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Specialism in Policing Rape and Serious Sexual Offences: PhD studentship

The PhD

Applications are invited for an exciting and innovative three-year, full time PhD studentship aligned to the work of Professor Miranda Horvath, Dr Kari Davies and Project Bluestone. Project Bluestone (NOTE – the operational name for this project is Operation Soteria) was created as a way of using administrative police data to identify challenges, good practice, and areas for improvement in the way that Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) investigations are currently being conducted. The aim from this research is to produce iterative good practice, data led products, as well as ways of working using evidence informed practice, the project’s findings will be shared with all police forces in England and Wales with the aspiration to improve the policing of RASSO across the board. One element of Project Bluestone which will not be able to be fully considered in the funded project is in relation to specialist RASSO investigation units which are the focus of this PhD studentship.

This PhD studentship is open to UK candidates only owing to funding restrictions and will be available from January 2022 for three years (full time study). An annual stipend of PhD fees at current UKRI rates is offered.  The total cost of supporting this work over three years, including academic fees, doctoral stipend and research expenses (i.e. equipment and conference attendance) is £75,523 (a total per annum funding of £25,174.33). 

This PhD will use mixed methods to explore, assess and measure specialist RASSO investigation units in the police in comparison to non-specialist units and specialised investigation units for other crimes.

The successful candidate will need to be passionate about improving the policing response to RASSO. The candidate will also need to be committed to working sensitively and be able to demonstrate creative problem-solving abilities. They will also need a good understanding of safeguarding, ethics and quality assurance in research and a willingness to develop this throughout the PhD. The successful candidate would be expected to present at scientific meetings and publish. 

The supervisors will be Professor Miranda Horvath, Dr Kari Davies and Dr Mark Manning.

Successful candidates will be based at the University of Suffolk. They will also be expected to visit Bournemouth University and police forces across the United Kingdom, including Avon & Somerset, the Met, Durham, West Midlands, and South Wales.

Funding is conditional on successful Disclosure and Barring Service clearance and vetting with relevant police forces.

To apply for this studentship candidates should prepare a PhD proposal detailing what aims they would focus on and the approaches they intend to use, this should include a short literature review and basic 3 study structure. It is recognised that the focus of the PhD may change as the candidate moves through the PhD process. Informal enquires about this studentship should be addressed to Professor Miranda Horvath, m.horvath2@uos.ac.uk

Applying for the studentship

Applicants should be of the highest quality and capable of submitting a PhD thesis within 3 years. Applicants should have either; a first class or upper second class (minimum 2.1) honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK; or an acceptable equivalent qualification; or experience in the field and a master’s degree in Psychology, Criminology, Philosophy, Law, Sociology, Policing, Forensic Science or Forensic Investigation. For all applicants a master’s degree would be an advantage, as would previous research and/or professional experience of working with the police or any criminal justice agency.

Closing date: Thursday 16th December, midday 2021

Interview date: w/c 3rd January 2022

We are actively committed to growing and supporting a diverse workforce and welcome applications from all backgrounds and communities. We particularly welcome applications from black and ethnic minority candidates and from candidates with a disability who are currently under-represented within our workforce. 

We consider flexible working requests for all our vacancies.

How to apply:

  1. Read the Guidance Notes and Privacy Notice
  2. If you think you might need a visa to work in the UK, please check your eligibility here BEFORE you apply for the role.

Applicants should send the following supporting documents with your application to graduateschool@uos.ac.uk.

  1. A PhD proposal detailing the aims you would focus on and the approaches you intend to use, this should include a short literature review and basic 3 study structure.
  2.  A personal statement about why you want to do this PhD
  3.  2 referees, one of whom must be an academic
  4.  CV
  5. Copy of degree certificates & transcripts
  6. EU Applicants with Settled Status in the UK must have an IELTS Academic test certificate with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued within the last two years from an approved test centre. We will consider alternative acceptable evidence of English Language ability.

Please return them as Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) attachments by email to gsapps@uos.ac.uk including the post title and reference number in the email subject heading.

If you a have a disability and need to use a different method to apply for the role then please contact our recruitment team so we can make the adjustments to the process for you. jobs@uos.ac.uk

After submitting your application, if you have not heard from us before the interview date shown, please assume you have not been shortlisted for interview.

If you would like to request support or ask questions about any of our vacancies, or us as an employer, please contact us via the email above or by telephoning 01473 338351.

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