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  USW Fees-only PhD Studentship: Understanding criminal justice responses to missing murdered people in England and Wales

   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 criminal justice responses to missing people, including both police decision-making in missing person cases and the wider criminal justice response to missing-murdered people. Moreover, the risk factors which would indicate that a missing person is likely to have come to harm will be explored in order to improve the outcome in these cases.

A missing person 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. Missing people pose particular problems for the police service. Notably, investigations are resource and labour intensive with estimates suggesting that a medium-risk missing person investigation (the most prevalent kind of investigation) can cost between £1,325 and £2,415 per case (Shalev Greene and Pakes, 2014). Furthermore, adults have a legal right to go missing. For the police, it can be difficult to establish whether an adult has chosen to go missing of their own volition, or whether they have come to harm and that a suspicious death has occurred (DiBiase, 2015). Delays in recognising and responding to a homicide can reduce the chances of solving it. As of 31st March 2020, there were 4,543 long-term missing individuals (NCA, 2021).2 Whilst some will have chosen to go missing, others will likely have come to harm.  

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). Practical experience and knowledge of working on missing people investigations. 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