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Communities Within Communities - An Eco-System To Support Ageing In Place

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  • Full or part time
    Prof H Barrett
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Eligibility: UK/EU applicants and existing Coventry University employees with the required experience

Duration: 3 years 6 months fixed term. If the PhD is completed within 3 years the PhD holder will be eligible to apply for one year’s post-doctoral funding to continue the work

Application deadline: February 24th

For informal enquiries about this studentship, please contact Professor Hazel Barrett: http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-directories/researchers/professor-hazel-barrett/

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree as part of the Data Driven Research and Innovation collaborative programme. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’ (http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/about-research-at-coventry/). Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms (http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-students/research-studentships/research-studentships-the-benefits/?id=98267) you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

As people age, cognitive decline, high use of respite services and multiple chronic diseases inevitably lead to individuals transferring from their own homes into some form of supported care. Feelings of isolation, declining functional status, concerns about mobility and the risk of accidents/falling can all accelerate this process leading away from a successful ‘ageing in place’ policy. For many older people the transition to residential care involves leaving established social communities and moving to new situation at a time in their life when physical and/or psychological issues makes adapting to new social conditions more difficult for them. This is compounded by the fact that many residential care homes focus on medical and nursing care, with less attention given to social and emotional wellbeing. Yet research shows that a more socially stimulating environment improves cognition and mental function in older people. This research will investigate a social-relational approach of providing residential care for the elderly. The research will be undertaken in collaboration with two strategic sector partners who are leaders in their fields of housing, and specialist care home provision, to develop a model of community engagement which improves the social and emotional wellbeing of older people living in their residential facilities in the local region.

This is an Inter-Disciplinary PhD bringing together several research centres from across Coventry University.

The Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/areas-of-research/trust-peace-social-relations/) has over 60 full-time research staff supported by a team of professional support staff. Our staff are extremely well-connected and are called upon to contribute their expertise on the national and international stage, as advisers to governments and international bodies or at conferences worldwide. It also host an Age Friendly City (AFC) Initiative which promotes developments and implementation of active ageing projects. The AFC initiative works across Coventry City Council, The CTPSR and Age UK Coventry. The AFC works closely with Coventry Older Voices, which has a membership of over 400 older volunteers to promote social mobilization and volunteering.

Serious Games is a globally renowned Applied Research Centre undertaking ground-breaking research on human interface technologies and development of internet and mobile based solutions. The SG is the leader of “Games for Health UK”. Overall the organisation has the resources to reach out to the creative industry community, working with many SMEs and participating in several relevant networks globally.

Successful applicants will have:

- a taught Masters degree in a relevant discipline, involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark
- the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
- a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


- knowledge and/or experience in the subject
- a good knowledge of the sociology of aging, social policy concerning residential care for the elderly, community engagement, qualitative methodologies
- experience of (or a willingness to quickly learn) about social and emotional well-being of the elderly, community engagement, business models, mixed methods.

Application Procedure:

Application information can be found in our how to apply section. Before completing the application please contact Professor Hazel Barrett (http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-directories/researchers/professor-hazel-barrett/) for an initial informal discussion about the opportunity. You can also find the Research Studentship Application Form here: http://www.coventry.ac.uk/Global/08%20New%20Research%20Section/RD03%20Research%20studentship%20application%20form.pdf


UK/EU Students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found at the making an application page (http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-students/making-an-application/). Existing Coventry University employees with the required experience are also eligible.

Funding Notes

Award Details: £15,000 bursary per annum plus tuition fees

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