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School of Social Sciences - PhD Studentship in Sociology (ESRC CASE - Friendship and Dementia: A Critical Approach) - January 2018

Type of award


Principal investigator

Dr Andrew Balmer

Managing department

School of Social Sciences


  • Tuition fees for 3 years (UK/EU)
  • Annual maintenance stipend (approximately £14,296 per year)

Specified use

In the past decade, friendship has become a concern in sociology as well as in anthropology and related disciplines. This PhD project will examine questions of friendship in the context of dementia. The student will be expected to develop their own project within this broad area. The student will choose the theoretical position, develop a set of questions and develop methods for the study of this topic. As an ESRC CASE studentship, this project will also involve close work with Manchester Carers Forum. As part of the funding requirements, the successful candidate will volunteer at Manchester Carers Forum as part of the peer mentor coordination team, working directly with carers and peer mentors to support people living with dementia. The PhD student will work for 3 months of the year at the Carers Forum, broken down into a certain number of hours per week.  

Tenable period

3 years full-time

Continuation of award

Continuation of the award is subject to satisfactory progress.

Number available


Funding provider


Level(s) of study

This funding is available to students undertaking the following types of study:

  • Postgraduate research

Allowed study options

This funding is available to students undertaking the following modes of study:

  • Full-time

Subject restrictions

This funding is available to students undertaking study in:

  • Sociology

Academic requirements

Applicants must hold a Bachelors First Class or Upper Second Class Honours UK degree in a relevant social science discipline, for example in Sociology or Anthropology, although other disciplines will be considered. Candidates must also have a UK Masters degree (or overseas equivalent) recognised as a research training masters by the ESRC. They should be qualified at minimum Merit level, with a coursework/examination average of 60% or more. You must satisfy ESRC UK residential criteria to qualify for this studentship. Information on residential criteria available here .

Candidates meeting the following criteria will also be given preference: above 70% in their Bachelors or Masters; some demonstrable knowledge of the sociological literature on personal life and/or friendship; demonstrable expertise in qualitative research methods.

Nationality restrictions

This funding is available to students from the UK and EU.

Application procedure

How to apply - Applicants should email Dr Andrew Balmer, with ;

-  a full CV, (including most up-to-date grade transcripts)

- a covering letter setting out; 1) your sociological interests; 2) why this project is a good match for you; and 3) why you are interested in pursuing a PhD, and in particular why a CASE studentship is right for you.

NOTE: The successful candidate will  also be required to fulfil the normal admissions criteria for the School of Social Sciences once they have been offered the CASE studentship.

Application form

Closing date

30 Nov 2017

Interviews will be held in Manchester, during early December.

Decision date

by end of December/early January

Additional information

Studentship Details: The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Andrew Balmer and Dr Vanessa May, Senior Lecturers in the department of Sociology. The studentship will be for direct entry onto the three year (+3) PhD programme in January/February 2018.  Continuation of the award is subject to satisfactory performance.

Contact details for enquiries