University of Dundee PhD Scholarship Programme 2018 : Exploring the impact of protracted refugee displacement & disrupted intergenerational relations on the secure and healthy futures of older people in Uganda and DRC

Deadline: 8 June, 2018

Project Description

UNHCR (2017) identified that globally there are over 16 million refugees. The context of displacement is becoming protracted, due to continued instability, and also more complex, in terms of why people are seeking refuge and the condition of high poverty levels in countries hosting refugees. This creates important challenges for policy and practice, with sustainable livelihoods for refugees a key priority. In such policies, older people are generally overlooked (HelpAge 2018) yet, are more vulnerable in terms of their capabilities for creating sustainable and healthy futures, particularly if intergenerational relations of support are disrupted.
This PhD will explore the situations of the elderly during times of conflict and protracted crises. Using Uganda as a case study, the research will examine how the elderly survive, as refugees themselves but also when ‘left behind’ in home countries. Through mixed method and ethnographic research the social, economic and emotional journeys of families will be documented connecting older people, as refugees or ‘remainers’, through intergenerational relations that cross borders and connect distant places. The PhD will aim to understand the variety of survival strategies for, and potential impacts on, the secure futures of older people. The research will seek to inform policy and practice for working across the lifecourse and supporting secure, healthy and sustainable futures for older people affected by refugee crises.
The objectives are:
• To map the emotional journeys of older refugees and understand the impact of displacement and family separation on their lives.
• To understand the health and wellbeing needs of the elderly who are separated from family intergenerational support through displacement.
• To explore the capabilities of the aged within refugee communities for ensuring sustainable livelihoods towards the end of the life course.
• To develop recommendations for policy and practice


Criteria for selection
For the applicants must have ideally a 1st class undergraduate degree and an excellent masters degree (or be about to complete) in a relevant subject, preferably with some experience of researching in Africa with refugees and or older people alongside some experience of social science methods. The ability to speak basic French would be an advantage.

Funding Notes

If the candidate is successful in the competition they will receive a studentship award for 3 years to include full fees, annual stipend and funds for overseas fieldwork and conferences.

Deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, 8th June 2018.

Visit webpage for more information here.

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