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ESRC Wales DTC-funded PhD in Social Sciences: Medical Generalism and its Implications for Trainee Doctors in Wales (PhD Studentship)

Reference Number: R2698
Closing Date: Closed for applications
Duration: 3 years (+3 studentship)
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

Cardiff University is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities, held in high esteem both nationally and internationally. Its world-leading research was ranked 5th amongst UK universities in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework for quality and 2nd for impact.

Cardiff University is also the home of the ESRC funded Wales DTC, 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.

Applications are being sought for a prestigious, full-time ESRC Doctoral Training Centre for Wales (Wales DTC) PhD Studentship to be based in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, to begin in October 2016.

About the Project

Project title: Understanding Medical Generalism and its Implications for Trainee Doctors in Wales

The context of the PhD project is the changing patient population which sees increasing numbers of individuals with multiple conditions attending appointments with numerous different specialists. It is widely understood that hospital ‘generalist’ doctors will play an increasingly important role in managing patient-care more holistically in future.

However, existing workplace cultures may challenge the generalist identity. This raises important questions about how generalists, and those working alongside them, can best be supported through education and training. By better understanding the roles and challenges of those currently engaged in generalist work, the study is designed to inform the future direction of medical education and training in the Welsh context.

Working within a ‘realist’ design, the successful candidate will use mixed methods, including questionnaires, interviews and Q-sort exercises with trainee doctors in both generalist-oriented (e.g. geriatrics, internal medicine) and specialist areas (e.g. surgery, renal) to develop and test theory about the role of hospital-based generalist doctors, their education and support needs.

Supervisors: Professor Alison Bullock

Start date: October 2016

Number of Studentships: 1


This studentship is generously funded by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre for Wales (Wales DTC. It consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£14,057 p.a. for 2015/16, updated each year).

An additional Research and Training Support Grant worth £750 per anum is available for each studentship.

One studentship is available.


Academic criteria: ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong 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.


To be eligible for a full award a student must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay and
  • Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences) and
  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals).

To be eligible for a fees only award:

  • Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. To be eligible for a fees-only award, a student must be 'ordinarily resident' in a member state of the EU.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit an application for PhD in Social Sciences, with a start date of October 2016 via Cardiff University's Online Application Service. In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from the ESRC for the project supervised by Professor Alison Bullock.

The application form must contain the following documents:

  1. Covering letter: Please send in a covering letter outlining what makes you a suitable candidate (this should cover what skills/knowledge you bring to the project, what aspects you find particularly interesting and any ideas you may they have on how it could be developed). This should be no more than 2 pages.
  2. Academic/ Professional Qualifications: Where applicable, academic certificates and transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application by the funding deadline. This should also include proof of English Language Competency.
  3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and request a reference to be submitted. A copy of the University’s referee form can be found here. Please ensure your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as we will be using these to help us evaluate your ESRC studentship application.
  4. Personal Statement: Applicants 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.
  5. Miscellaneous Information - Curriculum Vitae: This should include details of academic achievement and any other material relevant to the application. It should be no longer than 2 pages.
  6. Research Proposal: Applicants should use the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application form (approx. 500 words) to summarise how they would approach the given specified research project.

Guidance Notes:

  • The deadline is absolute and applications received after this specified time and date will not be accepted.
  • The University will not automatically contact an applicant’s referees.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on Monday 21 March 2016.

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

Further Information

For further information please contact Corinda Perkins by emailing or by telephoning +44 (0)29 2087 0855.

For other ESRC Wales DTC funded projects offered at Cardiff University, please visit our funding webpage for the Centre.

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 220 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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