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Parents’ adjustment to work: Neglected resources for the benefit of individuals, families, and organisations


   School of Social Sciences

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  Assoc Prof Vivienne Du, Dr M Karanika-Murray  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Parenthood is a demanding life stage and major transition that has the potential to equip individuals with important skills that are highly transferable to the workplace. Unfortunately, little is known about how these new skills can be integrated in the role and workplace as parents return and readjust to work after a long period of absence. As a result, there is a loss of skills and talent for organisations with a substantial proportion of new parents, especially women, exiting the workforce at this stage in their lives. There is now an opportunity for organisations to make the most of these transferable skills whilst also helping parents’ transition back to the workplace. A better understanding of the factors and conditions for this adjustment process to be successful for both parents and employers can also yield benefits for individual and well-being and work-life balance, team performance and resilience, and organisational productivity.

This research will develop new knowledge on the process and factors that can support parents’ re-adjustment to work after a period of parental leave. It will ground this on knowledge on the psychological resources such as resilience that individuals build at this life stage. It will explore how these resources can be best applied in work settings for the benefit of both individuals and organisations. It will then propose interventions to support parents’ re-adjustment to work and allow us to find better ways to maximise the well-being of individuals and families as well as productivity at work, thereby benefiting healthcare, organisations, and society. 

The project will achieve its aims via a mixed-methods longitudinal approach that will take into account different levels of analysis (work, family, organisational, societal and regulatory contexts), and scientific disciplines (psychology, sociology). It will develop tools for the global community on how we can leverage resources to support parents in work settings, including measures that parents, organisations, and governments can take. The PhD candidate will work with support from an international team of experts to develop in an emerging field that has potential to change practice.

Entry requirements

Candidates entering from Undergraduate must hold or expect to hold at least a 2.1 degree in Psychology or similar discipline. Candidates entering from Postgraduate must hold or expect to hold at least a merit/commendation with their UG or PG qualification in Psychology or related discipline.

How to apply

Any enquiry, please contact:

Dr Maria Karanika-Murray ([Email Address Removed]); or

Dr Vivienne Du ([Email Address Removed]). 

For a step-by-step guide and to make an application, please visit NTU's how to apply page.


Funding Notes

This project is self-funded but applicants can contact project leaders to discuss potential funding opportunities.

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