Swansea University Data Science, Health and Wellbeing: ESRC Wales DTP Studentship

  • Phd
  • Full cost of tuition fees and stipend.
  • 4 February 2022

Data Science, Health and Wellbeing: ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (PhD) – Collaborative Studentship: ‘Adverse Childhood Events - What Works to Break the Cycle’ – in collaboration with Public Health Wales.

Begin your postgraduate research journey at Swansea University: a top 30 research university (REF 2014) producing internationally recognised research that makes a real difference to society. We provide a welcoming environment for PhD researchers with specialist training, advice and development opportunities. As an ESRC Wales DTP researcher, you will also benefit from cohort-based networking events and dedicated ESRC Wales DTP student representatives at each campus.

Swansea University values diversity and equality at all levels and encourages applications from all sections of the community.

Funding providers: ESRC (50%); Public Health Wales (50%)

Subject areas: Data Science, Health and Wellbeing

Project start dates:

  • +3 Course - 1 October 2022 (enrolment open from mid-September)
  • 1+3 Course - 26 September 2022 (enrolment open from mid-September)


Please note that the work will be jointly supervised by those in Swansea University and Public Health Wales, on behalf of the Cwm Taf and Bridgend Public Services Boards.

This studentship is a ‘collaborative’ award. Applicants should carefully consider the working title and description of the project and may wish to contact the named supervisor and/or the Swansea pathway contact for a discussion prior to applying. They are:

  • Main Supervisor: Professor Sinead Brophy
  • Pathway contact: Dr Lucy Griffiths

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Medical and Health Care Studies

Mode of study: Full or part-time study is possible. We welcome applications for both full- and part-time study.

Please note that full-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold either a full-time job or a permanent part-time job during the period of their award. Part-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold a full-time job.

Project description:

Title: Adverse childhood events – What Works to Break the Cycle.

Context: adverse childhood events (ACEs) include: living in an adverse environment with a parent/adult with a mental health or substance abuse problem, or experiencing domestic violence; long-term neglect; abuse including physical, sexual and psychological/verbal abuse. Young people who experience multiple or long-term adverse events are more likely to repeat these behaviours with their own families and experience long-term mental health and physical health conditions.

Rationale: this work will help to give an evidence base to what works to support young people and can overcome limitations of recall bias. Work has been undertaken to date with adults, asking retrospectively about childhood exposure to ACEs, but little work with young people.

Aims: to examine young people's self-reported experience of ACEs and what they report works to support them. To examine the extent to which exposure to ACEs can be detected using existing routine data.

Research questions:

  1. Prevalence of and types of ACEs as reported by young people;
  2. Prevalence of identified and unidentified ACEs (e.g. those that can and cannot be identified using routine data);
  3. What works, according to young people, to help them in terms of school, employment and within their community.
  4. What agencies are involved and is there evidence that agency involvement improves outcomes?

Scope: the work is all-Wales in focus and links an all-Wales survey with young people and their routine data including education, health (GP, A&E, hospital, substance abuse dataset), and social care.

Anticipated methods and design: online survey and qualitative interviews with young people aged 16-18. Qualitative analysis of interviews and open-ended survey questions.

Linkage of survey findings to routine data on education, health and social care to identify the extent to which ACEs can be identified in the routine data (e.g. alcohol-related admission to A&E, diagnosis/medication for mental health diagnosis in the household) and to examine the impact of service involvement in outcomes for young people.

Recruitment: young people aged 16-18 will be invited through schools, social media campaigning, and working with organisations such as Children In Wales.

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ESRC studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have an excellent background in the social sciences, holding a first- or strong upper-second-class degree, or equivalent recognised by Swansea University (please consult https://www.swansea.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/entry-requirements/); applications from those also holding a relevant research training master’s degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a ‘+3’ /PhD award.

English language requirements: if applicable, a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with a score of no less than 6.5 in any individual component) or Swansea University-recognised equivalent is required.

A fully-funded Wales DTP studentship is available to both UK and international (including EU and EEA) students. All applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend and payment of tuition fees at the UK research organisation rate. Applicants must satisfy studentship eligibility requirements. For further details, please see the UKRI website. Successful international student applicants will receive a fully-funded Wales DTP studentship and will not be charged the fees difference between the UK and international rate.

Pending qualification study: to meet Swansea University's concurrent study regulations, current study is required to be awarded/completed (as appropriate) prior to the course/scholarship start date. Please note that this date supersedes any current course of study schedule/submission deadlines.

NB: If you hold a non-UK degree, please see Swansea University degree comparisons to find out if you meet the eligibility criteria.

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The studentship provides the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend. There will be additional funds available for research expenses.

Studentship awards commence in October 2022 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22 for full-time students, updated each year) and include access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG).

A ‘1+3’ studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training master’s in the first year, followed by 3 years’ research funding for a PhD. A ‘+3’ studentship provides funding for the three years of PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent).

There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.


Please see our website for more information.

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