Sexual violence beyond binaries

Researching the needs of Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB), non-binary, transgender and gender non-conforming survivors of sexual violence in UK survivor services


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by the Dean’s Society, Science and Health PhD. Reference: 2022-JAN-HAS06.

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 January 2022.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 5 September 2021.

About the studentship

AFAB queer people, identifying as transgender, transmasculine, GNC or NB, are known to be at risk of sexual violence, yet are one of the groups unlikely to report these incidents. This can also affect trans men. Reasons for not reporting can be due to understandable fears of transphobia and/or homophobia, as well as concerns that their identity will be ignored, misunderstood or used against them.

This group of masculine presenting people are often not represented in the branding, public awareness adverts and images typically used by services for survivors of rape and sexual violence; where imagery is often of feminine presenting young women. It is important that outreach, branding, advertising, helpline language, and much more, actively includes these minoritized groups.

Your research would aim to produce up to date evidence of the needs of this community, policy recommendations on inclusive practices, and, with partners across the sector, facilitate the introduction of those evidence-based inclusive practices.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Finn Mackay (


The studentship is available from the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £15,609 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


Applicants must have a Masters degree in a relevant subject, e.g.: Sociology, Social Policy, Gender Studies or similar.

Ideally you will have professional and/or activist experience in LGBTQI+ communities and/or sexual violence survivor services; such as, for example, the specialist women’s sector, including services for Black women survivors or survivors from minoritized faith communities. Applicants who self-identify as transgender, trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary, masculine of centre, or generally as LGBTQI+ are particularly encouraged to apply.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted, use the reference number 2022-JAN-HAS06. Applications which do not include a studentship reference number cannot be considered for shortlisting.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form. Applications which are incomplete at the application deadline will not be considered for shortlisting.

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is Sunday 5 September 2021.

Further information

Interviews will take place on Friday 29 October 2021. If you have not heard from us by that date, we thank you for your application but, on this occasion, you have not been successful.

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