PhD Studentship: Supported Decision-Making

Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Autumn 2018.

Applications close on Wednesday, 7th March 2018.

As part of Wellcome’s major collaborative research initiative ‘Mental Health & Justice’ (, we are pleased to be able to offer a funded, three-year PhD, starting in October, 2018, relating to adults with intellectual (learning) and/or other neurodevelopmental disabilities. The PhD will be supervised by Dr Isabel Clare (Department of Psychiatry), with Dr Jillian Craigie (Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London), within the initiative’s ‘Enabling legal capacity through decision making support’ work stream.

The background to this PhD lies in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its requirement that signatories provide support for people with disabilities – including those with intellectual and/or other neurodevelopmental disabilities – to exercise their right to make legally-significant decisions, such as decisions about intimate relationships, wills, and medical treatment, for themselves. So far, little is known about the nature of support provided, the types of decisions for which support is given, or how motivating values such as ‘autonomy’ and ‘respect’ are understood and put into practice, particularly when the outcomes of a decision may place the person, or others, at risk of harm.

Applicants must hold, or be expecting to be awarded, a First or 2 (i) degree in the psychological, behavioural, or social sciences and have some previous experience of collecting empirical data and its qualitative and/or quantitative analysis. Applicants should also be excited by mixed-methods and inter-disciplinary research involving legal, philosophical, psychological, clinical, social science, and other intellectual perspectives. Experience of supporting adults with intellectual and/or other neurodevelopmental disabilities is desirable. The Wellcome award will fund tuition and College fees for three years up to the value of Home/EU fees and will provide an annual tax-free stipend normally of £14,764 (tbc). The successful applicant will become a member of the Department of Psychiatry and of one of the Colleges in the University.

Further details and application process here.


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