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  USW Fees-only PhD Studentship: Criminal exploitation and the trajectories of missing young people

   Centre for Criminology

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  Dr C Allsop  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Working with Dr Cheryl Allsop, Dr Helen Jones (Criminology) and Professor Colin Rogers (Policing and Security) the focus of this project is to understand the trajectories of young people who have gone missing and who are identified as a victim of criminal exploitation, through which to explore how they are groomed and exploited, and how the police and other statutory agencies view and respond to missing episodes and criminal exploitation. 

Missing is defined as ‘anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established will be considered as missing until located, and their well-being or otherwise confirmed’ (College of Policing, 2021). Both children and adults are affected. In 2019-2020, of the 170,000 people reported missing in the UK, nearly 98,000 were adults and more than 70,000 were children (Missing People, 2021). Although children represented 41% of persons reported missing, they made up more than 60% of reported incidents (of the 353,000 reported incidents, more than 137,000 involved adults and nearly 215,000 involved children - Missing People, 2021). Furthermore, children are especially vulnerable to exploitation when they go missing (Brandon et al, 2020; HMICFRS, 2020: 26). Specifically, the charity Missing People (2021) reported that nearly 1 in 10 children with whom they had completed a return home interview, had been a victim of criminal exploitation.

There are significant challenges for the police and other statutory and voluntary organisations in trying to tackle child criminal exploitation. For example, some young people do not perceive themselves as victims and do not want to be found. Compounding this, children have been criminalised rather than seen as victims of criminal exploitation.


Scholarship details

Three years full-time fees (at the University Home student rate) (or equivalent part-time fees for up to five years) will be paid by the University.


Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in criminology/criminal justice or policing or aligned discipline (2:1 or above). MSc in aligned topic is desirable. Practical experience and/or knowledge of the complexities of responding to child criminal exploitation. Skilled in qualitative and quantitative research methods and analysis.

Applications and enquiries

Details of how to apply can be found on the USW Graduate School webpages:

Applicants should contact Jane MacCuish in the Graduate School for advice on the application process [Email Address Removed]

Applicants are welcome to contact Dr Cheryl Allsop [Email Address Removed] to discuss the project ahead of formal submission of an application.

The closing date for applications is Friday 26th November and the expected start date is January 2022. Interview date Monday 13th December.

The successful applicant will initially register for an MPhil/PhD.

 About the Project