PhD studentship on Dementia and Friendship

My Morgan Centre colleague, Vanessa May, and I have received funding from the North West Doctoral Training Centre for a scholarship for a PhD student to study dementia and friendship, in partnership with Manchester Carers Forum. The information is below, please encourage any prospective students to apply.

Offer

The University of Manchester’s Morgan Centre for the Study of Everyday Lives is offering one fully-funded ESRC CASE PhD studentship in partnership with Manchester Carers Forum. The funding includes payment of tuition fees as well as a doctoral stipend at the UK Research Council’s required level of £14,057 per annum. The studentship is available to outstanding candidates wishing to commence their doctoral studies in September 2016.

Project description: In the past decade, friendship has become a concern in sociology as well as in anthropology and related disciplines. This PhD project will examine questions of friendship in the context of dementia, focusing on the experiences of people with dementia and their carers, as well as their friends. A crucial feature of this study will be to take seriously the relational perspective, understanding changes in the lives and friendships of carers and people with dementia as being fundamentally entangled. The project will develop a variety of elicitation and sensory methods (for example photo or music elicitation), as well as more conventional narrative and biographical methods, for the study of friendship and dementia. As an ESRC CASE studentship, this project will also involve close work with Manchester Carers Forum. As part of the funding requirements, the successful candidate will volunteer at Manchester Carers Forum as a member of the peer mentor coordination team, working directly with carers and peer mentors to support people living with dementia. The PhD student will work for 3 months of the year at the Carers Forum, broken down into a certain number of hours per week.

Studentship Details: The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Andrew Balmer and Dr Vanessa May in the department of Sociology. It is anticipated that the studentship will be for direct entry onto the three year (+3) PhD programme in September, however candidates for the 1+3 (MSc. Sociological Research followed by the 3 year PhD programme) will be considered. Continuation of the award is subject to satisfactory performance.

Entry Requirements: Applicants must hold a Bachelors First Class or Upper Second Class Honours UK degree in a relevant social science discipline, which should generally be in Sociology or Anthropology, although other disciplines will be considered. Candidates must also have (or expect to gain before the start of the programme in September 2016) a UK Masters degree (or overseas equivalent) recognised as a research training masters by the ESRC. They should be qualified at minimum Merit level, with a coursework/examination average of 60% or more. Students without a Masters degree (intending to enter the 1+3 programme) will be considered but preference will be given to those with a Masters qualification. You must satisfy ESRC UK residential criteria to qualify for this studentship (information here: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/skills-and-careers/studentships/prospective-students/am-i-eligible-for-an-esrc-studentship)

Candidates meeting the following criteria will also be given preference: above 70% in their Bachelors or Masters; some demonstrable knowledge of the sociological literature on personal life and/or friendship; demonstrable expertise in qualitative research methods, particularly creative methods.
Enquiries should be directed to andrew.balmer@manchester.ac.uk.

Deadline: 7th February 2016. 

How to apply

Applicants should email Dr Andrew Balmer, Andrew.balmer@manchester.ac.uk with a full CV (including grade transcripts) and a covering letter explaining your interest in the project. Please note that applying for this PhD studentship funding is a separate process to applying for entry to the Manchester PhD Programme.  The successful candidate will therefore also be required to fulfil the normal admissions procedures for the School of Social Sciences once they have been offered the NWDTC scholarship.

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