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3 Year PhD Studentship in Care and cost at the end of life

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Woodthorpe
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

*Please note: the deadline for applications is 12.00 midday (BST) on 23 May 2013*

Applicants are invited for a full-time PhD, University studentship to support and work in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, alongside the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) and Centre for Death and Society (CDAS).


This studentship is associated with Dr Kate Woodthorpe’s research on families, finances and funerals, and will focus on intergenerational relationships between adult children and their parents in organising, and paying, for end of life care and associated expenses. Applicants are welcome from a range of social science backgrounds including sociology, social policy, social work, gerontology, cultural studies, gender studies, anthropology, and economics, and will need to demonstrate a working knowledge of qualitative methods and an awareness of the policy implications of end of life care issues.

The Project

The project will explore decisions about care and costs at the end of life within UK families, and the negotiations regarding parental care that take place between parents/adult siblings. The theoretical and conceptual issues touched upon in the project could include, but are not limited to, families and kinship in contemporary society, managing old age, adult sibling relationships, gender roles, personal finance and planning, consumer behaviour, personalisation and the end of life.

It is anticipated that the research will generate proposals as to how to support families with old(er) parents in determining responsibility for care and cost towards the end of life, positioning the successful applicant at the vanguard of a policy debate that will inevitably accompany the ageing of the UK population and rising death rate in years to come.

About the Department

The successful candidate will be fully engaged in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, one of the leading centres for social sciences in the UK. The Department was ranked second in the Social Policy and Social Work unit of assessment in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and won the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011 for its innovative research on child poverty around the globe. The Department has a vibrant, supportive and successful community of over 70 research students from a range of disciplines. The Department hosts a well-attended weekly postgraduate seminar series, and students organise an interdisciplinary annual conference.

Students also play significant roles in Departmental and Faculty research activities. During 2012-13 the Department has led the development of the University's new Institute for Policy Research. This spans a broad range of public policies and in addressing them builds inter-disciplinary links across the University. It also involves a strong focus on the policy impact of research. Health and Wellbeing, including wellbeing at the end of life, is a key research area of interest within the Institute, as also is Poverty; the successful candidate will have access to the new opportunities that the Institute affords and will also be part of the Department’s Centre for Death and Society , the UK’s only research centre devoted to the study of social aspects of death, dying and bereavement.

Doctoral students are encouraged to become active participants in key academic networks in their field, by presenting and publishing their work. The University has one of the best research student training programmes in the country, providing tailored support to enable students to develop a wide range of professional research skills. Combined with its community feel, Social and Policy Sciences in Bath is an intellectually challenging and socially supportive place to pursue a PhD. The Department is also consistently ranked among the top places in undergraduate league tables and is committed to pioneering teaching and programme development. It is in this progressive environment that the candidate will have the opportunity to develop their research and teaching skills.

Along with the universities of Bristol and Exeter the University is a member of the ESRC-funded South West Doctoral Training Centre, which provides further doctoral training opportunities to the successful candidate. The successful candidate is expected to contribute 90 hours per year to the department, through a combination of teaching and research assistance.

To find out more about the Department and its current research students, please see our website: http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/postgraduate/research-degrees/

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded and will cover full-time tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (non-EU candidates will need supplementary funding) for 3 years and is available for an October 2013 start. The studentship includes a stipend of at least £13,726 (2013/14 rate) per year as well as a £1,000 training budget per year for each of the three years.

Candidates must satisfy the usual requirements for studying for a doctorate in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath:

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 35.55

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

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