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Saskia Jones Memorial Scholarship : “The politics of rape”

   Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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  Dr Samantha Lundrigan, Ms Colleen Moore  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Cambridge United Kingdom Criminal Law Criminology Cyber Security Digital Media Forensic Psychology Gender Studies Government Politics Public Policy Public Relations

About the Project

On the 29th November 2019, Saskia Jones was murdered in the London Bridge attack at Fishmonger’s Hall. Just two years before her murder, Saskia graduated from ARU with a Criminology and Psychology Honours degree. Saskia was a truly exceptional student and her brutal and sudden death affected our community most deeply. 

Saskia was passionately committed to promoting social justice and inclusion. In particular, she was focused on understanding and tackling sexual violence, and developing effective, survivor-focused strategies to prevent it. In celebration and commemoration of Saskia’s life and work, we have established a permanent Saskia Jones Memorial Scholarship for cross-disciplinary doctoral study in the area of research that Saskia so powerfully championed.  

The recently published London Rape Review defines rape as a ‘devastating and life-changing crime’, too often misrepresented or misunderstood in the public consciousness . Saskia’s undergraduate research reflected upon a ‘society where women and girls who speak out about their experiences of sexual violence are silenced by the mechanisms that claim to protect them’ . Her dissertation, entitled ‘The Politics of Rape: a feminist analysis of how the Rape Crisis movement challenges concepts of patriarchy’ highlighted the complexities involved in supporting women and girls, including the disparities in priorities between statutory and voluntary sectors in England that restrict effective responses to sexual violence. Her analysis was built on the premise of empowerment and agency of women and girls, and focused primarily on victims’/survivors’ experiences, challenging the patriarchal criminal justice processes that are administered, following reports to the police. In her thesis, Saskia made many well-founded recommendations that would have contributed to the improvement of processes, procedures and practice. 

We encourage applicants to submit proposals for projects in one or more of the following areas, but we would also welcome original ideas for research outside of these topics:

• More in-depth classification of recording sexual violence (aligning statutory and voluntary sectors): circumstances of incident(s); relationship to perpetrator; profession of victims and perpetrators; impact on well-being; measures-taken at report stage, etc.

• Implementation of the feminist viewpoint in policy and procedural practice, recognising that violence against women and girls is a global and social issue, where women disproportionately experience all manner of sexual violence, abuse, harassment and marginalisation, rooted in gender inequality .

• Further research into the ‘costs’ of sexual violence (for example, financial, social, emotional, resources and associated trauma-related costs).

• Switching the focus from the ‘dark figure’ of sexual violence to what is known and what works, thus empowering women to disclose without fear of being disbelieved. 

• Joined-up training for specialist police officers, frontline workers and victim advocates.

Our goal is that the research-undertaken will evaluate the impact of enhancing current skills and developing new ones. Within this context, the project will consider the current climate, and be committed to improving an area of policy, process or practice relating to the treatment of women and girls who report sexual violence to statutory and/or voluntary sectors. We welcome proposals that involve primary, mixed and/or single methods of data-collection, and we can facilitate appropriate introductions and partnerships in relevant voluntary and statutory sectors. ARU’s research priorities align with the wider scope of this research and therefore there is both the interest and the research community to support the project.

We are committed to ensuring that this scholarship will impact positively on policy and practice for women and girls who have been subjected to sexual harassment and violence, as well as contribute to its prevention, thus facilitating a safer and more equitable existence for all. We hope that we can ensure Saskia’s memory is kept very much alive at ARU, and that her passion and determination inspire other outstanding ARU students to help build a safer, more inclusive future. 

The studentship will be fully-funded for three years and will contribute to our ‘safe and inclusive communities’ research theme, and the work of the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER). The successful candidate will commence their doctorate in April 2022.

Candidate requirements

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a 2:1 Bachelor Degree in a cognate discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant subject is desirable.

Applicants must be prepared to study on a full-time basis, attending at our Cambridge or Chelmsford campus subject to being permitted UK Government C-19 movement restrictions (visit https://aru.ac.uk/coronavirus/studying-at-university/new-and-current-students#restrictions for more information).

How to apply

Please apply via this link: https://e-vision.anglia.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=R0173FCAM02D&code2=0003

You will also need the following documents available electronically to upload them to the application portal (we can accept files in pdf, jpeg or Word format):

  1. Certificates and transcripts from your Bachelor and Masters degrees (if applicable).
  2. Your research outline explaining your proposed project. This should include your proposed area of research; the aims and focus; and the theoretical context of your research.
  3. Your personal statement explaining your suitability for the project.
  4. Passport and visa, or EU settlement share code (if applicable).
  5. Curriculum Vitae.                                                                                                                                                        

We will review all applications after the submission deadline of 3rd January, and interviews are expected to be held on 1st February. 

If you have any queries relating to the application process or the terms and conditions of the studentships, please email [Email Address Removed] 

Funding Notes

This successful applicant for this project will receive a funded studentship which will cover UK tuition fees and provides an annual stipend at the UKRI recommended level, for 3 years. For 2021/2 this will be £15,609. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the studentship Terms and conditions available here: https://aru.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research/phd-studentships


Claire Waxman, The London Rape Review Reflections and Recommendations - https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/rape_review_-_final_-_web.pdf
1 Saskia Jones, The Politics of Rape” a feminist analysis of how the Rape Crisis movement challenges concepts of patriarchy (unpublished dissertation)
2 Rape Crisis, South London - https://www.rasasc.org.uk/e-newsletter/empowerment-model/
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