Department for the Economy Northern Ireland (DFE) PhD Studentship: Young people and violent trauma
Title: Examining the prevalence and impact of violent trauma and children and young people
Supervisors: Dr Colm Walsh (SSESW) and Dr Lisa Bunting (SSESW).
Context: Violence is a common occurrence in many young people’s lives and can have a devastating impact. Research has shown that elevated exposure to violence can result in the onset and duration of clinically diagnosable mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress. Untreated, these mental health conditions can also contribute to a range of social and behavioural challenges. Decades of research evidence has illustrated that an association exists between violent victimisation and violence perpetration-the fulcrum of which is psychological trauma.
Despite this, estimates for exposure and impact of violence in the European context remains limited, and the nuanced role of psychological trauma is under-evaluated. Understanding and responding to violence, and the trauma that it often contributes to, is even more pressing in light of the international targets enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (2030).
This PhD will examine prevalence and impact of violent adversity in the lives of children and young people and situate the findings within the current policy context for violence prevention. The PhD will:
(i) undertake a review of youth violence and mental health in conflict and non-conflict affected areas
(ii) collate and analyse youth violence related data from an existing dataset/s
(iii) engage with youth panels to ensure alignment with the research findings and capture young people’s perspectives around mitigation
(iii) report on and describe the current situation with regard to exposure to various forms of youth related violence
(iv) provide guidance on ways to mitigate and minimise the harm associated with exposure to violence.
This research builds on an existing collaborative relationship between Department of Justice and the Centre for Justice Studies in the School of Social Science, Education and Social Work. The project aligns with current research priorities regarding the development and evaluation of complex CJS interventions, improving systems for the control of crime, and promoting social justice for victims and offenders, and draws on the group’s expertise in the areas of youth violence and violence prevention.
This research is of international significance. This work will have direct policy and practice impact not only on the Northern Ireland CJS
The studentship: The successful student will be based at QUB
Given the importance of this project, we are seeking an outstanding applicant who can not only demonstrate knowledge and skills but also a strong passion and commitment to work in this area.
Tab: How to apply
To apply, please log onto Queen’s University Belfast Direct Application Portal, select the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, select ‘Sociology’ for the subject area, and then select the degree of ‘Criminology (Doctor of Philosophy)’. Complete the required sections, and submit your application by Friday 27th October 2023. It is anticipated that interviews will take place the week commencing 20th November 2023. Cite reference CWLBDFE23 in your application if you are applying for this studentship.
Applicants are required to submit a two-page statement outlining their suitability for the project and how their current skills and experiences make them the ideal candidate for this project (please upload this document to ‘proposal’ in place of a standard research proposal). Within this document, we encourage applicants to draw particular attention to any experiences or skills they may have in relation the following criteria:
- Knowledge of and an interest in youth violence
- Work with sensitive topics such as mental health and trauma
- Research skills, particularly in relation to quantitative methods
Shortlisted candidates will be asked to take part in a brief interview. We expect this position to be very competitive.
Please ensure that you meet the entrance criteria for the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social, found here.