PhD research studentship opportunity

Cultural Engagement and wellbeing in older people with vision loss (FST13)

The University of Westminster Graduate School is offering five MPhil/PhD Scholarships (Quintin Hogg Trust Scholarship in Life Sciences) in the Faculty of Science and Technology. The Scholarships are open to candidates with a Home fee status (with the exception of FST15*), and are full-time for three years and include an annual stipend of £16,000 and a Home fee waiver starting in September 2017. As part of the Scholarship candidates will be required to undertake up to six hours teaching per week.

One of these projects, in collaboration with VocalEyes and the RNIB, will examine the role of cultural engagement among older individuals with age-related sight loss. Currently, 1 in 5 people over 75 suffer from sight-loss, which often results in higher levels of social isolation and lower levels of well-being. Attendance at cultural activity, including museums, galleries, and theatre, enhances well-being. Older adults face negative stereotypes regarding the impact of memory, cognitive and physical decline. These stereotypes make this group vulnerable to age prejudice, discrimination and age based stereotype threat (ABST). This project will explore the barriers and facilitators of cultural engagement, and the impact of this engagement, in those with age-related visual loss.

Stage 1 will involve an analysis of patterns of cultural engagement, based on data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), using descriptive exploration and longitudinal modeling. In stage 2, quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to explore empirical questions about the circumstances under which individuals with sight loss are vulnerable to the detrimental effects of ABST, examining the connections between stereotype threat, social inclusion and wellbeing, while identifying factors that can increase cultural engagement among older people with vision loss.

The student will receive training in relevant techniques/technologies and gain expertise in a number of key project planning and analytical research and subject specific skills. The student will also take part in the University Graduate School and Faculty Doctoral Research Development Programme (DRDP) including transferable skills (eg presentation skills, scientific writing and employability skills) which aid in their future career progression. The student will also be encouraged to join relevant learned societies, which provide excellent support for students in terms of training opportunities and meetings to disseminate and publish their research.

The student should have experience in at least one of the key themes of the proposal (aging/cultural engagement/visual impairment/stereotype threat/wellbeing). The student will need a strong understanding and interest in quantitative research methods. Ideally, the student will have experience of writing for both academic and practitioner/general public audiences. They will be able to work as part of a team, and will demonstrate strong interpersonal skills. They will be self-motivated, well organised and able to respond to constructive criticism.

Further enquiries

Please contact Dr Orkun Yetkili at University of Westminster.


10 February 2017, 5 pm

Apply now

Applications should be made to the Psychology MPhil/PhD programme and you should clearly state that you are applying for a Quintin Hogg Trust Scholarship and the Scholarship code FST13 on your application.

Full details on how to apply.