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MRes Scholarship: An evaluation of peer support groups delivering interventions and support to reduce loneliness and improve social connections for older persons living in retirement housing

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Fothergill
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

To view the full project description, please visit:

Here is an exciting opportunity to conduct a study in a stimulating area of research i.e. loneliness and older age which could lead to entirely new approaches in understanding the impact that lonelienss can have on the mental well-being of older people and identify what interventions can be effective in reducing its negative impact through increasing access to meaningful activities and improved social connections.

This is a funded MRes, including a generous stipend and tuition fees, with well-resourced circumstances for a successful scholarship.

The selected candidate will apply their research and interpersonal skills and ambition to conduct applied research with the University of South Wales and a leading Mental Health Charity. This applied research project, will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of mental health and older persons research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty Life Sciences and Education at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government. The MRes will be associated with the Mental Health Foundation. The project will focus on evaluating interventions such as engagement in meaningful activities delivered within peer support groups run by trained volunteers to older persons living in retirement accommodation e.g. with a housing provider or in a residential care home. The impact of these findings could potentially improve the mental well-being of older people thus, improving their quality of life in their older age. The project is backed by the Mental Health Foundation.

Company partner: The Mental Health Foundation

To view the full project description, including the Programme of Research, please visit:

The studentship will cover the fees for a 1-year full-time MRes programme and pay a stipend of circa £11k p.a. There is also around £3k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance.

The position is available from 1st October 2018

Eligibility of Student:
To be eligible to hold a KESS studentship, you must:
• have a home address in the Convergence area (details below)* at the time of registration.
• have the right to take up paid work in the Convergence area* on completion of the scholarship.
• be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
• satisfy University of South Wales’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application Process

*The Convergence area covers West Wales and the Valleys, and is made up of the following 15 local authorities: Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.

Qualifications and experience:
Eligible applicants will:
• Have a degree (2i or higher) in an appropriate nursing or allied profession, health/social care discipline and/or psychology/sociology/social science discipline.
• Possess a reasonable understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and/or the well-being needs of older persons.
• Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop applied research techniques and/or knowledge of/interest in working with older persons in a health or social care capacity.
• Have well-developed and positively collaborative interpersonal skills.
• Have an ability to deliver technical reports and communicate findings.
• Be willing to travel and work in community support settings.

Application Process:

To download an application package, please visit:

For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales: [Email Address Removed] Tel: 01443 482578

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Dr. Anne Fothergill at: [Email Address Removed]. Tel: 01443 483017

Further information at:

Closing date for applications: Sunday 18th February 2018
(Interviews will be held w/c 19th February 2018

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.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.

How good is research at University of South Wales in Social Work and Social Policy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.40

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

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