Developing a theory of change for a complex programme; a systematic framework for ensuring delivery of outcomes in a new Wellbeing Hub for the Nantlle Valley. – MRes Scholarship


Developing a theory of change for a complex programme; a systematic framework for ensuring delivery of outcomes in a new Wellbeing Hub for the Nantlle Valley.

School of Health Sciences, Bangor University

Project ID: BUK2200

Annual Stipend: £11,586

Application Deadline : 01/02/2020.

This is a research opportunity that may be attractive to a range of students as it covers a wide field of interests. Health and social care students with an interest in strategic change are an obvious set but so would business studies students interested in public and voluntary sector development, similarly ‘place based’ community development researchers or any students/researchers with a passion for how the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act may be delivered in practice.

Grwp Cynefin have been the lead organisation building a wider vision for Penygroes as a Centre for Well-being for the Nantlle Valley and wider local region.  Partners including Gwynedd Council, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, and a range of voluntary and  community organisations have produced a business case to create a new and innovative Wellbeing Hub to modernise and extend the reach of existing health and care services, embed prevention and community wellbeing into a new sustainable model for the future, and act as a crucible for change and regeneration of the wider area.

There is no evidence based “Theory of Change” available able to frame the broad outcomes of a change programme as ambition as this. It encompasses all the Wellbeing of Future Generation Goals and ways of working, as other major service redesign programmes have, but not on this scale in a new build facility across this range of services and sectors.

The ambitious wellbeing outcomes map across health and care, regeneration, economic environment, education opportunity, social inclusion, arts and culture development etc. The drivers and interventions are therefore both wide ranging and complex.

This proposal is therefore a unique opportunity for an Masters by Research student to work across all stakeholders to develop an understanding and map the expected outcomes; define the interventions required; establish the evidence and return on investment assumptions behind interventions; and then to set out an outcomes framework to guide the whole programme and enable it to be robustly evaluated.

Its value to stakeholders is its promise to provide assurance that their own and collective goals for the programme will be monitored and met.

To build this theory of change requires a student to use a mixed methodology including scoping review; assessment of evidence-based practice; stakeholder engagement; workshop facilitation; and synthesis of complex data across sectors and systems.

It is a unique opportunity to produce research with national significance.

Start date: 01/04/2020

Project Supervisors:

The successful applicant will be supervised by Dr Mary Lynch and Dr Ned Hartfiel at the School of Health Sciences and Mrs Mair Edwards, community initiatives manager for Grŵp Cynefin as the Company supervisor.

Interested applicants who wish to discuss the role further can contact Dr Mary Lynch via email (

Applications should include a CV with two named referees and a covering letter via email to Dr Lynch ( and cc to Penny Dowdney ( by 17:00 on 10/02/20.

We welcome applications in either English or Welsh.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) 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) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.