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Centre for Care Summer School: Applications now closed

Text: Summer School Announcement Logos for Centre for Care, ESRC and NIHR

Centre for Care Summer School, applications are now closed.

Summer School dates: 16th-20th September 2024

The Centre for Care Summer School is a week-long residential programme in Sheffield in September 2024, for students whose PhD studies align with the themes and research of the Centre for Care. The theme of the 2024 Summer School is care relationships and care systems

The Summer School provides an opportunity for PhD students, particularly those in their second or third year of study, to work on their own care-focused papers, supported by student-led seminars. The programme will also include lectures on theoretical and methodological topics given by Centre for Care team members and guest speakers, and workshops focusing on career development and other skills. Students will have a mentor from the Centre for Care, who will work with them during the week and be their key contact.

The Summer School has up to 10 fully-funded places in 2024; two of these are reserved for students who are from and currently undertake their studies in low- and/or middle- income countries (using information compiled by the OECD; a list is available from Wellcome). Funding covers travel, meals and accommodation, and visa costs if required.

We require applicants to have completed their confirmation review/upgrade or similar (which typically takes place at the end of the first year of full time study). This is so that attendees have a relatively advanced understanding of their research project, theoretical framework(s) and method(s). This is necessary because much of the Summer School is highly interactive and will require attendees to reflect back on their own research projects.

A full programme will be provided to attendees upon securing their place.

About the Centre for Care

The Centre for Care is a research-focused collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Birmingham, Kent and Oxford, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Office for National Statistics, Carers UK, the National Children’s Bureau, and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. Funded by the ESRC (Economic & Social Research Council), our work aims to make a positive difference in how care is experienced and provided in the UK and internationally by producing new evidence and thinking for policymakers, care sector organisations and people who need or provide care. In studying care, we focus on ways of improving wellbeing outcomes and on the networks, communities and systems that support and affect people’s daily lives, working closely with external partners.

In studying care, we focus on support, services and protections to promote the wellbeing of vulnerable or disabled people of all ages (children and adults), and the networks, communities and systems that affect them. We don’t include childcare in this definition.

Application process (open from 8 January until 5 February at 23.00 GMT)

Before you apply for the Centre for Care Summer School, please read the guidance below. If you have any questions, email

To apply for the Summer School, please fill out this application form (Word document, click to open in new tab) and submit it to, with the subject line: CfC Summer School 2024. The deadline for applications is 5 February 2024 at 23.00 GMT. Late applications will not be considered.

To apply, we require a supporting statement from an academic supporter. Your academic supporter can be your PhD supervisor, Director of Postgraduate Studies or Head of Department. In the statement, they must confirm that they support your application and your attendance at the Summer School. They should explain why the Summer School would be valuable for you (e.g. why it might benefit your project, or your personal and career development).

Please copy your academic supporter into the email when you send your application. If your PhD supervisor is not your academic supporter, please copy your PhD supervisor into the email too. We will send our confirmation of receipt of your application and our decision to them as well as to you.

You should also provide a summary of your PhD research. This should clarify what theories and methods you engage with in your work. This will help us to ensure we have a diverse range of disciplinary perspectives and areas of research represented at the school.

We also ask for information about how your research relates to the Centre for Care, and how attending the Summer School would benefit you and your research.

We’re also interested to hear how your work might support our goals to build a more representative community of researchers (both in terms of EDI and interdisciplinarity). Feel free to share anything you feel might help to explain how your participation would help us to achieve this.

We also ask for details about travel costs. If you have support from your funder or institution to travel to the Summer School, please let us know. This will not have any bearing on our decision to award a place, it just helps us plan our budget.

How we will assess your application

Proposals will be assessed using the standard Economic and Social Research Council expert reviewer scoring system against the following assessment criteria:

  • Research Excellence: Is the applicant engaged in excellent research?
  • Fit: Has the applicant clearly stated which aspects of care their research addresses?
  • Capacity Building: Has the application made it clear how attendance will develop the applicant and their research?

Assessment process

Applications will be reviewed by a panel composed of members of the Centre for Care Management and Leadership Group.

We will follow principles of peer review, including on conflicts of interest. The most highly ranked applications will be awarded a place, up to the total number of spaces available at this year’s Summer School.

Assessment processes will be overseen by our Centre Manager.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Click the button below to view our FAQs Google document, this will be updated periodically by our Operations team.

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