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Announcing new fully-funded PhD studentship

8 January 2019

Scholarship to support effective communication in dementia care in Wales

A unique scholarship has been awarded to assist in understanding the linguistic, pragmatic and relational determinants of effective communication in dementia care in Wales, thanks to a Collaborative Award funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales and Health and Care Research Wales.

The successful student will study in the internationally renowned Centre for Language and Communication Research, based at Cardiff University.

The aim of the project is to develop and evaluate linguistically-based communication training for carers of people with dementia in Wales. The project supervisor is Professor Alison Wray.

Working in collaboration with project partner Six Degrees Social Enterprise, with specific focus on its Empowered Conversations initiative, the research takes a three-pronged approach:

  1. To understand what prevents professional and family carers achieving their aspirations in communication with people living with dementia
  2. To model potential paths for better support, recognising that perceptions sometimes occlude awareness of the actual challenges and their causes, using theories of communication and language relevant to the dementia context
  3. to understand the practicalities of introducing new ideas to busy carers, and explore, in the Welsh context, the development of effective training support in communication.

The anticipated data collection methods are interviews, observation and discourse analysis.

Based at Cardiff, the successful candidate will conduct research within Wales, spending up to six weeks per year embedded in Six Degrees in Salford, to research its approach to communication training for dementia carers.

Mentoring, training and office space will be provided by Six Degrees, along with a contribution towards the costs associated with travel and accommodation for the periods away from home.

Welsh-speaking applicants may wish to propose a focus on care in the Welsh language, but this is not a requirement.

The Centre is delighted to invite applications from exceptional candidates for this fully-funded collaborative PhD studentship.

The studentship is exclusively for entry in the academic year 2019-20. The award is available either for completing a research training Masters in the first year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD (known as 1+3), or as a direct entry 3-year PhD (known as +3).

ESRC studentships are highly competitive, and 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 relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award. Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements.

Full details on the scholarship and how to apply via the University’s direct application service are available to download in the attached document. The application deadline is noon, 1st February 2019.