An innovative digital intervention to promote resilience within informal networks of survivors of sexual violence: A feasibility study

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

Duration: Full-time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 22nd March 2021

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2021

For queries please contact Dr Grace Carter.

Trailblazers PhD studentships

This is a Trailblazers fully-funded PhD studentship.

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Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship to undertake a doctoral study, within the Centre for Intelligent Healthcare, that will develop and test a digital intervention for informal networks of survivors of sexual violence and abuse to improve their resilience and coping skills whilst safely supporting victims.

Project detials

This doctoral project will develop the first user-led digital intervention supporting friends and families of adult and child survivors of sexual violence (SV). One in 5 women and 1 in 25 men in the UK report lifetime victimisation, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million women and 631,000 men. Five out of 6 people do not report SV to the police, instead, first disclosing within informal networks. Health and economic impacts for friends and family carrying this burden are substantial. This PhD will co-create a digital intervention that equips users to improve their resilience and coping skills whilst safely supporting victims. Qualitative data collected through interviews with SV survivors, friends/families, and a survey of SV professionals will inform intervention development. An established online platform will host the intervention prototype, and the final phase will test its feasibility (e.g. uptake/completion rates/impact on wellbeing). The long-term impact of the intervention is disruption to costly pathways to poor health for victims and their families/networks.  This PhD will be supervised by Dr Grace Carter together with experienced academics from the Centre for Intelligent Healthcare, and the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol.


This is a fully-funded studentship including full tuition fees (UK/EU/International) plus stipend (based upon the applicable UKRI rate at the point of the award) and additional allowances.


Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

In addition 

Experience of qualitative research along with quantitative skills, as evidenced through previous degree disciplines/subjects (e.g. Psychology, Criminology, Social Sciences, Medical Sciences), and work experience (e.g., working with individuals who have experienced trauma; working in mental health or public health settings; experience of mixed-methods research, feasibility studies, RCTs or developing/testing digital interventions).

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Grace Carter.

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

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