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University of the West of Scotland

Funded PhD Programme (UWS)

Job Type

Full-time

Region

Scotland

Salary

Location

Fully funded + £18,622 stipend

Posted Date

23 May 2023

University of the West of Scotland

Closing Date

30 June 2023

‘Dreams of a Safe Haven’ Life Stories of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) in Scotland: an Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Lived Experiences of Forced Migration.

Postgraduate Research degrees from University of the West of Scotland enable you to work at the cutting-edge of your industry or sector and contribute to the advancement of knowledge.

To be a successful research student you must be passionate about your subject area, with enthusiasm for research and analysis, and the motivation to manage a personal learning programme. You will have already demonstrated research aptitude in undergraduate or masters-level studies.

As a career-focused university we work with international businesses, regional enterprises, local and international education partners to ensure that UWS research drives innovation and supports the future needs of society, industry and government. This focus increases your employability and career prospects, whether you seek a career in an academic or commercial environment.

ABOUT THIS PROJECT:

Researching and listening to the voices of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) in the UK is crucial because these children are some of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society. UASC refers to children who arrive in the UK without a parent or guardian to look after them and who are seeking asylum.

According to the latest available data from the UK government (2020), there were 3,449 UASC who arrived in the UK in 2020. This represents a 13% decrease compared to the previous year, but it is still a significant number of children who are in need of support and protection. The majority of these children came from countries such as Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Recent research evinces (Children’s Society, 2018; Refugee Council, 2018; Univ. of York Centre for Applied Human Rights, 2020) that there are many reasons why UASC are particularly vulnerable, including the trauma they may have experienced in their home countries, the dangers they face on their journey to the UK, and the challenges they may encounter once they arrive. These challenges include the risk of exploitation, abuse, and trafficking, as well as difficulties accessing education, healthcare, and legal support. Further that researching and listening to the voices of UASC is therefore essential for understanding their experiences and needs, as well as for developing policies and practices that can better support and protect them. By listening to UASC, we can gain insights into their perspectives, hopes, and fears, and tailor interventions to meet their specific needs.

Listening to the voices of UASC in Scotland using storytelling methods will help us explore their unique stories of forced migration. This PhD focuses on the lived experience of forced migration and the memories surrounding it—often extremely arduous and life-threatening circumstances, uncertainty, suffering and feelings of rootlessness. The research will trace the historical migration events and the impact it has on these children’s social, psychological and economic well-being. Critically it will explore the voices of children such that it will inform policy and practice that engenders epistemic justice; in particular against the backdrop that many unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are at risk of going missing.

AIM:

The aim of this research is to investigate the lived experiences of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) in Scotland, utilizing participatory, co-productive arts-based methods of storytelling.

OBJECTIVES:

1. To facilitate UASC in developing their own approach to the storytelling arts-based method in order to narrate their experiences of seeking refuge, settling in a foreign land, and establishing a new life.

2. To explore the life trajectory of UASC, focusing on three significant stages: pre-forced migration, the migration process, and post-migration experiences.

3. To employ an academic framework to facilitate data collection and analysis, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the experiences of UASC.

4. To contribute to the field of refugee support by providing in-depth insights into the experiences of UASC and potentially informing policy and practice.

The successful applicant will be based within a rich research culture within the School of Education and Social Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland. In addition, they will be supported by the Protracted Crisis Research Centre (PCRC) within the University.

Candidate Specification.

The successful applicant should hold a minimum of a 2:1 (hons) degree in a relevant social science discipline. Successful completion of a master’s degree is preferable but not essential. We are seeking an outstanding PhD candidate to join our team and conduct research on the lived experiences of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Scotland. This interdisciplinary project will utilize participatory, co-productive arts-based methods of storytelling to explore the life trajectories of UASC, from pre-forced migration to post-migration experiences.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in qualitative research methods, participatory approaches, and an interest in social justice issues related to forced migration. They should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be comfortable working with vulnerable populations. We are looking for someone with a deep commitment to working collaboratively with UASC and a passion for using academic research to drive social change. Additionally, candidates with experience in co-production and arts-based methods of storytelling are highly encouraged to apply.

We recognize the importance of including diverse perspectives and experiences in our research team and believe that candidates with lived experience will bring a unique perspective to this project. If you have experienced forced migration yourself and possess the necessary skills and qualifications for this position, we encourage you to apply; your application will be given priority consideration.

This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the field of refugee support by providing in-depth insights into the experiences of UASC in Scotland. The successful candidate will work alongside UASC, support workers, NGOs, and policymakers, and their research has the potential to inform policy and practice. If you are passionate about this topic and possess the necessary skills and experience, we would love to hear from you.

English Language Requirement.

UWS requires an IELTS score of 6.5 or above (with no component below 6.0). IELTS tests should normally be taken no more than two years before applying to UWS.

Informal enquires can be made to Dr Khadija Mohammed at Khadija.Mohammed@uws.ac.uk. Formal applications should be made via through the University of the West of Scotland online application portal.

Formal applications should contain both a personal statement and a short research proposal (approx. 1000 words) in response to the above project brief.

Application Deadline - 30/06/2023

Start Date - 01/10/2023

Funding Notes.

Salary: Fully funded. Payment of tuition fees for 3 years and £18,622 stipend.

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is seeking to attract a PhD candidate of outstanding ability and commitment to join its vibrant and growing programme of internationally excellent research. This is a fully funded PhD Studentship and includes payment of tuition fees for 3 years at the home/UK rate and an annual maintenance stipend equivalent to UKRI minimum stipend rate (£18,622 from 01/10/2023).
The successful candidate must meet the following criteria: be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or have settled status, or have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or have indefinite leave to remain.

FIND FURTHER FUNDED RESEARCH WITH UWS HERE: https://www.uws.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/

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Job documents

Project Description

Research Degrees at UWS

Funded Studentships at UWS

Research Degrees at UWS

Funded Studentships at UWS

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