FREE PhD study and funding virtual fair REGISTER NOW FREE PhD study and funding virtual fair REGISTER NOW

Safety in Voluntary Construction (Advert Reference: SF18/MCE/CRAPPER)

   Faculty of Engineering and Environment

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof M Crapper  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Commercial construction work is dangerous, often subject to profitmaking pressures that can hinder improvements in safety. Yet there is another type of construction – that engaged in by the voluntary sector, such as heritage restoration projects in the UK and various ‘gap year’ activities overseas – and anecdotal evidence suggests that there are fewer accidents in this sector. This research will apply sociological methods to examine the differences and similarities between the safety of voluntary and commercial construction work, conducting and analysing conversations with a wide range of volunteers in various voluntary organisations, with a view to learning lessons that can bring improvements to both construction sectors.

There has been considerable research into construction safety over many years but this project has the potential to take this in a completely new direction and gain insights from a sector that is, hitherto, totally unexplored. The impact will be in providing knew knowledge on which to base a new generation of ‘safety culture’ available to the commercial construction sector in the UK and around the world. This will have the potential to save lives and improve the safety record of the industry that remains the most dangerous in the UK in terms of fatalities by industrial sector.

The project will be run in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University.

Please note eligibility requirement:

* Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]) in a construction related subject or in social sciences; or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
* Appropriate IELTS score, if required

This project is well suited to motivated and hard-working candidates with a keen interest in the construction industry, health, safety and welfare issues and in social research methods. The applicant should have excellent communication skills including proven ability to write in English.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF18/MCE/CRAPPER) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2019 or 1 June 2019 or 1 October 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University hold an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project.


1. Sherratt, F. Crapper, M., Foster-Smith, L., Walsh, S. (2015) Safety and Volunteer Construction Workers, Construction Management and Economics, 33, 5-6 pp 361-374
2. Sherratt, F., Farrell, P. and Noble, R. (2012) Constructing safety on sites: the social construction of Safety on Large UK Construction Sites. In: Teo Ai Lin, E. and Tjandra, I.K. (Eds) Proceedings of the CIB W099 Conference Modelling Building Health and Safety, 10-11 September, Singapore, ISBN: 978-981-07-1421-5
3. Sherratt, F., Farrell, P. and Noble, R. (2013) Construction Site Safety: Discourses of Enforcement and Engagement, Construction Management and Economics, 31(6), 623-635
4. Sherratt, F., M. Crapper, L. Foster-Smith, and S. Walsh, Safety and Volunteer Construction Workers. Construction Management and Economics, 2015. 33(5-6): p. 361-374.
PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs