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KESS2 MPhil Studentship in Social Sciences: Physician Associates: preparedness and support for the role

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 8 April 2019
Start date 1 July 2019
Duration 1 year
Funding body KESS
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type Master’s studentship

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships 2 (KESS2) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the Higher Education sector in Wales.

It is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme, by partners from the West Wales and the Valleys areas of Wales, and by Cardiff University.

Introduced as a mechanism to ease workforce pressures, the Physician Associate (PA) role is relatively new in Wales, with numbers expected to increase. Working under the direction of a consultant or GP, PAs support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients.

To date there has been little study of PAs in Wales. It is therefore timely to undertake a robust evaluation of the role, documenting PAs’ experience, exploring how well the training prepared them for practice and the impact of their role in terms of their contribution to service provision.

The student undertaking this study will be supported to develop academic and people-skills including, collecting, managing and analysing data, and employing techniques from both social sciences and business studies. Upon completion of the MPhil, the student will be well-placed for a future career in academic research or in public sector evaluation.

Research questions

  • What is the experience of PAs in their first 18 months?
  • How well prepared are they for the role?
  • What impact does the role have on service delivery?

Research design:

  • Literature review
  • Case studies
  • Survey



Esther Meadows

Esther Meadows

KESS2 Finance and Compliance Project Officer

+44 (0)29 2087 9439

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend Starting stipends of £11,586 a year for MPhil studentships (subject to confirmation of start date and an income assessment).
Additional funding offered Circa £3K per year for consumables, training, travel and small equipment costs

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

Applicants for research MPhil or PhDs at Cardiff University are expected to have one or both of the following:

  • a first degree, normally with class 2:1 or higher, or equivalent in a relevant subject
  • a relevant Master's qualification or equivalent research experience / research training.

Applicants must;

  • Have a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region at the time of their application for KESS2 funding and their enrolment for the course of study;
  • Have a legal right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the KESS2 support, and the right to take up paid work in the WWV region on completion of the scholarship;
  • Classified as a ‘home’ or ‘EU’ student

Eligible students must be able to provide documentary evidence of a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region of Wales at the time of their KESS2 application and enrolment for study.

The West Wales and the Valleys region is made up of the following 15 local authorities:

  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Gwynedd
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Swansea
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Bridgend
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Merythr Tydfil
  • Caerphilly
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Torfaen.

Applicants must also be prepared to provide proof of identity and income as part of the stipend assessment process. Further details are available from the KESS2 Office.


Esther Meadows

Esther Meadows

KESS2 Finance and Compliance Project Officer

+44 (0)29 2087 9439

Please see the list of research programmes, and specify the start date by deleting all non-applicable and include the respective year.

Applicants should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project, and may wish to contact the named members of staff in the Project Proposal for a discussion prior to applying.

A completed application form for admission to Master of Philosophy (Social Sciences) submitted to the Academic Registry via the Online Admissions Service by the deadline of 08/04/19. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

The application must contain the following documents:

1. Personal Statement:  The statement must name the studentship being applied for. It must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University; your understanding and expectations of doctoral study; the relevance of your previous qualifications and /or work experience; and your academic interests generally, and particularly how these relate to the description of the project. The statement should be no more than two pages.

2. Academic / Professional Qualifications (both Certificates and Transcripts): Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum), translation of non-English medium documents; and proof of any legal name changes if different to your documents.

3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include references with their application using the University’s referee form found here and send to when complete.

4. Professional Experience: All applications require a CV which should be no longer than two pages.

5. Research Proposal: The proposal should build directly on the outline description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:

  • Your reflections on the title, aims and purpose of the research;
  • An overview of some key research literature relevant to the study;
  • Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study;
  • A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice (as appropriate to the topic);
  • Bibliographic references

At the bottom of the Research section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised KESS2 MPhil Scholarship funding.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.


Esther Meadows

Esther Meadows

KESS2 Finance and Compliance Project Officer

+44 (0)29 2087 9439

Funding opportunity provided by:

Eligible research programmes