Woman with white short hair wearing a big black hat

Fashion and Ageing

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: 15 October 2022

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: January 2023

For queries contact Ania Sadowska or Louise Moody.

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 within the multi-disciplinary Well-being and the Arts theme within the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities.

This project’s aim is to develop a new, more inclusive approach to fashion and clothing design that considers the functional, stylistic and emotional needs of older consumers, based on participation and co-creation. 

Project details

Due to the ageing population, growing old has become a significant topic in the contemporary research agenda. The post-industrial economy of improved health care, leisure and bio-medical technologies has affected both the biological and social spheres of ageing, producing new challenges for individuals, policy makers and associated industries, including fashion. There is a clear need to better cater to older individuals’ needs and expectations. The research question is: how can garments for older individuals be designed more effectively to respond to their changing bodies while meeting their aesthetic expectations? Within the context of COVID-19 and its aftermath, this project could also explore issues such as: how do we co-create garments remotely with older adults; or, how have older people’s clothing needs and preferences been influenced by lock-down?

This project will combine qualitative methods such as interviews, workshops and focus groups, with creative practice, to develop a toolkit for designers so they can better cater to this demographic, consequently benefitting older individuals by offering clothing they need and want.


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.


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 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 design practice and qualitative research
  • Good communication (written and oral) skills

How to apply

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

To find out more about the project, please contact Ania Sadkowska or Louise Moody.

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