PhD Studentship: The impact of major housing adaptations to bathing facilities for carers of older adults

Health & Medical - UK Jobs

Award Summary

100% of home tuition fees paid and annual living expenses at UKRI rate, currently £16,062 per year. A research training support grant of £5000 per year is available to cover research costs and local/national/international travel (conferences and exchanges). This award is only open to those eligible for home (UK) tuition fees.


Appropriate housing has a key role in maintaining and supporting older adults’ independence and reducing demand for health and social care services. Housing adaptations are ‘any permanent alteration carried out to a building with the aim of making it more suitable for a disabled person’ (Heywood, 2004). Major adaptations to bathing facilities usually involve removing the bath and replacement with a level- or easy-access shower. These adaptations are also important for carers of older adults and may lead to improvements in their quality of life, enabling them to maintain their caring role and potentially alleviating admissions to care homes. We use a broad definition of ‘carer’, encompassing all those who help in whatever way and who are not paid (including family members and friends). 

We welcome applicants interested in exploring the impact of bathing adaptations on carers of older adults. We are particularly keen to work with applicants wishing to use mixed-methods drawing on qualitative and quantitative approaches), or multi-method qualitative studies (drawing on a range of qualitative approaches) and are more longitudinal in focus. However, we are open to working with the candidate to support them in whatever methods, methodology and theory they feel would be most appropriate.

Heywood, F., 2004. The health outcomes of housing adaptations. Disability & Society19(2), pp.129-143.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

September 2022.

Award Duration

3 years full-time.

Application Closing Date

31 July 2022.


Newcastle University


Dr Phillip Whitehead, Professor Katie Brittain, Dr Leigh Rooney

Eligibility Criteria

The successful applicant will have, or expect to obtain, a 2:1 class or above in a discipline allied to health, sociology (or a cognate discipline). A Masters degree (Merit or above) or research experience is desirable but not essential. For non-native English speakers an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (at least 5.5 in all sub-skills) or equivalent language qualification is essential.

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must be completed. You should:

  • click on programme of study
  • insert 8300F in the programme code section and click search
  • select PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences(full time) – Health Sciences
  • insert PH033 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must quote code PH033 and state how your interests and experience relate to the proposed project.
  • attach degree transcripts* and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.
  • Non-UK candidates must contact [email protected] regarding eligibility for home fees. If ineligible, they must indicate in their application how they will make up the fee difference (c £21K per annum).

*You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted your degree transcript/s.

Contact Details

Dr Phillip Whitehead. [email protected]

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