AHRC/ESRC Doctoral Studentship ‘Representing Communities: Developing the Creative Power of People to Improve Health and Well-being’

The University of Leeds is offering a PhD studentship, based in the School of English and the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities, for a doctoral researcher commencing a full-time PhD programme in English studies in February 2014 or soon thereafter. The student will work on a topic entitled ‘Community health and wellbeing in contemporary British fiction and culture’, supervised by Dr Clare Barker. This PhD forms part of the AHRC/ESRC-funded project, ‘Representing Communities: Developing the Creative Power of People to Improve Health and Well-being’, which involves collaboration with the universities of Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Highlands and Islands, and South Wales. See http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/representingcommunities/ for further information.

The PhD
The doctoral researcher will conduct an in-depth study of health and wellbeing as they are conceptualised, contextualised and interrogated in contemporary (mid-late 20th and 21st century) British fictions. There will be considerable scope for the successful applicant to determine the particular texts and communities under analysis, but in broad terms, he/she will focus on disadvantaged or stigmatised communities or demographic groups from England, Scotland, and/or Wales; this may include a focus on regional, working-class, ethnic minority, non-metropolitan and/or urban subcultural literatures. The project will consider some of the socioeconomic and cultural factors that affect health and wellbeing for particular communities (unemployment, poverty, post-industrial decline, migration, community stigmatisation, negative reputational geographies). Further details of the project and the application process are available here.

Studying at Leeds
The School of English at the University of Leeds is one of the top-rated departments in the country, judged ‘excellent’ in its teaching, and amongst the top 10 English departments in the country for research (RAE2008, GPA 2.95; RAE2001, 5*A). The successful applicant will also be affiliated with the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities (see http://lcmh.wordpress.com/).

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  • The studentship is open to Home/EU applicants.
  • Applicants must hold at least a UK Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in English Literature. A Master’s degree in a relevant subject must be awarded or pending by 1 February 2014.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the University’s English Language requirements (scores must be no more than two years old by 1 February 2014).
  • Preference may be given to applicants who can demonstrate a substantial grounding and interest in contemporary literature and/or in studying health-related topics.

Application procedure: The closing date for applications is 17 January 2014. Shortlisted applicants may be interviewed in person or by telephone. Details of the application process for postgraduate study at Leeds can be found by clicking the APPLY button below, and specific guidance for applicants to the School of English is available here: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/info/125018/postgraduate/1366/postgraduate_research_degrees

In lieu of the usual research proposal, applicants should provide a statement of research intent of 1,000 words maximum. Please explain your interest in the topic, describe any relevant experience you have in contemporary literature and/or health-related topics, and indicate why this experience would prepare you for this particular PhD project. It would also be advantageous to outline how you might approach the specified PhD topic, detailing which communities you might prefer to focus on in the thesis and giving a sense of any writers and/or texts that you would be interested in covering.

For further information and informal advice on constructing an application, applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Clare Barker: c.f.barker@leeds.ac.uk

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