Promotion of School Readiness in Rural Tanzania: Investigating the Effectiveness of a Scalable Intervention
Applications from nationals of DAC-list countries are invited for a fully-funded PhD scholarship to work with Dr Margaret Leighton (School of Economics and Finance) and colleagues at the University of St Andrews.
Background This PhD project will be developed around an ongoing pilot study of an early child development intervention. The intervention provides a continuum of support from conception to age eight to ensure children’s physical, socio-emotional and cognitive development and learning needs are met. It is currently being piloted in Southwestern Tanzania, with a quasi-experimental research design. The first phase of the intervention supports children up to six years old to meet their early development milestones and transition into pre-primary school, and will form the basis of this doctoral project. Interventions follow the children as they grow: including parenting sessions for caregivers and, in half the pilot villages, additional activities to reduce violence that impacts on children in and outside the household. A school-based component is also included in the programme.
The Project This PhD project will contribute to the evaluation of the intervention by developing a rigorous research programme to complement existing analysis, as well as working with the principal investigator on the overall evaluation. The exact topic is to be agreed with the selected candidate. In addition to analysing data collected prior to the start of the studentship, the PhD candidate will be involved in the third wave of data collection (planned for October 2021).
Training Opportunity This is an interdisciplinary project that will merge insights into human behaviour from economics, psychology and demography. The project provides a unique training opportunity in mastering a range of advanced skills including: quantitative and qualitative research methods, analysis and collection of primary data, field research and project management. The candidate will join a dynamic, interdisciplinary research team based at St Andrews, as well as working with NGO partners in the UK and in Tanzania.
The Person The applicant must be a national of a country listed on the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee list (http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/daclist.htm): preference will be given to applicants from Tanzania or neighbouring countries, however applicants from other countries are also very welcome to apply. Applications are encouraged from individuals with a Masters’ degree in any of the following disciplines: economics, psychology, population health, demography, international development, or a related social science. The applicant should be able to demonstrate training in quantitative research methods; additional experience with qualitative research is a plus but not essential. The candidate would be based at St Andrews for the duration of the PhD, except when necessary to carry out field work.
Language Requirement An IELTS (Academic) test report form with a minimum of 6.5 overall and no component score below 6.0. If the PhD candidate requires a visa, their IELTS test must be for UKVI purposes.
How to Apply For further details on the project and informal enquiries please contact Dr Margaret Leighton ([Email Address Removed]) with a CV and a covering letter. The cover letter should describe training and experience with quantitative methods.
Timeline • Deadline for expressions of interest: 20th July 2019
• Selected candidate put forward for scholarship: 31 July 2019
• Start date: 27 January 2020
Scholarship details: 3.5 years fully funded (stipend and fees). The PhD Student will receive the Research Council UK (RCUK) minimum stipend that will increase in line with the GDP deflator annually.
Funding is only available for nationals of DAC-list countries.