS, 2011-2019, is a co-produced research project which took place in Accra, Ghana; Bukavu, DRC and Harare, Zimbabwe. GUOTS produced an extensive in-depth qualitative data set on street-living youth’s lives. It comprises 3,000 qualitative sources, comprising ethnographic reports and involving 200 young people. Few secondary data sources exist of this nature that enable in-depth exploration of lived experiences.

This PhD explores the complex ways young people experience violence on the streets, as victims and perpetrators, as a major theme in the data set. The PhD will contribute to understanding temporal, spatial and relational geographies of violence, drawing on conceptualisations of violence as part of wider processes of social inequality and exclusion. This includes understanding the intersecting experiences of violence based on markers of difference such as age, gender, disability, and ethnicity. Using NVivo, the PhD will adapt the breadth-and-depth method for analysing qualitative secondary data. This uses an archaeological metaphor for enabling exploration of the data set to tease out the different actors, situations, responses, places and times in which violence is experienced. The PhD will produce outputs for academic and policy audiences: a thesis, articles and policy briefings. These will be disseminated through conferences, seminars, online networks and in a dissemination event in one of the GUOTS countries. NGO StreetInvest will support dissemination.

Funding Notes

Applicants must meet the following essential criteria:
• A good first degree (at least 2:1), preferably with a social science component
• Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of Geographies of Children and Youth; Geographies of (urban) Violence; sub-Saharan Africa and/or the Global South
• Have a good grounding in one of the Social Science disciplines, qualitative research and analysis (preferably using Nvivo)

Students must meet ESRC eligibility criteria. ESRC eligibility information can be found here*:

Award Details:
The scholarship is available as a +3 or a 1+3 programme depending on prior research training. This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process. The programme will commence in October 2020. It includes:
• an annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate
• fees at the standard Home rate
• students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year

Applications will be ranked by a selection panel and applicants will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by Wednesday 22nd April. Interviews will take place on Wednesday 6th May.

All scholarship awards are subject to candidates successfully securing admission to a PhD programme within the School of Social Sciences at the University of Dundee. Successful scholarship applicants will be invited to apply for admission to the relevant PhD programme after they are selected for funding.

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