The Life Course Transitions and Trajectories of Persons with Disabilities in West African Societies (LICOT-WASO) project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) through the Research Partner Group for Alumni, seeks to understand the life courses of persons with disabilities in West African societies particularly Ghana. This is in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The University of Siegen / Centre for Planning and Evaluation of Social Services (ZPE), in cooperation with the Department of Social Work and the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (CEGENSA), University of Ghana, Legon, seek qualified candidates from relevant academic units within the College of Humanities (COH), University of Ghana, to apply for PhD research scholarships.
The LICOT-WASO project is a scientific research to examine the social structures that exist in Ghana and other West African countries and their impact on the life courses of people with disabilities. It seeks to focus on the situation with persons with disabilities in West Africa particularly Ghana both in and between the following life phases- early childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and old age. Of interest is how social norms are constructed and institutionalized in the life course patterns for persons with disabilities and the dynamics of change in how social modernization processes have influenced the construction of life courses. The interplay between informal structures (such as the family, neighbourhood) with formal structures (i.e. government and charity organizations), and how these influence the life courses of persons with disabilities is relevant. Accordingly, the research is related to the following dimensions:
· transitions along life courses between early childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and old age;
· transitions in connection with different social functional systems (e.g. social protection- formal and informal structures, health, education, labour etc.);
· gender-related perspectives on transitions;
· ethnic perspectives on transitions.
We invite interested PhD students in Year Two who have completed their course work to submit a three-page research proposal dedicated to addressing one or more of the following research objectives:
· The position of persons with disabilities within families, communities and societies in West Africa particularly Ghana;
· Typical life course patterns and their subjective effects on persons with disabilities in West Africa particularly Ghana;
· The impact of the paradigm shift towards a human rights-based understanding of disability (e.g. in relation to work, education, family roles and opportunities, defining social norms and beliefs);
· The influence of social references and local life contexts on the design of transition
processes in the life courses of persons with disabilities;
· Insights into key challenges and interactions that persons with disabilities face in transition processes as well as individual development and application of coping strategies to address these challenges;
· Insights into key actors in the successful design of transition phases (e.g. extended family structures, traditional authorities, neighbourhoods, self-help groups, civil society and religious groups, local administrations);
· Knowledge about formal and informal support structures in different phases of life and in transition processes;
· Evidence-based development of inclusive and life-stage responsive social protection and service structures.
1. Applicants should have completed Year One in any relevant unit of the humanities (Arts and Social Sciences), University of Ghana.
2. Strong analytical background and knowledge in issues of disability, gender and social protection will be an added advantage.
3. All short-listed applicants would have to go through interviews before final decision could be made on their applications.
How to Apply
Qualified candidates should address applications to: Dr. Efua Esaaba Mantey Agyire-Tettey, Department of Social Work, University of Ghana, Legon via email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; and Lars Wissenbach; firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th October, 2020.
The application should include:
1. Three-page research proposal;
2. One-page motivation letter indicating preferred research area(s);
3. Letter of recommendation from Head of Department and;
4. Detailed CV including past research and publications.
Qualified female candidates, international students and candidates with disabilities are encouraged to apply.