Criminal records can be a barrier to moving on in life in many ways and we often hear from people who have been rejected from university because of their past convictions, or who are put off applying for fear of rejection.
Unlocking students with conviction, a year long project run by Unlock and supported by UPP, included working closely with partner universities on their policies and practice. In October 2019 Unlock launched the fair chance pledge. Fundamentally, this means only asking about criminal records if – and when – necessary.
Unlock are now collaborating with The University of Nottingham on an ESRC Doctoral Scholarship, to begin in October 2020. This is a unique opportunity to carry out systematic and in-depth analysis of policy and practice around applicants with criminal records across UK universities, building on the anecdotal evidence we collect through our helpline and contributing to improving opportunities for these students.
The research will look at three questions:
- How do UK universities acquire criminal records during admissions processes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels
- For what purposes do UK universities use criminal records
- What are the impacts of CRCs on applicants to university degrees?
The University of Nottingham are signed up the fair chance pledge and don’t ask about criminal records except for regulated programmes and student accommodation.
If you haven’t yet completed a Masters (or haven’t completed the required methods training) you can apply for the 1+3 programme, applicants who have already completed their Masters and have the required methods training can apply for the +3 programme. ESRC studentships cover fees and maintenance stipend, as well as support for research training and activity support grants, provided you’re eligible.
The PhD research will be supervised by Dr Nicola Carr and Dr Andrew Henley (University of Nottingham) and Dr Rachel Tynan (Unlock).
Read more about the PhD opportunity here.
Applications should be in by the 4th March 2020.