PhD Studentship: The Social Care Workforce in Wales

University of Sheffield

Project Partner: Social Care Wales

Lead Supervisor: Liam Foster (email: [email protected] ; webpage here )

Academic Supervisors: Gwilym Pryce, Matt Bennett

Research Themes: Social care, Geography and Spatial Analysis, Social Inequality

Project description:

This studentship offers an outstanding opportunity to work with Social Care Wales to understand the social care workforce using person-level data contained in the SAIL Databank – a unique, multi-sector, integrated administrative system. The PhD project will provide insight on a range of issues related to recruitment, retention, and the inequalities faced by the care workforce in Wales.  

The challenges in social care are among the biggest issues facing society.  Current figures show 165,000 vacancies in the care workforce, increasing to 500,000 by 2030. We are seeing increasing evidence of a workforce that is experiencing significant pressure, feels undervalued and underpaid, and has extensive difficulties recruiting and retaining staff. Recruitment is therefore one of the biggest challenges currently facing social care, and it is likely to worsen in the medium and long-term. The PhD project will model the social care workforce in Wales using a variety of techniques to inform policy and practice.

Based in the ESRC Centre for Care, University of Sheffield, the successful student will join other researchers studying the social care landscape, and benefit from an exceptional research environment; multidisciplinary supervision; opportunities to engage with non-academic partners across the care sector; and extensive development opportunities for early career scholars. The successful student will also benefit from a range of opportunities with the partners at Social Care Wales, including participation in team activities and away days. 

This project would be well suited to a prospective PhD student with solid data analysis skills and a strong interest in social care and evidence-informed policy-making. Experience analysing administrative data sources and an interest in engaging people who receive care and support and the public would be an advantage.

Entry requirements


  • 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject area

English language requirements (for international/EU candidates)

You have must have one or more of the following:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – 7 overall, 7 writing, 6 other sections
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Internet based test – 100 overall, 25 writing, 22 other sections
  • A degree in any subject completed in the English language from a majority English speaking country may also be acceptable – please check here  for the country where you completed your degree.


A standard studentship covers the cost of tuition fees, provides a doctoral stipend of £16,062, ( 2022 rate- to increase slightly each year with inflation), and a Research Training Support Grant, for four years. Applications will be open to both Home and International fee rated applicants.

Study mode

Options to study part-time are available, if you wish to study part-time please indicate this when you apply. If selected for interview, the project supervisor will discuss options with you.

This studentship is part of the Data Analytics and Society CDT . Applications should be made through the University of Leeds portal. More information is available here .

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location