Leeds Social Sciences Institute

LSSI Placement Fellowship Scheme

In this section:


The Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI) is host to the White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) at Leeds. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the White Rose DTC is a collaboration between the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York and is one of the UK’s biggest and most successful training centres for postgraduate researchers in the social sciences

The Leeds Social Science Institute (LSSI) has been running a placements programme since 2011, involving PhD students and local organisations.

The scheme is open to PhD researchers registered in Arts, ESSL, LUBS, Environment, Medicine, and PVAC.

Please visit the IAA PGR Placements page for further information about how to apply.

Previous placements and reports


Jessica Bradley

Remi Joseph-Salisbury


Laura Connelly

Laura Jarvis-King

Frederike Scholz

  • Organisation: A service and outsourcing company
  • Project: Giving voice to long-term unemployed people with health conditions

Christopher Mclachlan

  • Organisation: A trade union
  • Project: Organisational restructuring and socially responsible support processes


Janja Trstenjak

Linda Roland Danil

Joshua Ofori-Amanfo

  • Organisation: A manufacturing SME
  • Project: Developing supply management capabilities in manufacturing SMEs

Patrick Hennelly

  • Organisation: An engineering company
  • Project: Maximising Economic Benefit and Reducing the Cost of Energy

2011 / 2012

Daniel Edminston

Linda Roland Danil

2010 / 2011

Daniel Mutibwa, postgraduate research student

Catherine Powell, postgraduate research student

Ruben Arnoldo Gonzalez Macias, postgraduate research student

Helen Morris, postgraduate research student

Lee Beniston, postgraduate research student

Madeline-Sophie Abbas, postgraduate research student

Fatima Malik, postgraduate research student

Dr Robert M. Vanderbeck, Senior Lecturer In Human Geography,  School of Geography

Case Study: Lee Beniston

I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2008 with a BSc (Hons) in Bioscience and was awarded a three year interdisciplinary PhD project that is co-supervised by members of the Leeds University Business School and University of Leeds Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Project Summary

The host organisation needed to understand what kind of sustained societal and economic impacts of one of their projects on local communities in Yorkshire and The Humber.

What was done?

A total of eight community groups who had received help through the programme were chosen to be case studies. Semi-structured interviews were then undertaken with the selected community groups in order to gain an insight into, and deeper understanding of, how the programme had helped them in making societal and economic impacts in their local community.

What was found?

Through the help it provides to community groups the programme in Yorkshire and The Humber has been crucial to the sustained, positive societal and economic impacts upon the local communities in the region. More specifically, it has helped facilitate sustained community impact in the over-arching areas of social regeneration, community social capital and intra-community individual-level factors. For example, impact across these areas is helping to promote and increase: community cohesion, connectedness and social inclusion; employability of community members; creation of social enterprises; trust and social interaction in the communities; respect for the community environment; and supporting the efforts of educational institutions in the communities.

Student Feedback

“I gained experience in a whole range of areas I was previously unfamiliar with.”

“I gained significant experience in working independently and using my own initiatives. For example due to the sensitive nature of the research (at a time when many organisations are having their funding reduced) I found it much more challenging to establish trust and gain access with potential interviewees in a short space of time.”

“Although the placement involved an area of research that was quite different from my PhD, I found that this did not matter, as I was able to apply many of the concepts that I was using as part of my PhD research to develop the research plan used as part of the placement. Further, I would recommend this and similar placements to fellow PhD students as such placements provide useful opportunities to gain first hand insight into experiencing and understanding how academic research can be useful within a practical context……All in all I found it an enjoyable and fun working experience as I was given autonomy to plan and conduct the research in a manner that suited my other working commitments.”

“The placement allowed me to develop a network of practitioners in my area of interest. I hope to be able to work with my host organisation again during my research career . ……This will inform my presentation of future research findings so that they are accessible to practitioners, with the intention that they will be used to inform and influence practice, thus increasing the research impact.”

“Whilst the topic of the literature review was broadly connected to the focus of my own PhD research (work-life balance and career experiences over time), it extended my reading into disciplines and territories that I had not encountered before – which has widened my perspective and helped me to consider my own data from new angles. The focus on gender and age issues has been especially insightful. ……. A further personal outcome has been a greater awareness of the issues surrounding working with non-academic partners – the challenges around ‘speaking the same language’ and getting your message across; and the usefulness of building bridges across differing perspectives/agendas (research and business) and learning from each other. I hope to be able to build on this experience to more effectively engage in knowledge transfer in the future……. I would like to thank Leeds Social Science Institute and An Inspirational Journey for giving me this opportunity, and I would heartily recommend similar placements to other PGR students.”

“The placement has been very useful to me as a postgraduate researcher in many ways. Lessons have been learnt during the interviews and these lessons will be applied during the interviews in my own PhD research. Some of these include probing skills, framing questions and taking notes … It has provided useful lessons to be incorporated into future studies and offered the opportunity for a potential publication.”

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