ESRC Centre for Care: PhD Studentship: The Impact of Digital Technologies on Care and Caring Relationships


The deadline for this opportunity has now passed.

The ESRC Centre for Care is pleased to offer a PhD studentship based in the Department of Sociological Studies. The Centre is led by investigators in five universities, three major charities and the Office for National Statistics, and will work in close partnership with a large network of partners and leading international research teams, co-producing its research with people who need care, carers, care workers and others.

The PhD will focus on a key area of policy and practice in social care in the UK: the use of digital technologies in caring contexts and arrangements. It will be situated within the Centre for Care’s Digital Care Theme which explores the barriers, benefits and risks associated with the use of the latest digital technologies in care policy and practice. The PhD research will examine the implications of digital technologies — including care-specific and mainstream, commercially available devices – on care and relationships, with a particular focus on how people configure or combine technologies to support ‘good’ care and wellbeing at key points of transition (e.g. particular lifecourse events, across different care settings). The methodology will include a range of qualitative methods such as interviews, observations, diaries and network mapping.

The successful student will be supervised by Dr Kate Hamblin (Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Care) and Dr Kate Weiner (Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociological Studies). Interested candidates should in the first instance contact Dr Kate Hamblin (

You can find more information here

The studentship covers:

  • Full tuition fees at the Home rate (minimum £4,500 per year)
  • An annual maintenance grant for 3.5 years, at the standard RCUK rate (minimum £15,609 per year for your living costs, paid in regular instalments), pro rata for a part-time student
  • A Research and Training Support Grant worth £750 per year.

The studentship is offered as a 3.5 year award (commencing September 2022), on a full-time or part-time basis


Applications can be made through the University of Sheffield Postgraduate Application System, and select CFC002 as the programme for which you are applying. Your scholarship application will not be considered if you do not apply for admission. To apply for admission please click here. The scholarship application is a section on the admissions system which can be completed at any point. We recommend that applicants submit their application to study with us as soon as possible.

 Applicants are expected to have a strong first degree (2:1) in a relevant social science discipline, including demonstrable experience using qualitative research methods and a Masters degree in a social sciences discipline with full social sciences research methods training (or equivalent professional training). The Centre for Care is pleased to invite international applicants, however applicants are advised that funding for an international applicant is available for only one of the four Centre for Care studentships. For applicants for whom English is not their first language or applicants who do not possess a degree from an educational institution using the English language for instruction, there are minimum English language requirements of an IELTS average of 6.5 or above (with not less than 6.0 in any component), or equivalent.

Your application should include:

  • 1,000 - 2,000-word research proposal
  • Supporting statement / cover letter
  • Transcripts (previous qualifications)
  • Two academic references
  • CV
  • Example of your written work 

The deadline for applications is 3 May 2022.

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