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ESRC +3 / 1+3 PhD Studentship in Social Sciences: The support needs of adoptive parents and adopted children

Reference Number: P927
Closing Date: Closed for applications
Duration: 3-4 years
Funding Amount: UK/EU fees plus stipend
Level of Study: Postgraduate Taught
Regions: EU (Non UK), International (Non EU), UK
This funding opportunity is now closed for application

Economics and Social Research Council at Cardiff University

Key Studentship Information

Project Title: The support needs of adoptive parents and adopted children

Project Description: Applications are being sought for a prestigious (1+3 or +3) full time PhD Studentship, to be based in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, to begin in October 2013.

This studentship will focus on the support needs of adoptive families in Wales and their adopted children, in either middle/ late childhood or adolescence. Adoption is a current policy priority in Wales and England. Although adoption affects a relatively small number of children (246 children were adopted in Wales last year), this population is a high priority because looked after children who are placed for adoption are those who are deemed to be most at risk of abuse or neglect in their birth families and are therefore among the most vulnerable children in society. The aims of this study will be to provide greater understanding and insights into the support needs of adopters and their children several years post-placement, and the factors that help or hinder placement stability.

Information about the School: Cardiff School of Social Sciences is a large School with over 160 staff and a thousand undergraduate and postgraduate students. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise rated almost all of its research to be of an international standard, with 55% of it either “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. This rating, together with the size of the School, places it amongst the top five centres in the UK. Since its creation in 2000, the School has attracted over £18 million of research funds.

Cardiff University the home of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre, part of a national network of 21 accredited Doctoral Training Centres across the UK judged by the ESRC to deliver truly excellent postgraduate training provision.

Supervisors: Dr Sally Holland & Dr Heather Ottaway

Start Date: 1st October 2013


These scholarships cover fees and provide a stipend for a Masters degree (the Cardiff Social Science Research Methods MSc) followed by three years of PhD research (subject to passing the MSc stage). Successful candidates will receive full UK/EU tuition fees plus a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,590 p.a. for 2012/13, updated each year). Candidates will also have access to an annual Research and Training support grant of £750.


Academic Criteria: Candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a Masters degree (preferably an ESRC recognised Masters or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award.

Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following documents by the deadline of 12.00pm, 30th November 2012. Note that the deadline is absolute and applications received after this specified time and date will not be accepted.

Please specify the School of Social Sciences – Research Degree – Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences) with a start date of October 2013 whether you are applying for a +3 or 1+3 award.

Applicants should complete the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application form (approx. 500 words) to summarise how they would approach the given specified research project. They should use the ‘Personal Statement’ section (approx. 500 words) of the application form to compliment the information given in the covering letter and talk more about their background and interest in postgraduate study.

If you have any queries about the application process, these should be directed to Vicky Parkin at

How applications will be assessed

The closing deadline for applications is 12pm 30th November 2012. Application forms will be assessed by a panel made up of the project supervisors and the Director of Graduate Studies, following which short-listed applicants will be invited to interview. We expect interviews to take place in early January 2013 with candidates notified of the date in mid-December.

Application Deadline: 30th November 2012

Further Information

For more information please contact Vicky Parkin on or 02920 870 855.