PhD project

Beyond a single story: examining the workings, findings and assumptions of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

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Application deadline

28 February 2023

Jurisdictions across the world are confronted with how best to respond to allegations of historical abuse, many of which emanate from institutional child care settings. Responses are generally couched within a transitional justice framework, identifying human rights breaches, an assumption of trauma on account of these experiences and the identification of means of redress.

Such frameworks may over-simplify the way that the past is constructed and re-constructed and the contexts within which this happens.

Emerging academic work in Canada and parts of Europe begins to problematise the subject. In the UK, child abuse inquiries are currently underway in England and Wales and in Scotland. Co-led by senior academics in social work and law, the aim of this PhD is to examine the workings of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (through, primarily, its recorded documentary findings) and to interrogate the assumptions it makes and the conclusions it draws.

How to apply

  1. Email Professor Mark Smith ( to:
    • send a copy of your CV and
    • discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).
  2. After discussion with Professor Smith, formal applications can be made via our direct application system.

When applying, please follow the instructions below:

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