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PhD studentship: Addressing eating disorders and body disaffection in schools

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  • Full or part time
    Dr E Rich
    Prof S Fullagar
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

We welcome applications for a full-time University studentship to support and work in our Department of Health alongside the Physical Cultural Studies research team.


Eating disorders (EDs) have significant social, health and economic impacts, affecting an estimated 1.6 million people in the UK and costing the economy £15 billion per year. Existing research has established the role of school cultures in the complex causes of EDs (Halse et al, 2007; Evans, et al, 2008) and various school-based programmes are being developed to prevent eating disturbances and body image problems among young people. However, research has yet to establish the effectiveness of these programmes and their associated policies and practices.

This project will generate a rich and novel data set focused on body pedagogies and EDs, contributing a deeper understanding of the impact of school-based programmes and pedagogies to enhance understanding, attitudes and well-being.

The sucessful student will conduct their research under the supervision of Dr Emma Rich and Professor Simone Fullagar.

The project

Addressing eating disorders and body disaffection in schools: The impact of body pedagogies and school-based prevention programmes.

The project will be undertaken with the support of the national charity Anorexia & Bulimia Care (ABC). You will have a unique opportunity to work closely with ABC who are developing novel school guidance/training programmes to enhance body confidence and address EDs.

Specifically, the research aims to:
- critically examine the impact of school-based ED and body confidence programmes
- explore and theorise the complex processes through which messages derived from public discourse around EDs and body image enter schools through school-based prevention programmes, and are recontextualised as body pedagogies. This will include an analysis of national policy documents and government guidelines (2015 PSHE body image guidelines) alongside local school policies/programmes, teachers discourse, pedagogies and practices.
- document the impact of school-based programmes and associated body pedagogies on student’s understanding, attitudes and embodied identities
- using participatory research methods, work with young people to co-produce/design body image programmes


The successful candidate should:
- fulfil the entrance requirements for a Department for Health PhD (
- have at least a strong understanding of critical health education/pedagogy and Eating Disorders and associated qualitative research methods

How to apply

Apply online ( to study for a full-time PhD in Health:
- you must quote the project title in section 3.2 of your application: Addressing eating disorders and body disaffection in schools
- you do not need to upload a formal research proposal as this studentship is for a specific project

Complete the application form for an academic-led PhD studentship (

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 12.00 noon (GMT), Thursday 4 February 2016.

Informal enquiries

For project enquiries contact Dr Emma Rich.

For application procedure enquiries email: [Email Address Removed] or tel: 01225 38 5233.

Funding Notes

The award

Funding lasts for three years and includes:
- £14,057 (2015/16 rate) yearly stipend
- Home/EU tuition fees
- annual Training Support Grant

This award will be funded by a one of several studentships with their own terms and conditions (

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