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What does ‘transformation’ mean for young people with care experience who participate in Life Changes Trust projects?

Project Description

3 year PhD studentship based in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, commencing Autumn 2019
The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling is seeking applicants for a full-time PhD studentship to begin in the 2019/2020 academic year. Funded by the Life Changes Trust, the studentship provides full fees (at UK/EU rates), along with a living allowance and a training grant (at ESRC rates, see Applications from (non-EU) overseas candidates will be considered, however, they will be required to pay the difference in fees between the Home/EU and Overseas rates.
This PhD forms part of a larger evaluation of the Life Changes Trust. The larger project aims to:
• tell the (hi)story of the Trust
• demonstrate the impact and outcomes for the three beneficiary groups of the Trust (care experienced young people, people with dementia and their carers)
• examine the place and impact of the Trust in the wider policy and practice context.
It will adopt a co-produced narrative, storytelling approach, utilising life story methods and turn these methods back onto the Trust, its establishment, achievements and challenges over time. The PhD will focus on the work with young people with experience of care. Its main theoretical focus will be on notions of transformation and their meaning for these young people. Drawing on work in Childhood studies, the PhD will critically engage with the power relations embedded in claims for ‘participation’, co-production and engagement addressing the institutional instrumentality of such practices. The student will also contribute to the critical examination of the innovative methods adopted by the wider project.
For further details please see:

Essential Attributes:
• A degree level qualification in a social science- an excellent undergraduate or Master’s degree
• A track record of very good performance in previous studies
• An interest in qualitative sociological research and creative methods
• An interest in the project research areas/methodologies
• Time management skills.

Desirable attributes:
• Experience and skills in qualitative research and creative methods
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Experience of research or practice with children/young people
• Knowledge of relevant fields such as childhood/youth studies
• Applications would be welcomed from people with care experience.

Applications should include:
- a covering letter (referring to the criteria above);
- a full CV including two referees (at least one academic);
- a transcript of university grades achieved;
- a sample of your written academic work (2000 words, comprising a piece of work (or extract), you’re your have submitted in your previous studies;

Applicants should send all documentation to and by 9am on 2 September 2019. Interviews will be in Stirling (or skype) in mid-September, exact date TBC.

For further information, please contact Dr Sarah Wilson, .

Further details can be found at

Funding Notes

This studentship is funded by the Life Changes Trust. The studentship provides full fees (at UK/EU rates), along with a living allowance and a training grant (at ESRC rates, see View Website). Applications from (non-EU) overseas candidates will be considered, however, they will be required to pay the difference in fees between the Home/EU and Overseas rates. The studentship is open to applicants with an excellent undergraduate or Master’s level qualification in a social science or related discipline.


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How good is research at University of Stirling in Social Work and Social Policy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.97

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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