About this project
Applications are invited for undertaking research for a PhD research project entitled ‘Digital Dimensions of COVID-19 Death Across Communities’. This project will investigate new and changing affordances of digital technologies in saying goodbye, conducting funerals, ways of mourning, expressing grief, consolation and memorialisation focussing on families and bereavement service providers.
The lead PhD project supervisor will be Dr Jo Bell, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Health, Well-Being and Social Work at the University of Hull.
Within the scope of the project, in order to evaluate the affordances of digital technologies to manage socially-distanced death-related practices for death professionals, bereaved families (including children), friends and co-workers, the successful applicant will address the following research questions:
- How are/were digital technologies being provided for/used by bereavement service providers and mourners during the pandemic?
- To what extent are digital technologies shaping new death-related practices and changing old ones?
- What are the impacts of digital technologies for the bereaved in managing (socially-distanced) grief and bereavement?
It is anticipated that a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used.
As this is an interdisciplinary cluster, the successful candidate will be a member of the Department of Psychological Health, Well-Being and Social Work, have additional supervisors from Human Geography (Dr Elsbeth Robson) and English (Dr Chris Westoby) they will also have a base in the cluster's home Department of Geography, Geology and Environment.
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Jo Bell.
About the 'Living with Death – Learning from COVID’ research cluster
Since spring 2020 the UK has experienced unprecedented waves of premature deaths with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dying has been taking place under circumstances far from ‘normal’. Modes of remembrance associated with a ‘good death’ have been impeded by public health measures. More than 17 months of infection control restrictions and limited funeral arrangements are associated with many emergent – but largely un-researched – socio-economic consequences including for mental health and well-being (e.g. complicated grief, post-traumatic stress) for health, social care and death professionals, bereaved relatives, friends and co-workers.
This multi-disciplinary research cluster programme with five PhD projects will investigate, identify, understand and suggest mitigations for the unintended medium-longer term consequences of socially distanced death. In collaborating across social sciences, health and humanities the cluster will engage with and evaluate approaches (e.g. funeral practices, story telling) to alleviating the intense suffering, grief and bereavement of COVID-19.
The ‘Living with Death – Learning from COVID’ research cluster is led by PI Dr Elsbeth Robson, Reader in Human Geography.
Join us at a webinar on Monday 13 December at 6pm to find out more about this PhD cluster. Register here.
Other PhDs in this cluster
Place, Death and Inequalities
Dealing with Socially Distanced Death on the Frontline
Language in Corona Times