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The criminal justice journey and families of individuals suspected of online facilitated child sexual abuse offences (CSA)


   Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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  Dr Samantha Lundrigan, Dr Natalie Mann  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER) at Anglia Ruskin University has an established reputation for high quality research that has real impact on policy and practice in the field of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). In 2020 we received a significant investment from The Dawes Trust to deliver a four-year programme of applied research in the investigation and prevention of CSA, and we are working with several of the most strategically important agencies leading the way in the global fight against online facilitated child sexual abuse. Currently, CSA represents the greatest challenge to policing outside of terrorism (Bailey, 2020). Together, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK policing arrest more than 500 child sex offenders per month, and very often these suspects live with their families. An under-researched area in this space concerns the experiences, support needs and pathways through the criminal justice system of these families of those individuals suspected of online CSA offences.

At present, families of individuals suspected of online CSA offences, particularly partners and ex-partners who co-parent with the suspect, are unable to access support unless the suspect is sentenced to a custodial sentence, or the children have been victimised as part of the offending. As a result, a vacuum is created which results in these families being unsupported from the very start of the process, throughout the criminal justice system to the point of trial, a process that can take months or years .

We are seeking applications from an ambitious, highly motivated qualitative / mixed methods researcher to design and complete an innovative fully funded PhD research project that will have real word impact.

This is a unique opportunity to help shape the future research agenda in the CSA space, working with national partners to deliver impactful research and innovation whilst at the same time developing your own career.

To discuss a research project, please contact Dr Natalie Mann ([Email Address Removed]).

Candidate requirements

Applications are invited from UK fee status only. Applicants should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum upper-second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) 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 Chelmsford or Cambridge campus, starting in January 2023

Application Procedures

Applications are made through the application portal on our website: https://e-vision.anglia.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=R0173FCHE01D&code2=0006

We will review all applications after the submission deadline of 2nd October.

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

Documentation required

You will 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 personal statement explaining your suitability for the project. Please upload this in the "Research Outline" section of the application form.

3)     Passport and visa (if applicable)

4)     Curriculum Vitae


Funding Notes

The successful applicant for this project will receive a Dawes scholarship award which covers Home tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. For students starting in January 2023, this will be £17,668. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the scholarship Terms and conditions which can be found on our website.
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