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KESS2 Scholarship: Arts in Care Settings: Embedding the cARTrefu Approach in the Social Care Sector

Project Description

We are seeking a highly capable and motivated graduate for this exciting opportunity to undertake a fully funded, full-time one-year programme of research and associated training and gain a Masters in Research (MRes). This is a collaborative project between DSDC Wales Research Centre and Age Cymru’s cARTrefu programme. The starting date is 1st February 2020.

cARTrefu is an arts in care settings programme which has been led by Age Cymru and funded by the Arts Council of Wales and Baring Foundation since 2015. cARTrefu delivers bespoke art residencies in care homes across Wales. It aims to improve residents’ experience of participatory arts activities and enhance their overall sense of wellbeing. The programme also seeks to develop artists’ professional practice through the opportunity to work with groups of people with whom they may have little past experience and to facilitate the acquisition of new skills, and confidence in sharing these by care home staff.

This KESS 2 project will engage various stakeholders across Wales in Social Care Innovation Labs to explore the ways in which the cARTrefu programme supports older people living with dementia, in care home settings, to achieve personal wellbeing outcomes. It shall explore:
• Aspects of the programme that are most appreciated (i.e. residencies, care staff training, or cARTrefu Activity Plans).
• Aspects of the programme that present challenges and how these might be addressed going forward.
• Ways of securing buy-in to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programme.

The project will take a mixed methods approach and will involve collecting data from stakeholders across Wales. It will involve:

o Conducting a Rapid Review to identify different models of sustainability across the social care sector and how these might be applied to the creative arts field.
o Running three Social Care Innovation Labs in North, Mid, and South Wales with stakeholders from across social care and arts disciplines.
o Conducting face-to-face, telephone, or Skype qualitative interviews with a chosen sample of up to 10 strategic level staff to explore key themes relating to sustainability, commissioning, upscaling, and embedding the cARTrefu approach.

Research findings and recommendations will enable Age Cymru to explore ways of embedding the cARTrefu approach within the social care sector as a way of meeting the well-being needs of care home residents who are living with dementia.

The full time 1 year studentship (theses must be submitted a maximum of 3 months after the funded one year study period) includes a tax-free maintenance stipend of £11,586 paid over 12 months, with full-time fees paid and additional allowances. A requirement of the studentship is a 30-day placement with the partner company (Age Cymru), during the period of the project. The achievement of a Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA) is compulsory.
Qualifications and experience requirements for successful applicant. The prospective applicant should have a minimum of a 1st or good 2:1 in a relevant degree (e.g. health and social care, psychology, business), and be available to take up the studentship on the 1st February 2020. It is desirable that he/she can communicate effectively though the mediums of both Welsh and English.

The student will be based in the School of Health Sciences at Bangor University, which offers a dynamic and exciting research environment. He or she will also work closely with Sarah Lord and Kelly Barr as well as other members of the cARTrefu / Age Cymru team.

Informal inquiries about the project should be made to the project supervisors:
Diane Seddon, Reader in Social Care, School of Health Sciences, Bangor University (; telephone 01248 388 220)
Kat Algar-Skaife, Research Officer, DSDC Wales Research Centre, Ageing & Dementia @ Bangor, School of Health Sciences, Bangor University (; telephone 01248 382226)

How to apply

Send a covering letter indicating why you think you would be a good candidate for this project, together with a CV to Dr Kat Algar-Skaife () and cc to Penny Dowdney () by 5pm, 25th November 2019. In the case of applicants who have not yet been awarded their degree, please include your predicted degree classification and a reference from your dissertation supervisor. Interviews will be held in the week commencing 9th December.

Funding Notes

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 12.00

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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