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  PhD studentship in the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research

   Department of Social Policy and Social Work

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  Mr Martin Webber  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project


All applicants must meet the Social Policy and Social Work’s standard PhD application requirements, which include as a minimum an undergraduate degree grade of First/IIi and the submission of a research proposal of 3000 words.

We are seeking appropriately qualified and skilled PhD applicants to join the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research in the School for Business and Society at the University of York. Our research focuses on the social dimensions of mental health, with a particular focus on social care and social work practice with people with mental health problems. We have expertise in the development and evaluation of social interventions; social outcome measurement; mental health social work; use of qualitative and quantitative methodologies; and the involvement of service users, carers and practitioners in our work.

We are currently working on the following studies:

  • Evaluation of effectiveness of Community Navigators for people with depression
  • Evaluation of effectiveness of social contact coaches for people with psychosis
  • Evaluation of supported volunteering within a museum
  • Evaluation of support provided to carers during periods of leave for people detained under the Mental Health Act
  • Evaluation of community-enhanced social prescribing

We welcome applications which are aligned with our expertise, research interests and current studies. We are particularly interested in proposals which have the potential to impact on social work or social care practice in mental health settings and welcome proposals from practitioners who have some research training or experience. Proposals must focus on social work or social care practice with adults.

The NIHR SSCR is keen to support the development of research training for colleagues from UK practice. Experience of both practice and academic training will be viewed as a whole, though some Masters level research training would be advisable.

How to apply

Applications are invited for a full-time funded 3-year studentship (home fees only) for a PhD in Social Policy and Social Work within the School for Business and Society at the University of York, commencing October 2022. The work will be fully situated in York and will be supervised by Professor Martin Webber (Director of the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research).

Applicants must apply through the University of York website by 11th August 2022 with interviews taking place in late August. (

Informal enquiries should be directed to Martin Webber by email to [Email Address Removed]. Due to funding constraints, we can only offer a full-time PhD and the start date is fixed as 1st October 2022.

Applications must reach the University by midnight on the 11th August 2022.

The University is committed to excellence in recruitment and admissions practices and service which are designed to contribute to its aims of admitting students of high quality. The University aims to provide a professional and fair service for all enquirers and applicants. The University aims to select students who:

  • have the ability and motivation to benefit from the academic opportunities offered
  • will contribute to the research-led environment of the University
  • will fully engage with and contribute to university life

Further Information

The National Institute for Health and Care Research School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR) invites applications for PhD studentships in each of its member universities. This is part of NIHR SSCR’s ongoing commitment to build research capacity in adult social care.

Launched in May 2009, NIHR SSCR is funded by the National Institute for Health Research until April 2024. NIHR SSCR works to develop the evidence base for adult social care practice in England by commissioning and conducting high-quality research. We are developing a programme to build research capacity in adult social care in England supported by the Department of Health and Social Care and NIHR Academy.

We use a broad, inclusive description of adult social care, encompassing the wide range of care and support available to and used by adults; the diversity of services and service providers of adult social care; and care and support provided through and with unpaid care, communities, self-care and self-funded care. We are interested in all aspects of this plurality of care and support arrangements, and their development in the current context of adult social care in England. Areas of overlap and/or integration with other sectors also fall within our remit.

Sociology (32)

Funding Notes

Three full-time NIHR SSCR funded PhD studentships in the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research. The award will cover fees at the UK rate plus a maintenance grant of £15,500 PA, with a total additional resource of up to £10,000 to support research, travel and training costs.