The University of Kent is offering a scholarship for a 3-year PhD to research one or more key topics in the field of adult social care. This studentship is linked to the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex which aims to develop applied health and social care research across the region for the benefit of patients and the public.The social care system in England provides support and care to people with long-term conditions, impairment or disability. A range of support is available, from more conventional care home and home care services to more innovative forms of person-centred support, drawing on the support of the local community, involving new technology and housing solutions. Social care in England is often delivered by private and voluntary sector organisations, in markets, with a mix of public and private funding.
There is substantially growing national attention to issues around social care, as the population ages, where long-term conditions such as dementia continue to affect many people’s lives, and also most recently in the COVID-19 pandemic. But the evidence base remains somewhat under-developed, and as such this PhD offers the chance for research to make a real contribution from a variety of disciplines – including for example, economics, psychology, social policy, health sciences and implementation sciences – and on a variety of topics.
Some relevant topics for research include investigation of following:
- Effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and implementation of new models of social care;
- Sustainability and functioning of care markets, and/or the supply of care/issues about supporting the social care workforce;
- Variation in the provision and use of social care across England and/or individuals, including issues about equality of access to services (e.g. for people in different locations);
- Integration and partnership working between the social care system (which is the responsibility of local government) and the NHS;
- More methodologically-focused work to support the better evaluation of social care, such as work on measuring outcomes of care; or using datasets to examine how care is delivered, people’s needs are met, or social care policies are having an effect.
We welcome applications to undertake research commencing on 18 January 2021.
The NIHR ARC Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) is one of 15 ARCs across England, part of a £135 million investment by the NIHR to improve the health and care of patients and the public. Each NIHR ARC is made up of local providers of NHS services, local providers of care services, NHS commissioners, local authorities, universities, private companies and charities. These collaborations work together to conduct high quality, generalisable, applied health and care research that addresses the specific health or care issues in their region. NIHR ARCs also act to close the second translational gap and increase the rate at which research findings are implemented into practice. The 15 ARCs work collaboratively to address national research priorities, with individual ARCs providing national leadership in their areas of expertise.
The research studentship will be based within PSSRU in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR). PSSRU is a research centre with more than 40 years of experience in delivering high-quality, policy relevant research about social care and related fields.