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PhD Studentship: University of Nottingham

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Public reflections on animal research: An analysis of the Mass Observation Archive

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD Studentship at the University of Nottingham. The aim of the project is to improve understanding of the animal research debate through an in-depth analysis of a rich dataset of public views. The project will be supervised by Dr Pru Hobson-West, a social scientist based in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. The student will also be co-supervised by Dr Kate Millar, from the School of Biosciences, and by Dr Robert G. W. Kirk, from the University of Manchester.

In 2016 Dr Hobson-West commissioned a new Mass Observation Directive on the topic of animal research. This has resulted in a fascinating archive of responses, where members of the public reflect on what animal research means to them. The student will undertake a qualitative analysis of responses to this Directive, and also critically consider the value of this novel method for public engagement on animal research.

The three-year studentship is funded through a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award entitled “The Animal Research Nexus: Changing Constitutions of Science, Health and Welfare”. Led by Principal Investigators Professor Gail Davies (University of Exeter), Dr Beth Greenhough (University of Oxford), Dr Pru Hobson-West (University of Nottingham), Dr Robert G. W. Kirk (University of Manchester) and Dr Emma Roe (University of Southampton), this major initiative brings together a substantial multidisciplinary team to explore how the social sciences and humanities can make meaningful contributions to laboratory animal use and welfare. The student will be based in the Centre for Applied Bioethics at our cutting edge School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, but will also benefit from regular interactions with social scientists and humanities scholars from across the University of Nottingham, alongside the wider Collaborator Award research team, and with key UK stakeholders.

This studentship includes University fees (for Home/EU students), a maintenance grant of £19,919 per year, and appropriate research costs for travel and conferences. It represents an excellent opportunity for a suitably qualified student to make an important contribution to the emerging body of social science and humanities work on the social and ethical dimensions of animal research. Candidates for the studentship must have, or expect to gain, a first or strong upper second-class degree, in a social science discipline (e.g., sociology, geography, politics). A relevant postgraduate qualification, and previous qualitative methods experience, is also desirable.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to: Pru.Hobson-West@nottingham.ac.uk

Candidates should apply online including a cover letter and CV. Queries regarding the application process should be addressed to the Postgraduate Admissions Officer by emailing ss-pgr-sb@nottingham.ac.uk

Application deadline: 22 May 2017

Interviews are anticipated to be held in early June 2017

Start date: October 2017

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