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level in the following subject areas: American Studies, Applied Linguistics, Biology, Business and Management, Computing, Ecology, Education, English, Geography, Health Education, History, Imaging Science, Music, Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Paramedical Studies, Psychology, Radiography, Sport Science, Theology & Religious Studies, Tourism Studies, Applied Social Sciences/Sociology, Media and Cultural Studies. Acceptance onto the programme Candidates can be accepted onto the MPhil/PhD programme on if it can be established: o o that the student has a suitable academic background to tackle the subject that the University can provide effective supervision
o that the resources available (time, equipment, fieldwork expenses, library access) are sufficient to permit completion of the project o in the case of University funded studentships, that this project is aligned with the University’s research priorities. The application procedure 1) Candidates must complete an application form which is sent to the Graduate School. This may be obtained from the Graduate School Secretary by post or email. This should indicate appropriate qualifications for graduate study and two satisfactory references which speak authoritatively about the candidate’s potential as a researcher at this level. The application form should be accompanied by a 1500-word proposal which must follow the University format as described in Appendix 1. 2) Once the two references have been received and are deemed sufficient, the Graduate School will send the application and proposal to the relevant academic department. The department may then elect either to reject the application or to interview the candidate. The interview must involve at least two members of the academic staff. 3) If the academic department wish to recommend the candidate, they must return the application form and proposal to the Graduate School along with: Notification of who will be the Chair, 1st and 2nd supervisor
An assessment by the potential 1st supervisor, head of department or departmental research co-ordinator on the academic ability of the candidate and an assessment on the viability of the research project for an MPhil/PhD degree. 4) If the Graduate School feels that the application is complete, it is presented for approval to the Research Degrees Sub-committee.
5) The Research Degrees Sub-committee may either (a) reject the application, (b) ask for the application to be returned to them at a future meeting if they feel that the application needs to be strengthened, or (c) confirm registration. Consultation The applicant may, at any time during the application process, consult with the relevant academic department and may receive help from a prospective supervisor in the writing of redrafting of the proposal. Appendix 1: Guidelines for MPhil/PhD research proposals When writing your proposal you should use the numbered headings set out below. You should use the boxed format as shown below. The proposal should not exceed 1500 words. Adherence to the word limits expressed for each heading will be greatly appreciated. Remember that you are writing to a committee of senior academics who may not be familiar with your discipline, and who are looking for evidence of precision and scholarship, as well as a feasible project. We do not expect you to write a literature review in any part of this proposal. Any reference to literature should be integrated into the core text, rather than written in list format. We are looking for a coherent and realistic statement of intent which shows clearly how the different elements of your proposed research will fit together. There should be a definite coherence governing the relationships between your research question(s) and the rest of your strategy. It is fully appreciated that the research project may develop in ways you may not be able to precisely define at this stage. It is therefore hoped that you can express your planning as negotiable intentions and contingencies where this is the case. You should avoid general statements which could apply to any research proposal in your area.
Heading  Topic State the topic of your research A critical analysis of health literacy interventions designed to promote health and wellbeing among vulnerable populations specifically the elderly, the unemployed, and immigrants.  Location Describe where the research will be carried out
Number of words 30
Hospitals, clinics, community health centres, university classes, and adult education centres located in various geographic locations in Nova Scotia, Canada. The focus of the study will be primarily Antigonish but may include, for comparison purposes, Halifax, New Glasgow, and Truro.  Research questions 40 List no more than four research questions
1. What (and whose) translations of culture inform the design and practice of health literacy interventions?
2. What rhetorical strategies guide the planning, implementation and execution of
health literacy interventions? 3. What genres emerge from these strategies?  Importance Explain (a) why the research is important, (b) how it relates to existing discussions, and (c) what makes it sufficiently broad, deep and original for MPhil/PhD work a. Approximately 60% of Canadians do not have the "skills necessary to manage their 200
own health to an acceptable degree" (CCL, 2007). Health literacy rates vary considerably among different population sub-groups. The elderly, the unemployed and immigrants have been singled out as being particularly vulnerable to health literacy issues (CCL, 2008). This has serious ramifications for both individual and population health outcomes. b. Two different conceptual health literacy models have emerged: 1) health literacy as
a clinical risk and 2) health literacy as a personal asset (Nutbeam, 2008). This research would develop the positioning of health literacy as an example of embodied cultural capital (Abel 2008; Bourdieu, 1986). Conceiving health literacy as a personal asset and a form of capital can empower individuals and communities and is well aligned with population health appraches that recognize “health is a capacity or resource rather than a state” (Frankish, et al, 1996).
