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Preventive school-based interventions to promote the mental well-being of refugee and migrant adolescents


School of Education and Social Work

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Prof C Watters No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

An exciting opportunity is available at the University of Sussex to receive a four year PhD studentship examining the wellbeing of refugee and migrant children in schools across Europe. The studentship will be for research under the supervision of Professor Charles Watters, Director of the Centre on Innovation and Research in Wellbeing, and an internationally renowned expert on refugee children. The work will form an integral part of a major European study including teams of experts in Belgium, the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

European societies face the challenge of promoting the integration of growing numbers of refugee and migrant adolescents. Supporting the mental wellbeing of these young newcomers is pivotal, with recent scholarly work emphasizing the preventive role of schools in promoting mental wellbeing. Yet, there is still little robust evidence on how preventive school-based interventions may impact newcomers’ wellbeing. This project therefore aims to further the evidence-base on the role of preventive school-based interventions in promoting refugee and migrant adolescents’ mental wellbeing, and on how they can be implemented in diverse educational contexts. We specifically look at interventions furthering social support and social cohesion, since these factors are known to be highly beneficial for newcomers’ wellbeing.

Five interventions –school-mediation intervention, classroom drama therapy, social support groups in refugee classes, support networks on school level, and teachers’ training– will be implemented in six European countries. The study will lead to a solid evidence-base on the impact of preventive school-based interventions on young newcomers’ mental wellbeing and the possibilities to implementing these interventions in differing contexts.

To be considered for a place you will need to complete our online application which can be found at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/pg/applying/

Apply for PhD in Social Work, 2017-18 entry, May 2018 start. Mention the name of the supervisor (Prof Charles Watters) in ‘suggested supervisor’ section. In funding section mention sponsored or seeking funding. In ‘Award details’ mention Horizon 2020 studentship.

Documents required: A brief statement of interest in the project (up to 2 pages), full CV, two academic references, UG/PG transcripts and a current IELTS/TOEFL test certificate (within two years) if you are residing in the EU.

Funding Notes

UK and EU residents can apply.
The residence eligibility criteria should be satisfied in full ensuring the following conditions are met:
(a) the candidate is settled in the UK i.e. is ordinarily resident in the UK without being subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which they may stay in the UK (see paragraph 10);
(b) the candidate has been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for three years immediately prior to the date of start of their course;

Scholarship includes monthly stipend (equivalent to Research Council rate £14,553) and full Home fee waiver
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