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Funded PhD Opportunity

Co-Designing Child Friendly Places: Growing the Resilience of Children through Inclusive Planning

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Summary

This PhD project explores children’s participatory opportunities through inclusive planning for co-producing social and environmental well-being outcomes that response to the needs of children and young people. Krishnamurthy (2019: 96) acknowledges how “children’s geography in planning and design is becoming increasingly relevant”, but argues for the development of mechanisms that represent the interests of children in planning and design. Similarly, other research demonstrates how there has been limited progress on advancing positive well-being improvements for children in the UK (Bradshaw, 2016) and that “adult-creations do not necessarily chime with the self-reported spatial needs and understandings of children” (RTPI, 2019: 5).

Many campaigning organisations, across the UK and Europe, advocate for inclusive planning practices that deliver on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly the right to participate in decision-making (Article 12) and to engage in play and recreational activities (Article 31). Integrating child rights-based approaches into planning processes potentially offer pathways to greater resilience and enabling children to become agents of change (ARUP, 2016). Advances in Wales, with the introduction of a Play Sufficiency Duty, in 2012, is demonstrating the need for inclusive cross-sectoral working for the provision of ‘play’, which has “become a matter of spatial justice” (Play Wales, 2019:5).

While there has been a growing body of research focussed on creating child-friendly cities/places, further research is needed to better understand appropriate inclusive engagement methods that co-produce environments with children that response to their spatial and well-being needs.

This research will explore two interrelated questions:

  • first, how are children and young people engaging in the planning and design processes to co-produce environments that meet their well-being needs, and;
  • secondly, to what extent are advances in ‘play’ policy development transforming children’s experiences and practitioners understanding of inclusive engagement?

This PhD will address these questions utilising qualitative research with children, young people and stakeholders across a number of case studies. There will be opportunities to collaborate with Belfast Healthy Cities and PlayBoard NI to capture learning on emerging practice in Northern Ireland and in other European cities. In critically examining policy and comparing engagement practices, the outcomes of this research will shed new light on innovative ways to design co-productive and inclusive planning practices that create better places and resilient futures for children.


AccessNI clearance required

Please note, the successful candidate will be required to obtain AccessNI clearance prior to registration due to the nature of the project.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 7 February 2020

Interview Date
Week beginning 9 March 2020


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Dr Gavan Rafferty


Other supervisors

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