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PhD Studentship in Contemporary Childhoods (1+3 or +3) (PhD Studentship)

Reference Number: R2352
Closing Date: Closed for applications
Duration: MSc & PhD (1+3 years) or PhD (+3 years)
Funding Amount: full UK/EU fees, plus Stipend
Level of Study: Postgraduate Research
Regions: EU (Non UK), UK
This funding opportunity is now closed for application

Applications are invited for three fully-funded MSc & PhD/ PhD studentships to undertake research projects that use creative and participatory methodologies in the area of contemporary childhoods, culture and identity to begin in October 2015. Three core and interdisciplinary fields of study have been identified to guide applicants’ research ideas:

  • Children, sexuality/gender and digital cultures
  • Children, religion and citizenship
  • Children, well-being and inequalities

Cardiff School of Social Sciences: leading the way in creative and participatory approaches to childhood research

Successful applicants will join our thriving and expanding inter-disciplinary Childhood Research Group and research centres, CASCADE, DECIPHer, and WISERD Education. Collectively they encompass several fields of study in the School of Social Sciences, (education, social care, health, criminology, sociology, social policy, psycho-social studies and cultural studies) creating some unique synergies across a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches. Recent projects include longitudinal child cohort studies on the spatiality of well-being to arts-based engagement practices for policy-makers and practitioners on gender and sexual harassment in schools.

In recent years childhood researchers in the school of social sciences are leading the way in their innovative use of creative and participatory methodologies to research children’s cultures and identities. These approaches cut across the qualitative-quantitative divide and traverse the entire research process from design through to communication, engagement and impact.

Guided by the core themes above, applicants are encouraged to develop theoretically informed research ideas that take forward a creative and/or participatory approach to their chosen substantive field. If successful, there will be opportunities for candidates to collaborate with a range of external government and non-government agencies (e.g. Children’s Commissioner’s Office for Wales, Welsh Women’s Aid, NSPCC, Public Health Wales, Citizens UK, Runnymede Trust). Details on how to apply are outlined below.

The successful applicant will become a member of the Childhood and Youth Research Group, and the Sexualities and Gender Research Group than run within the School.

Supervisors: Prof Emma Renold, Prof Sally Holland, Dr Dawn Mannay, Dr Peter Hemming & Dr Adam Fletcher

Start date: October 2015

Number of Studentships: 3


This studentship is generously funded by ESRC Wales DTC. It consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,863 p.a. for 2014/15, updated each year).

Three studentships are available.

Additional funding of the value £750 p. a. for research and training is available.

The award will be made on a 1+3 or +3 basis. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years. In the first year students will take the MSc in Social Science Research Methods (SSRM) established to provide training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. There are also opportunities here to audit a range of modules on the new Childhood and Youth MSc. A +3 studentship provides funding for the PhD only (and assumes that the applicant will already have a relevant research methods background, such as on a Master’s programme).


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.

Academic criteria: Candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences or humanities, holding a 1st or upper 2nd class undergraduate degree.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the deadline of 12.00pm, 5th January 2015. Note that the deadline is absolute and applications received after this specified time and date will not be accepted.

  • Covering letter and CV: Please send in a covering letter outlining what makes you a suitable candidate (this should cover what skills/knowledge you bring to the core areas, what aspects you find particularly interesting in relation to creative and/or participatory approaches to childhood research). The application should be no more than 3 pages. Please also specify whether you wish to apply on a +3 or 1+3 basis. You will also need to submit a CV with this.
  • A completed application form for admission to doctoral study in the School of Social Sciences: submitted to the Academic Registry via the Online Admissions Service (Please specify the School of Social Sciences – Research Degree – Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences) with a start date of October 2015 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 outline a potential theoretically-informed research project that addresses one or more of the key themes. This must include how they seek to engage with creative and/or participatory methodologies and at which stage of the research process.
    • They should use the ‘Personal Statement’ section (approx. 500 words) of the application form to compliment the information given in the covering letter and write more about their background and interest in postgraduate study.
  • Academic References: all applications require two references to be submitted in support. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as we will be using these to help us evaluate your ESRC studentship application.
  • Academic Transcripts: where applicable, academic transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application by the funding deadline.

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

The deadline for applications is 5 January 2015.

Cardiff University reserves the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Further Information

Details of the research training provided on the MSc in Social Science Research Methods can be found via this Course Finder listing.

Please see the Childhood and Youth Research Group and the Sexualities and Gender Research Group webpages for more details of research within these areas.

The School of Social Sciences website can be found here.

Details of the ESRC Wales DTC can be found via their website.

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to Victoria Parkin either by emailing or by telephoning +44 (0)29 2087 0855.

About the School

We take an interdisciplinary approach to the Social Sciences to create a dynamic and engaged teaching and research environment. The School of Social Sciences is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and teaching across a range of subject areas including sociology, policy studies, criminology, education and social work.

The School currently has over 160 academic staff, and around 1000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. We have a strong commitment to developing programmes of study that benefit from the research expertise and achievements of staff in the School.

We are home to a number of world-leading research centres, and these engage across a range of research themes. Our students have the opportunity to work with and learn from world class scholars, alongside students from across the world. The School has a thriving postgraduate research community, with both PhD and professional doctorate programmes. We also offer a number of courses for professional development.

The School collaborates with major universities and scholars from around the world; as well as enjoying excellent links with local businesses, public and third sector organisations, policy makers and practitioners.

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