The precise focus of the PhDs will be decided in collaboration with the supervisors and Blackpool Council, depending on applicants’ experience and interests.
- Building Resilience through applying resilient therapy in Blackpool: an ecological perspective
- The effectiveness of Community-based Resilience Coaches in applying resilient therapy: a mixed methods study
- What is the effectiveness of applying the Academic Resilience Approach in Blackpool: a mixed methods co-productive study
- The use of resilient therapy within a whole systems resilience intervention
- A mixed methods study of Friends for Life, a resilience-based intervention to support young people in foster care
- Social enterprise to support mental health resilience: a mixed methods study of Boingboing Blackpool
- Resilience building through volunteering: a co-productive study of Blackpool HeadStart.
Blackpool HeadStart is a £10 million Big Lottery funded programme implementing co-produced, social justice resilience approaches in schools and local communities to support the mental health of 10–16 year olds. Much of this initiative is based on the work of Prof Angie Hart and collaborators at the University of Brighton and beyond.
Blackpool is a quirky, vibrant town in the North of England which faces multiple social and economic challenges. They are using a community development approach whilst also adapting traditional therapeutic methods to build a more resilience-based way of working. The resilience paradigm views health as a normal and reflexive process of adaptation to both physical and mental stressors. In the last two decades, a large body of research has been conducted in order to understand the protective factors that allow individuals to be resilient. Recent cutting edge ecological approaches to resilience emphasise individuals’ capacity to navigate and negotiate their social, cultural and physical resources whilst challenging systematic factors that contribute to their adversity conditions. It is in that context that the Blackpool HeadStart initiative has been conceived.
The University of Brighton is a leading higher education institution for the theoretical development and implementation of socio-ecological approaches to resilience research, policy and practice in health, education and social care. Researchers at the University of Brighton have worked for many years on practical applications of resilience approaches to children’s and young people’s mental health. They have also advanced the concept of resilience by considering it in relation to practitioner and adult mental health contexts.
These studentships seeks to build on existing resilience research developed at the University of Brighton in the areas child and family resilience, and schools-based resilience approaches.
Regardless of the precise focus of the studies, it is likely that they will use mixed methods approaches involving a combination of some of the following: interviews, questionnaires and visual arts approaches. The knowledge produced will consider the impact of resilience approaches on the health and wellbeing of young people.
These PhDs will build on Brighton’s collaborative research on co-productive child, family and schools-based resilience approaches. It will allow the PhD students we are seeking to advance resilience theory, research and practice in these areas and this is a chance for research to have a demonstrable effect on people’s lives. We are especially interested in prospective students who would like to involve young people and/or their carers and supporters as co-producers of the research, rather than simply studying them.
With funding support from ESRC, MRC and AHRC in the last six years, the University of Brighton has cemented its position as a leading higher education institute for the development and implementation of socio-ecological approaches to resilience research. The socio-ecological approach to resilience considers the individual’s ability to navigate and negotiate their social, cultural and physical resources whilst challenging systematic factors that contribute to their adversity conditions. A concept that arose from the field of development psychology, it has increasingly been applied to adult populations. The University of Brighton has championed this development within recent years; with notable advancements within the mental-health field and in building practitioner resilience.
Further exploration of the concept of resilience aligns with the university’s Centre for Health Research overall mission that aims to support the wellbeing of individuals and communities and provide sustainable implementation of research-informed practice.
These projects will:
- Strengthen leading-edge social justice, participatory approaches to resilience research.
- Continue to open up multidisciplinary areas of enquiry in mental health, public health and wellbeing, bringing together classical psychological theories with resilience practice.
- Integrate resilience and systems based approaches to social practice.
- Generate, transmit and share knowledge locally, globally and professionally with a focus on its application for practical purposes.
- Maximise impact on beneficiaries through further embedding impact planning and strengthening novel participatory approaches to collaborative co-research with patients and the public.
- Provide evidence for the sustainability of interventions to promote resilience.
Advancing health research pertaining to child, family and community resilience has increasingly been a focus of staff and students within the School of Health Sciences and can also be seen within the School of Education and the School of Applied Social Sciences.
The co-development approach to research provides opportunities to draw from an existing pool of expertise within the University of Brighton and its partners in practice as well as international collaborators.
In-kind contributions from social enterprise Boingboing will be included and opportunities to volunteer for Boingboing will be available to successful candidates.