PhD Studentship Ageing and Capacity Building in the Ageing Sector

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship (2013-2016) on the Themes of Ageing and Capacity Building in the Ageing Sector

The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, is offering a full-time studentship leading to the award of a PhD. The studentship will support research which strengthens the evidence-base underpinning the Ageing Sector in Northern Ireland. Funding is available for three years and will cover university fees and pay a stipend. In addition to completing the application form on-line, applicants must attach a provisional, methodological strategy that addresses the research question (500 words maximum). The strategy should highlight the method to be used, the sampling approach, how data will be acquired and analysed and will consider pertinent ethical issues.

Topic: Older women living with domestic violence – alcohol and substance misuse

From a public health perspective the link between alcohol and substance use/misuse and domestic violence (DV) has attracted increasing research attention in the past decade. There is a clear link between DV and women who misuse alcohol and other drugs as they are more likely to have been abused, both in childhood and adult life, than women generally. Research on younger women shows that the substance misuse seems more likely to be in response to the DV, rather than a causal factor, and it is suggested that women who have experienced DV may turn to alcohol or other substances as a way of coping and deadening the pain: a self-prescribed medication. To date, the extensive literature on DV and substance misuse has focused almost exclusively on younger women and little is known about how older women use/or misuse alcohol and substances while living with DV, even though around 15% of women aged over 50 years have experienced some DV and this can occur well into later life. Older women’s voices are virtually absent from the research literature as service providers and policy makers often assume that DV stops at around age 50 years.

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Study Aims
This research study aims to bridge this evidence gap by increasing our knowledge and understanding of:

– How ‘older women’ use / or misuse alcohol and substances while living with DV and how it affects their health and wellbeing.

– The views and experiences of professionals and service providers working to support older women experiencing domestic violence and how they work in partnership with other agencies.

Research Questions:
The study will address the following key research questions:

– How do older women define domestic violence/substance use/misuse?

– How does domestic violence affect their mental health and wellbeing?

– What coping mechanisms do they use?

– Do they use/misuse alcohol/substances as a coping mechanism?

– What support interventions do they access or have knowledge of?

– What are the gaps in research, practice and service delivery?

The selection process will include an interview. 

How to apply:

Applicants should apply via Queen’s University’s online application system, please click on the ‘Apply’ button below. 

All applications will be appraised according to the University/School selection criteria for admission to post-graduate research. These criteria include a 2:1 undergraduate degree or higher (or the equivalent), and a master’s degree, preferably in the social sciences.  DEL eligibility criteria on residence, nationality and academic qualifications also apply ( Previous research training (e.g. research methods) is desirable and should be highlighted in the application

Closing Date: 20th November 2013

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