This research will provide a unique insight into rhetorical strategies to leverage
power throughout the planning, implementation, execution, and uptake of health literacy interventions. This will reveal the power relations involved in negotiating what and whose translations of culture inform health literacy interventions.  Literature Identify at least three broad areas of literature which you intend to consult. For each area (a) explain how it relates to your research questions, and (b) provide no more than three key references. Here you must show that you are looking further afield than the core literature connected with your topic. 300
 The sociological framework of Pierre Bourdieu (a) Culture has been listed as a social determinant of health both explicitly (NCCDH, 2009: PHAC, 2001) and implicitly (WHO, 2008; Institute of Futures Studies Stockholm, 1991); however, there is a lack of consensus regarding what culture encapsulates. Considerations of culture in medical contexts are often limited to ethno-racial characteristics (Taylor, 2003; Kumas-Tan et al. 2007).
Bourdieu’s conceptions of field, habitus, and capital provide a rich framework for examining culture as fluid and dynamic, measuring the influence of the social determinants of health on individual health decisions and, in turn, connecting health inequities to social position.
(b) (three key references) • • • Abel, T. “Cultural capital and social inequality in health”. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 62:e13. 2008. 1-5. Bourdieu, P. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Nice, R. (translator). Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 1977. Williams, G.H. “The determinants of health: structure, context and agency”. Sociology of Health and Illness. 25. 2003
 Actor-Network Theory Models of translation that emphasize power as a consequence (Callon 1986; Latour 1986, 1996, 1999) are a useful means of examining the discourse and rhetorical strategies various parties utilize throughout negotiated interactions occurring throughout the various stages of the policy into practice cycle (Hayes, 2001).
In the context of this research, the actor-network theory provides the theoretical framework to investigate the design and implementation of health literacy interventions as well as the focus, material, and tasks which compose the health activities emerging from these interventions.
(b) (three key references) • Latour, B. (1986). ‘The Powers of Association’. Power, Action and Belief. A new sociology of knowledge. Law, J. (Ed). Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. 1986. 264-280. Callon, M. "Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St Brieuc Bay." Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge. Law, J. (Ed.) Routledge & Kegan Paul. London. 1986. 196-233. Law, J. “Notes on the Theory of the Actor-Network: Ordering, Strategy, and Heterogeneity”. Systems Practice. 5 (4). 1992. 379-393.
 (a) Socio-cultural Approach to Genre Studies Contemporary genre approaches position genre as an outcome of recurrent rhetorical structures rather than an a priori ‘category or type of discourse’ (Miller, 156), i.e. genres emerge from social practice. Health literacy interventions generally focus on health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, health-care maintenance, and system navigation. Framing these activities as social practice, this research catalogues the diverse spoken, written, and digital genres relevant to health literacy and examines the rhetorical strategies utilized by stakeholders to alter, hybridize, and modify these genres to accord with various social contexts where the interventions occur.
(b) (three key references)
• • •
Bakhtin, M. M. The problem of speech genres. Speech genres and other late essays. McGee, V. W. (trans). Eds. Emerson, C. & Holquist, M. Austin: University of Texas Press. 1986. 62-102. Miller, C. R. “Genre as social action”. Quarterly Journal of Speech 70. 1984. 151-67. Spinuzzi, C. “Toward Integrating Our Research Scope: A Sociocultural Field Methodology”. Journal of Business and Technical Communication. 16 (3). 2002. 3-32. 300
 Methodology Describe (a) the research approach which you intend to employ, (b) how this will be
translated into data collection or source consultation, and (c) how it is an appropriate means for addressing the research questions.
a. My research approach expands Spinuzzi’s sociocultural field methodology
(2005) to align his notion of genre tracing with bourdieuian frameworks (Bourdieu, 1977, 1986; Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992; Wacquant, 2009) that position genre as the practical logic of habitus (Jones, 2009; Russell, 1997).
This sociocultural approach interprets health literacy interventions as genres and positions the social determinants of health as the structural determinants that inform these genres. It will illuminate the translation process during stages of health literacy interventions from design to implementation to the execution of individual social practices.
The research approach will incorporate both qualitative and quantitative data.
Specific methods of information gathering will include questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and critical document, discourse and genre analyses.
