Developing a Community Model of Effective Offender Rehabilitation: Reducing Harm and Reoffending (PhD Studentship)

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Developing a Community Model of Effective Offender Rehabilitation: Reducing Harm and Reoffending

PDC / USW MAXI 21730

This is a funded PhD, including a generous stipend and tuition fees, with well-resourced circumstances for a successful scholarship.

Here is an exciting opportunity to conduct an action research project which will both contribute to the development of a new community model of rehabilitation and evaluate the resulting process and outcomes.

The selected candidate will apply their social science skills and ambition to ensure that those who have offended and who live in a specific geographical area have access to the ‘right’ interventions and effective ways of working to maximise the likelihood of successful, sustained rehabilitation so improving both their life chances and those of their families and thereby improving the communities in which they live. This action research, will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of criminology and community research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Centre for Criminology, faculty of Business and Society at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government. The PhD will be associated with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and other strategic partners. The project will focus on reducing offending so improving the pro-social life chances for those who have offended and their families and, with support from partner agencies, increasing community safety and building community cohesion in a disadvantaged community in East Wales.

The project is backed by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) which supervises and rehabilitates convicted people who are sentenced to either imprisonment or supervision in the community.

Programme of research:

This is an action research project which aims to support the partner agency to develop and improve community based interventions and ways of working with offenders and their families which enrich both individual lives and community cohesion. The project will also focus on the way in which partnership development enhances the work. The core aims are to:

  1. 1. Initiate/create an evidence led approach into the design and implementation of the community based model of working with offenders by
  2. a. Summarising relevant pre-existing evidence
  3. b. Collecting data relevant to the development of new interventions/ways of working
  4. 2. Monitor the development and implementation of the project as it progresses and to feed back findings to the HMPPS team and management committee so as to facilitate improvement. Here there will be particular attention paid to the extent to which partnership working is facilitating the work and how this might be improved. This will be achieved by
  5. a. Collection of base-line data concerning present: ways of working; support being offered within the community; and partnership working.
  6. b. Collection of data 6 and 12 months later to understand how things have changed and what might be necessary to improve the project.
  7. c. Data from 3 below will also be used to suggest improvements to implementation.
  8. 3. Evaluate the impact of the early stages of implementation of the project in terms of the effects on individuals, their families and the community. This will be achieved by:
  9. a. collection of base-line data on a sample of men who have offended, their family members and the community so as to permit an evaluation of all aspects of the project.
  10. b. Collection of data 6 and 12 months later to measure distance travelled.


The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time PhD programme and pay a stipend of circa £14k p.a. There is also around £9k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance. The position is available from 1st October 2019.

Eligibility of Student:

To be eligible to hold a KESS studentship, you must:

  • have a home address in East Wales area (details below)* at the time of registration.
  • have the right to take up paid work in the East Wales area* on completion of the scholarship.
  • be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
  • satisfy University of South Wales’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process

*East Wales area covers: Vale of Glamorgan / Cardiff/ Newport/ Monmouthshire/ Powys/ Wrexham/ Flintshire

Qualifications and experience:

Eligible applicants will:

  • Have a degree (2i or higher) in an appropriate social science discipline.
  • Possess a reasonable understanding of the criminal justice system.
  • Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop a range of research techniques, with particular focus on qualitative research skills
  • Have well-developed and positively collaborative interpersonal skills allowing the candidate to work effectively with and be accepted by a diverse group of people ranging from vulnerable client groups to senior management personnel in a range of different agencies and organisations.
  • Have an ability to deliver technical reports and communicate findings to academic, policy/practice and community audiences.
  • Be willing to work intensively in a close knit disadvantaged community.

Application Process:

To download an information pack, please visit: specific funded studentships:

For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales:  Tel: 01443 482578

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Professor Kate Williams at   or phone on 01443 654195.

Closing date for applications: midnight Sunday 18th August 2019

Interviews will be held w/c Tuesday August 27th 2019 (the most likely date is 30th August)

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) programme for East Wales