The Jane Slowey Memorial Bursary

2021/22 Applications Now Open

The Jane Slowey Memorial Bursary supports talented, motivated and creative undergraduate students to critically engage with the themes of housing, social injustice and young people through their dissertation research. 

The Bursary was established by Commonweal Housing in memory of Jane Slowey. Jane graduated from Birmingham in 1974 with a degree in French Language and Literature and Italian. She was a passionate campaigner against social injustice and consistently sought out opportunities to represent and advocate for change. Jane sadly passed away in 2017 and the bursary was launched in 2018 in her honour. 

There are three bursary awards available in 2021/22. Recipients receive £2,500 plus the opportunity to engage in mentoring support provided through Commonweal Housing.

To apply, students are required to submit an application of no more than 500 words indicating:

  • Why you should be awarded the bursary,
  • How you would use the money to support your research,
  • How you would benefit from the mentoring opportunity with Commonweal Housing.

Applicants should also ensure that they indicate the proposed focus of their dissertation project. Please note that one award is ring-fenced for a dissertation project which engages with the experiences of BAME communities around the themes of housing, social injustice and young people. 

Further information on how to apply can be found on the Canvas page. Closing date is Friday 26th March 

About Jane Slowey

Jane Slowey had a long-standing connection with the city and University of Birmingham, having graduated from Birmingham in 1974 with a degree in French Language and Literature and Italian. Over the course of her career she combined parenting responsibilities with community activism, local politics, voluntary work and Third Sector leadership. She spent eight years as a Birmingham City Councillor, chairing the Community Affairs Committee, serving on the Housing and Economic Development Committees and leading the development of the City Council’s devolution policy in the 1990s. In 1998, she became CEO of Birmingham Voluntary Service Council and from 2004-17 Jane was the Foyer Federation Chief Executive. In 2007 she joined Commonweal as a Trustee bringing to her role her extensive experience in the Third Sector and local, regional and national government, as well as her passion for social justice. Jane was also a member of the first University of Birmingham Policy Commission, which produced a report on the future of local public services.

Jane was a passionate campaigner against social injustice and consistently sought out opportunities to represent and advocate for change. At the Foyer Federation, she helped reposition the organisation as a champion for ‘Advantaged Thinking,’ an approach that focused on assets rather than deficits and viewed young people as possibilities for investment rather than problems to be solved. Jane received a CBE for services to disadvantaged young people in 2009, she was named Birmingham University’s Alumna of the Year in 2010 and held Honorary Degrees from Newman University and the University of Birmingham.

Bursary Themes

Broadly your dissertation should focus on the themes of housing, social injustice and/or young people such as: 

  • