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PhD Studentship - Social care for older adults: Exploring the challenges in rural and coastal communities

Population and Health Sciences Institute

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Prof K Brittain No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Number of awards:

Start date and duration:
September 2020 for 3 years full time.

Long-term personal care for older people is a critical issue both for older people and for the many people who provide care, whether as paid carers, or as partners, family members and friends. Population ageing, a rise in single person households and more geographically dispersed families all raise issues about how reliable and personalised long-term care can be provided in future. At one level, there are political and administrative questions about how much funding there should be for care and who should pay for it. But also, at another level, the future viability of formal care services depends on individual choices made by older people, and by people deciding whether to move into, or move out of employment in care services.
This PhD will focus on understanding some aspect of how and why people are making one or both of these choices, and what the longer term implications of their choices are, for individuals and for the wider system. Mixed (qualitative and quantitative) research methods will be used to address questions of local importance, that are also relevant to the national picture. Areas of study could include the choices made by older people about where to live, and how that subsequently affects their ability to remain independent, for instance if they choose to remain in, or retire to, geographically remote areas; the choices made by working age women and men about whether to apply for jobs in care services, or whether to move out of care services into other employment; and the implications of geographical mismatches between where older people with care needs are living and where there are people wanting to work in care. This doctorate would be particularly suitable for someone who wishes to develop research skills in both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Newcastle University (

Name of supervisor(s):
Professor Katie Brittain (, Newcastle University, Steve Corlett ADASS /Northumberland County Council

Eligibility Criteria:
The successful applicant will have, or expect to obtain an upper second class or above in a health or social care related degree or a cognate discipline (e.g.psychology, sociology, social sciences, biomedical sciences, statistics). A Masters degree (Merit or above) or research experience is desirable but not essential. If your first language is not English you need an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (at least 5.5 in all sub-skills) or equivalent language qualification.
Non-UK candidates should contact [Email Address Removed] regarding eligibility and fees.

How to apply:
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button (

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You should:

• click on programme of study
• insert 8300F in the programme code section and click search
• select Programme name ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (full time) – Health Services Research’
• insert PH010 in the studentship/partnership reference field
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship. Please quote reference code PH010 and state how your interests and experience relate to the proposed project
• attach degree transcripts* and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.
*You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted your degree transcript/s.

Please email all queries to Anosua Mitra, Research Administrator (mailto:[Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses at UKRI rate. Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees. A research training support grant of £5000 per year is available to cover research costs and local/national/international travel (conferences and exchanges).

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