Using routine council data to evaluate the enhanced parenting pathway


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time or part-time PhD in the College of Heath, Science and Society, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by Somerset County Council: 

Ref: 2223-JAN-HAS14

The expected start date of this studentship is 01 January 2023

The closing date for applications is 10 October 2022. 

Studentship details

This studentship is an exciting new collaboration between Somerset County Council and  the Centre for Public Health and Wellbeing at UWE Bristol. The project will explore the potential of routine data sets held by the council to enable long-term evaluations of interventions at the population level, using the new enhanced parenting pathway as a case study. Over the course of the three-year studentship (or six years if part-time), the student will carry out an initial evaluation of the pathway, and set up the data systems for longer term follow up of a wide range of relevant outcomes using data held by the Council and other partners.

Expected steps to achieving this aim include:

  • reviewing the standard methods of evaluating such a service.
  • identifying relevant outcomes (short, medium and long term).
  • scoping relevant data sets (internal and external to the council) to measure these outcomes.
  • identifying barriers to using these data sets (for example, consent, data sharing, data quality, data matching).
  • overcoming these barriers, where possible within the PhD timescales, and making recommendations regarding outstanding barriers to help Somerset Council become a 'research-ready' council.
  • using available data for a short-term evaluation of the pathway, with a particular focus on inequalities with respect to both COVID-19 and rural deprivation.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please contact Dr Issy Bray at or call +44 (0)117 32 88923.


The studentship is available from 01 January 2023 for a period of three years full time or six years part time, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £16,026 per annum (FT), £8,013 (PT).

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


This opportunity is available to UK/Home applicants only.

Applicants must have:

  • an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject (for example, Public Health, Data Science)
  • experience of handling large data sets and data governance.

and ideally will have:

  • MSc/MRes in a relevant subject
  • experience of working in a local authority
  • quantitative evaluation skills
  • knowledge of services for vulnerable young people and their families.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-JAN-HAS14.

Submit your application

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your research proposal, a cover letter, 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.

Research proposal: please explain, in no more than 500 words, how your skill-set and experience could contribute to this proposed PhD project.

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 before you submit your application.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 10 October 2022 with interviews expected 17 October 2022.

Further Information

The student will work across UWE (Frenchay Campus) and Somerset County Council (based in Taunton), with a degree of flexibility for remote working. The student will be part of the Centre for Public Health and Wellbeing at UWE Bristol and the Director of Studies will be Dr Issy Bray. 

If you have not heard from us by the 17 October 2022, your application was unsuccessful. 

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