Doctoral research

Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender (CRAG) provides opportunities for postgraduate research in a supportive and intellectually stimulating research environment.

Potential PhD and MPhil students from the UK and overseas are encouraged to join the doctoral programme. For information on fees and funding, international support and how to apply go to our Doctoral College.

For questions regarding postgraduate research CRAG is involved in, please email Sara Arber.

CRAG awarded doctorates

Stella Chatzitheochari

Stella's doctorate involved secondary analysis of the UK Time Use Survey to analyse the activity patterns of older people. Time use diaries were also analysed to explore the interconnections between sleep duration, work and other aspects of everyday life. Stella is now Associate Professor, Quantitative Methods, at University of Warwick.

Rajaa Alqatani

Rajaa is a University Lecturer in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  Her PhD was a qualitative study of three generations of women from the same families involving over 40 indepth interviews. She analysed the factors influencing the lives of Saudi women over the last 40 years, especially the changing nature of gender-segregation. 

Andrea Darling

Andrea's joint doctorate with the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (University of Surrey) was awarded in 2013.  She collected data on white (Caucasian) older women and Asian older women in order to compare their sleep quality, diet, Vitamin D status, physical and everyday activities.

Colin Norris

Colin undertook a part-time PhD on the financial decision-making of older people, awarded in 2014.  He undertook qualitative interviews with 48 older men and women about their approach to money management in retirement and throughout their life course, including their financial management strategies, budgeting behaviours and expenditure patterns. 

Gagan Dhal

Gagan is a senior Civil Servant from India who was awarded his doctorate in 2017.  He interviewed 20 men and 20 women aged 60-75 who had retired from professional or civil service employment in India, demonstrating how they were engaged in ‘active ageing’, as well as supporting others in their community, and the changing nature of their family relationships.

Richard Green

Richard studied his doctorate jointly with Royal Holloway University of London, awarded in 2018.  He interviewed 29 men (aged 53-83) diagnosed with prostate cancer, examining their experiences of different types of prostate cancer treatment, and how they managed the (often stigmatising) effects of their treatment. Men’s prostate cancer experiences, from pre-diagnosis to present day, were explored in relation to the broader context of men’s health, employment, and family life.

Seham Salameh 

Seham was awarded her PhD in 2018 and is a University Lecturer in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  Her doctorate was a qualitative study of 50 older women (age 60-75) in Jeddah, half of whom lived alone and half lived in inter-generational households. Her PhD demonstrated the very difficult lives of older Saudi women, especially older divorced women and those with a lack of financial resources or poor family relationships.

Rajaa Al-Gahatani

Rajaa was awarded her PhD in 2012, which was a qualitative study of older women in Abha, Saudia Arabia, focusing on the impact of change in Saudi society on women at different stages of their life course.

Emanuela Bianchera

Emanuela was awarded her PhD in 2011 based on a study of sleep among mid-life and older women (age 40-80) in Italy. This study focuses work-life balance and how state care provision impact on Italian women's sleep.

Theresa Ellmers

Theresa's PhD, awarded in 2011, on understanding Sleep in Care Homes formed part of a project on optimising sleep quality in older people funded by the ESRC under the New Dynamics of Ageing research programme. This study used qualitative methods to understand the experience of ‘sleep' in four care homes for older people.

Ingrid Eyers

Ingrid was awarded her doctorate in 2003. Her thesis, Meeting the needs of older people? A comparative study of care home staff in England and Germany, focused on the impact of care worker skills on the quality of care provided. Following completion of her thesis, Ingrid completed a 12 month ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (PTA-026-27-290) at CRAG.

Eiman Fatani

Eiman was awarded her PhD in 2008 on the impact of end-state renal failure on women in Saudi Arabia, focusing particularly on women's family roles and relationships

Gwyn Grout

Gwyn obtained her PhD in December 2007 for her evaluative study of mental health service provision to older people in general hospitals. (Surrey Hampshire Borders NHS Trust). 

Jenny Hislop

Jenny was awarded her doctorate in 2004. Based on research conducted on the EU-funded Sleep in Ageing Women project, Jenny's thesis, The social context of women's sleep: perceptions and experiences of women aged 40 and over examined the interrelationship between social context and the structuring of women's sleep. Jenny is continuing her research into sleep on the ESRC-funded Negotiating Sleep: Gender, Age and Social Relationships amongst Couples project in addition to her responsibilities as Co-Director of CRAG.

Dorothy Horswill

Dorothy was awarded her doctorate in 2005 with a thesis on the health of Chinese and English women in middle life. Her research focused on how work stress and family relations impact on the control of everyday diet and health.

Helen Lewis

Helen was awarded her PhD on gender differences in the impact of end-stage renal failure on different aspects of the transition to adulthood, including issues of disclosure, identity and self-esteem.

Rebekah Luff

This joint sociology and psychology doctorate is examined the role and provision of emotional labour by different groups of care staff to older people living in care homes in the UK (ESRC funded).

Rob Meadows

Rob was awarded his PhD in December 2008. This study of men, masculinities and sleep examined the ways in which men engage and grapple with sleep on a day to day basis and whether or not this differs from women.

Colin Norris

A study which examined financial knowledge and decision making among women and men in mid and later life, with particular reference to decisions about pensions. Colin was awarded his PhD in April 2014.

Debora Price

Debora's PhD was awarded in 2005 for her assessment of the differential impact of divorce on the pension provision made by men and women (by secondary analysis of large-scale government data sets), and the role of the legal profession in perpetuating these gender differences (by interview with a sample of practising lawyers). (ESRC funded)

Richard Sindall

Richard was awarded his PhD in 2006 on a qualitative study of roles, relationships, self-esteem, choices and gender issues among middle class early retired men and women. (ESRC funded)

Victoria Staples (nee Vaughan)

Sleep among older people: circadian timing and light. Vicky held an ESRC/MRC interdisciplinary studentship between Sociology and Neuroendocrinology (SBMS). Her PhD examined how increasing age is associated with a shift towards morningness.

Susan Venn

Susan was awarded her PhD in 2011. Her research formed part of a multidisciplinary ESRC funded project (SomnIA) on optimising sleep quality in older people, under the New Dynamics of Ageing research programme. As part of this study, she undertook qualitative and quantitative research on the meanings and experiences of poor sleep amongst older people living in the community, together with the coping strategies they may undertake to deal with poor sleep.

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Department of Sociology
University of Surrey