MRes Social Policy studentship: Energising local communities



The Department of Social & Policy Sciences at the University of Bath, in partnership with Frome Town Council, is looking to undertake a research project aimed at supporting local organisations in Frome, as they collaborate to address problems of austerity and to promote prosperity and wellbeing in the town.

In association with this research, applications are invited for a studentship to pursue a full-time MRes Social Policy commencing in October 2016.

Research project

Frome is interested in how local grassroots community organisations and public services can engage in new and interesting ways with each other and with voluntary organisations and local business enterprises.

There is a need to re-engineer conventional approaches to connecting agencies together and linking them to local communities – combining micro and macro level engagement. It may be, for example, that resources can be used in part to employ professionals with management experience who can link health, social services, police and education in new ways. This may also help to bring volunteer teams and other agencies together, to respond to local needs including ill-health, isolation and social exclusion.

In order to build a prosperous and resilient town, we also need to consider how to build jobs and meaningful work.

Frome is not starting from scratch as a lot of relevant initiatives are under way, but we are now interested in working out the best next step.

The master’s student will contribute to the project:

  • by establishing a baseline for understanding where Frome is now
  • by engaging with people at all levels (at grassroots but also in public sector organisations and NGOs) and exploring new ideas and ways of working
  • by developing methods to measure success in changing and complex contexts
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The successful student will:

  • have access to a desk in the town council offices
  • be supported by town council staff and councillors
  • have access to documents dealing with earlier initiatives, strategies and reviews
  • be introduced to members of voluntary and statutory agencies and key individuals
  • be supported in setting up meetings and participative methods for research and review

Supervision

The student will conduct their research under the supervision of Dr Jean Boulton and Professor Graham Room.

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