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Youth Homelessness in Birmingham - Collaborative PhD studentship with St Basils

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  • Full or part time
    Prof David Mullins
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Birmingham has become the first city to sign up to a collective approach to ‘end youth homelessness’. The University of Birmingham is working with a consortium of agencies in the City towards this end.

A key element of this strategy is the Youth Homelessness Hub managed by St Basils (, an award-winning registered charity and housing association working with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The Hub is a single gateway to integrated housing and support services to address youth homelessness and enable young people to become economically active. The hub aims to provide a seamless service and to minimise duplication, make best use of limited resources, and ensure that those with the highest needs are accessing the services they need. It seeks to improve prevention work, so young people can be supported to return home and be sustained within their family, if this is safe and appropriate.

In the first two years of operation the Hub 4,500 young people each year presented as homeless or at risk and were assisted through partnership working with a range of organisations including the City Council. 90% of young people were prevented from being homeless; 881 young people provided with a housing related support package; 90% of young people expressing satisfaction with the service. St Basils is now contracted to run the Hub for a further three years, making an ideal environment for evidence based and high impact social research.

This PhD will be based in the Housing and Communities Research Group in the School of Social Policy It will be part of our programme of work with St Basils to research and develop this unique source of data on the experience of youth homelessness and the effectiveness of the unique inter-agency partnership. The overall objective is to help inform prevention and early intervention work. It will do this by working with St Basils:

• to develop the Hub as a strategic information resource for the City and the wider exploitation of this unique data set to inform policy and research on youth homelessness and its prevention nationally and internationally.
• To construct an evidence base on the social impact of inter-organisational service delivery partnership to commission and deliver the full range of support and accommodation services required to end youth homelessness.

This is a unique opportunity for a student with a strong interest in social justice and young people to undertake applied research with a significant social impact. Some prior experience of work on homelessness may be an advantage but is not essential. The student will demonstrate qualitative and quantitative social research skills and will receive research training through the Doctoral Training Centre. They will work closely with St Basils, supported by Professor Mullins and a second academic supervisor who will be directly involved in a wider research partnership with St Basils.

For full details please visit:
Please use this information to compose your proposal. Do not contact St Basils direct at this stage. There will be opportunities for short listed candidates to contact them later.

Contact for Enquiries

Doctoral Researcher Enquiry Service
[Email Address Removed]
Tel: 0121 414 5005

Funding Notes

To be considered for the ESRC award of £13,726 plus full fees that we are hoping to secure for this PhD you will need to submit both an application to study at University of Birmingham and an ESRC DTC Funding Application Form by 4.00p.m. on January 15th 2014.

Awards are available to UK and EU students only. Funding is available for both 1+3 (MA and PhD) and +3 (PhD) study, but the successful candidate will be expected to engage with St Basils from October 2014 alongside research training. A decision on DTC/ESRC funding will be made by 31 March 2014.


Mills, A. Gojkovic, D. Meek, R. and Mullins, D. (2013) Housing ex-prisoners: the role of the third sector. Safer Communities 12.1, 38-49

Minora, F. Mullins, D. and Jones, P (2013) Governing for Habitability. Self-organised communities in England and Italy. International Journal of Co-operative Management 6.2, 33-45.

Moore, T and Mullins, D (2013) Scaling-up or going viral? Comparing self-help housing and community land trust facilitation Voluntary Sector Review 4.3, 333-354.

Mullins, D (2013) The Evolution of Corporate Governance Structures and Relationships in English Housing Associations. Chapter 11 in Cornforth, C. and Brown, W.A. (eds) NonProfit Governance. Innovative Perspectives and Aproaches. Routledge.

Mullins, D. Czischke, D. and Van Bortel, G. (2014) Hybridising Housing Organisations.Meanings, Concepts and Processes of Social Enterprise. Routledge.

Mullins, D. and Acheson, N. (2013) Competing Drivers of Hybridity:Third Sector Housing Organisations in Northern Ireland. Voluntas DOI 10.1007/s11266-013-9423-0 available On Line First on SpringerLink.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.50

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

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