PhD Studentship Increasing young people’s active participation in the discourse of gangs: An assessment of the Manchestarz Inititative



Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science

Project Title: Increasing young people’s active participation in the discourse of gangs: An assessment of the Manchestarz Inititative

The proposed study would aim to address the problematic issue of limited research and evaluation around dealing with gangs in a local context. Manchestarz supported by Greater Manchester Police’s Safer School’s Partnership is a youth social enterprise set up by young people and run with and for young people. Manchestarz was set up with the primary purpose of increasing young people’s active participation in the discourse of gangs. This is resulting directly in the participation of young people in the design and delivery of education, prevention and intervention approaches to tackle the consequences of gang association or membership, and wider issues of labelling and community impact. The group are based at the Powerhouse community centre in Moss Side, Manchester.

Aims and Objectives of Studentship

The studentship would provide an assessment of the Manchestarz initiative. The aims are:

  1. Assess the impact of the programme on young advisors;
  2. Assess the impact of the programme on young people involved as recipients of the programme;
  3. Assess which elements of the programme are working well or need to be changed/altered;
  4. Evaluate the programme processes and the ability to take the project to scale and/or replicate in other locations;
  5. Referencing how/if the project meets new theories, research and practices being trialled and evaluated in the UK or internationally and
  6. Propose other measures or assessment activities that would compliment any of the above.

The project is likely to utilise a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, including interviews and focus groups, document reviews and data analysis of appropriate records and databases relating to programme participants.

The successful PhD candidate

We are interested in hearing from candidates with a first or upper second in a relevant undergraduate degree and preferably candidates who have a masters degree that has included research training. Relevant subject areas include criminology, sociology, psychology, education and social anthropology. An interest or experience in working with young people is essential.

Supervisory team

MMU Dept of Sociology: Dr Hannah Smithson (Director of Studies) and Dr Rob Ralphs. Fiona Murray Programme Manager, GMP Safer Schools Partnership, (Volunteer) Director, Manchestarz C.I.C

The studentship is fully funded by MMU’s Research and Knowledge Exchange and The Policy and Evaluation Unit (PERU) and will cover tuition fees (Home/EU only) and a bursary for a fixed period of 3 years (tax free stipend of £12,000 per year).

There may be opportunities to earn additional income through teaching activities subject to satisfactory progress on the studentship.

Closing Date: 10 July 2013

For more information and how to apply please click ‘Apply’ below.

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