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PhD Studentship (ESRC South Coast DTP) - Is caring good for your health?


Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £14553
Annual stipend of £14553 (2017/18 RCUK rate) plus payment of programme fees.
Closing Date:   Wednesday 31 January 2018
Reference:  SCDTP878517CC

Is caring good for your health?

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2018/19 Academic Year.

Supervisory Team:

Dr Athina Vlachantoni (, Dr Elizabeth Webb, Prof. Maria Evandrou

Informal care provision is an increasingly common experience in individual life courses. To date, research on the association between care provision and the carer’s health has produced mixed findings, depending on the characteristics of care provision taken into account. The aim of this exciting research is to examine the evidence of a causal relationship between informal care provision and the carer’s health status over time, using a range of indicators relating to the caring activity and health, by conducting longitudinal analysis on data from waves 1-7 of Understanding Society. The project will take place in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Ageing, the ESRC Centre for Population Change and AgeUK.

Research questions:

1. To what extent does the provision of informal care at one point in time impact on the carer’s health at a later point?
2. How does the relationship between care provision and health over time change, depending on the indicators used to understand and measure care provision and health status?

Informal care provision is an increasingly common experience for individuals, and is expected to play a more important role as a result of both demographic changes and changes in family structures. However, the evidence of the impact of informal care provision on the health of carers presents a complex and contested picture, depending on the characteristics of the care activity under study (e.g. care intensity, relationship with care beneficiary). Understanding the ways in which informal care provision impacts on the carer’s health status is a question of critical policy significance, as it affects the future organisation of social care provision and receipt. For example, are certain types of care provision at one point in time associated with poor health for the carer at a later point? Does the impact of caring on the carer’s health change when different health indicators (e.g. physical compared to mental health) are taken into account? Such questions have the potential to enhance our knowledge of the impact of informal care provision on the carers’ health, and the broader impact on individuals’ economic activity status and life course

Skills required of the PhD student
• Essential: Background in a social sciences subject, ideally linked to caring and/ or ageing over the life course.
• Essential: Knowledge of binary and multinomial logistic regressions regression modelling.
• Desirable: Knowledge of longitudinal analysis (ideally also sequence analysis).
• Desirable: Experience in using Understanding Society or other large-scale datasets.


South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £14553 (2017/18 RCUK rate), plus payment of all programme fees.  Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (

Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students).  Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at

Application Procedure

The closing date and time for applications is 11.59pm on 31st January 2018.  The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at:

For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailed above.  For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at


The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position



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