Elphinstone Scholarships for PhDs in Autism at the University of Aberdeen

Categories: News

The School of Education at the University of Aberdeen is once again offering Elphinstone Scholarships for outstanding PhD candidates due to commence full-time study for the upcoming academic year (October 2015 start).  These Scholarships offer suitable students full fee-waivers for the supervised period of study, regardless of their fee status.


Proposed PhD Topic: Supporting Inclusion for Individuals with Autism in Health, Social Care or Education


Description: This study would explore issues associated with the inclusion of adults, young people and/or children with autism in a Health, Social Care or Education context in Scotland. The inclusion of this group across services is currently an area of concern in Scottish policy and the research literature, and lies at the heart of the Scottish Strategy for Autism (2011). The research would provide a critique of the barriers to inclusion encountered by individuals with autism focusing on an analysis of the problem in a specific service context and making links to some of the key recommendations within the national strategy. Person-centred, qualitative studies are under-represented in the field of autism which tends to be dominated by quantitative medical studies focusing on causation. The research would therefore be service-based and qualitative involving a detailed study of the experience of inclusion from the point of view of individuals with a diagnosis of autism, service practitioners and others, as appropriate. A case study approach may be suitable for such a project, however other ideas will be considered. The purpose of the research will be to identify and critically examine key issues and themes within the research, literature and policy in the field, including the ‘integrative model of inclusion’ (Ravet 2012). The student will also critically explore associated methodological issues and outline an appropriate research design that enables them to identify and analyse the barriers to inclusion that are problematic and explore adaptations that might support more effective service provision and enhanced inclusion.


This scholarship is likely to be of interest to practitioners with direct experience of supporting individuals with autism in a range of service settings. Candidates should have a relevant degree and a postgraduate qualification in autism, preferably at Masters level. Note that more than one scholarship may be available.


Contact: Interested candidates should contact Dr Jackie Ravet in the first instance for an informal discussion: email j.ravet@abdn.ac.uk