Genres of health literacy interventions to be analysed include, but are not limited to:
• • • • • • • • • •
education booklets and brochures, health information on the internet news alerts: TV, radio, newspapers postings for inoculations and screening articles in newspapers and magazines postings for health and safety warnings air and water quality reports food and product labels statements of rights and responsibilities, informed consent health-benefit packages fitness programs
health product purchase and sales diagnostic screening
I anticipate sending questionnaires to approximately 100 individuals involved in the planning, design, implementation and uptake of various health literacy interventions. 10 to 12 semi-structured interviews will be conducted with key individuals involved in the planning, implementation and execution of various health literacy interventions and approximately another 6 with members of populations targeted by particular health literacy interventions.
The data gathered from the research methods described above will provide a rich
and diverse understanding of participants’ actions at the macro, meso, and micro levels of health literacy interventions.  Arrangements and access Describe what arrangements will be made for data collection or source consultation, with special reference to access, and relations with participants or other bodies As this research will involve in-person interviews conducted with human participants, I expect the study will be required to undergo an ethical review. 120
Letters of introduction informing potential participants of the scope and purpose of the research project as well as confirmation of the university’s ethics review committee’s approval of the research project’s approval will need to be sent.
Certain interview participants in this study may use English as an Additional Language. Arrangements will have to be made to ensure these participants completely understand interview questions. This may require translating a questionnaire into a participants’ first language or, in the case of a semi-structured interview, ensure the provision of simultaneous translation.  Special supervisory requirements If you intend to be away from Canterbury for more than one month for the purpose of 230
data collection, source consultation or other activities related to your research, state (a) the duration and occasions of this absence, (b) how contact will be maintained with your supervisors and ( c) how you will be able to access the necessary library resources. a. All of my research will be undertaken away from Canterbury. I understand
that I may be required to be physically on campus for a short period of time. If at all possible, I would like to minimize my time spent away from my home and family. I am prepared to amend my status to part-time if full-time studies require extensive travel to Canterbury. b. I expect the majority of communication with my supervisors will be
conducted via e-mail or other computer-mediated communication, e.g. Twitter, Tumblr, Google Documents, Skype, etc. I do not anticipate my absence from campus will hinder contact with my supervisors. c. My current position with St. Francis Xavier University allows me access to
the university library’s holdings. This includes print and electronic journals. Furthermore, should I be unable to access a text via the university library, I have access to the Novanet consortium of university libraries in Nova Scotia whose vast holdings would include any texts I may not be able to access at St. Francis Xavier University.  Timed objectives State what you hope to have achieved by the end of each year of your proposed study. Year 1 Complete the literature review, write literature review, write methodology section, undergo and pass ethical review, make contact with my supervisors, design questionnaires, contact individuals to interview, collect documents for analysis and begin document, discourse, and genre analysis. 180
Year 2 Interview participants, receive completed questionnaires, complete document, discourse, and genre analysis, code data, complete methodology, literature review, and introduction sections, write methodology section, write results section, write conclusions.
Year 3 Complete methodology, results, and conclusions, supplementary literature
review, editing and proofing of dissertation, submit for preliminary review, make final revisions, submit to university for final grading.
Year 4 (for part-time students) Year 5 (for part-time students)  Funding State how you intend to fund this research. I will be eligible for a number of grants including: • NSHRF doctoral research award CIHR research development in population health 20
 Ethics, Police and Occupational Health Clearance Will your research involve human participants as your research subjects? Yes No If yes, please respond to the following questions a) Will the study involve participants who are particularly vulnerable or unable to give informed consent (e.g. children, people with learning disabilities)? Yes No b) Will it be necessary for participants to take part in the study without their knowledge and consent at the time (e.g. covert observation of people in non-public places)? Yes No c) Will the study involve discussion of sensitive topics (e.g. sexual activity, drug use)? Yes No d) Will the study involve invasive or intrusive procedures such as blood taking from participants or the administration of drugs, placebos or other substances (e.g. food substances, vitamins)? Yes No e) Is physiological stress, pain, or more than mild discomfort likely to result from the study? Yes No f) Could the study induce psychological stress or anxiety or cause harm or negative consequences beyond the risks encountered in normal life? Yes No g) Will the study involve recruitment of participants (including staff) through a Local Authority Department of Social Services or through the NHS? Yes No h) Have you received Criminal Records Bureau and Vetting & Barring Scheme clearance? Yes No i) Have you had a recent occupational health screening [students proposing to carry out research in NHS or Social Care environments only] Yes No Not applicable
If ‘yes’ to any category a-g, or ‘no’ to category h & i, what steps are being taken to address these issues? I assume receipt of Criminal Records Bureau and Vetting & Barring Scheme clearance is only relevant to UK applicants. I have never been charged with a crime and have never encountered any barriers to receipt of security clearance.