School of Psychology and Oasis Domestic Abuse Service Collaborative Studentship 2021

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Evaluating Therapeutic Life Story Work among young people with multiple disadvantages.

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent, in collaboration with Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, under the supervision of Dr Jennifer Storey and Professor Jane Wood. The studentship commences September 2021.


This studentship is suitable for applicants who have or will have both an undergraduate and a BPS-accredited Master’s degree (ideally in Forensic Psychology) in psychology by September 2021.

The studentship awardee must undertake a School of Psychology Psychology PhD programme on a full-time basis.

The studentship award covers tuition fees at the Home rate and also provides a stipend (£15,285 for 2021/22). Subject to performance, this renews for the second and third year of registration.

Research project

Therapeutic Life Story (TLS) practice as developed by Richard Rose grew from his social work with young people who had experienced toxic stress. Life Story work is widely used in UK social work teams, most specifically for adopted children. In November 2014, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which reports on English medical, social and health issues, but also makes recommendations for UK – wide awareness, stated that all children in the care of English local authorities have a right to have life story work.

In Rose’s 2012 book, ‘Innovative therapeutic life story practice’ it is noted that social work practice is usually life history work whereby a story of the child’s pre-existing family facts is constructed for their future reference. However, Richard has developed, through his understanding of trauma and attachment, the practice for the therapeutic benefit of the young person.

TLS was developed with children who had been removed from the care of their parent(s) allowing them to reconstruct their history. It is now being applied worldwide to children and young people with a range of adverse experiences and Oasis intends to work with young people (across the full range 11-24) who have experienced domestic abuse and other difficult life experiences (substance misusing parents for example) and are those that might be deemed to have ‘latent vulnerability’.

The aim of the research will be to independently analyse the impact of this therapeutic method for adolescents who might be considered to have lives filled with abuse.

The successful candidate will work closely with the academic supervisors and Oasis Domestic Abuse Service throughout the research process (developing methods, data collection, analysis, disseminating findings in various formats).

For more information about the School of Psychology and Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, please go to: and


The competition is open to applicants of all student fee paying statuses however, this studentship covers fees are at the Home rate only. This means that EU and International students are required to make up the difference in fees. The stipend must not be used for this purpose.

Please note that current Kent PhD students are not eligible for this award.

Essential criteria

  • Applicants must have or will have both an undergraduate and a BPS-accredited Master’s degree in psychology before 1 October 2021.
  • It is essential that you have knowledge of working with young people with complex histories and are able to demonstrate that at interview. Work on the domestic violence area with survivors or perpetrators is an asset also.
  • You must be willing to undertake some travel to Margate to undertake parts of the research (online alternatives can be provided should health considerations due to COVID 19 require).
  • You must be willing to complete a DBS and know no reason why this would not be clear.
  • It is a plus if candidates have:
    • Knowledge of intimate partner violence, treatment and/or trauma.
    • Experience in conducting qualitative research.
    • Knowledge of or childhood trauma/ adverse childhood experiences and/ or trauma informed practice.

How to apply

Please send your expression of interest email to as early as possible. This should include your full name and the title of the studentship.

All completed applications received by 5pm (GMT ie UK time) on 31 May 2021 will be considered.

Note: The KentVision system will be down from 9-19 April for maintenance, so please submit outside of that time period.

Completed applications must comprise all of the following:

  • Submission of a KentVision application for a Psychology PhD place in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent including:
    • A transcript of degree undergraduate and postgraduate marks to date and certificate, if available, in pdf format.
    • The names and email addresses of two academic referees. References must also be received by 5pm (GMT) on June 1 2021. Please leave a suitable amount of time for your referees to respond to the reference request which is sent automatically upon submission of the PhD application in KentVision.
    • A current CV in pdf format.
  • Submission of a 1-2 page covering letter which explains why you should be considered for this scholarship. This should be sent directly to

Please note that the PhD application form in KentVision includes fields and word count guidelines that are not specific to consideration for this competition so please ensure that you follow the procedures listed above. In fields such as ‘Reasons for study’ and ‘Research proposal’ you are welcome to write ‘See Application for School of Psychology and Oasis Domestic Abuse Service Collaborative Studentship 2021’.

Deadline for completed applications (including references) is 5pm (GMT) on 31 May 2021. The shortlisting process will start from 1 June, 2021 and interviews will be held in the week commencing Monday 14 June. Unfortunately, we are unable to cover travel costs but will arrange telephone/Skype interviews for all.

Who has access to data?

Your information will be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes the School of Psychology interviewers involved in the recruitment process. Your data will also be shared with stakeholders from the Oasis Domestic Abuse Service.