ESRC Centre for Care: An Intersectional Analysis of Unpaid Care


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 the intersectionality of unpaid care, with scope to explore the profile of care and caring, wellbeing outcomes, and the impact of support; and how these vary over time and place. The research will be conducted using a range of advanced quantitative methods on large-scale nationally representative data that track individuals over time and capture changes in life circumstances, unpaid caregiving and wellbeing outcomes. This work will provide insights into important inequalities in care and caring trajectories according to these characteristics and establish an evidence base for support and interventions. The findings will provide policy makers and practitioners with evidence to better understand the implications of unpaid caring and care on inequalities.

The successful student will be supervised by Professor Matt Bennett (Deputy Director, Centre for Care) and Dr. Andy Bell. Interested candidates should in the first instance contact Professor Bennett (

You can find more information here.

The studentship covers:

  • Full tuition fees at the Home rate (minimum £4,500 per year, pro rate for part-time students)
  • 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, also pro rata for part-time students)
  • 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 CFC001 as the programme for which you are applying. Your scholarship application will not be considered if you do not apply for admission. For further information and resources on the application process and how to write a PhD application please click here. The scholarship application is a section on the admissions system which can be completed at any point. However, we recommend that applicants submit their application to study with us as soon as possible.

Applicants should have a strong first degree (2:1) in a relevant social science discipline, experience of using quantitative research methods, and a Masters-level 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 at the University of Sheffield. 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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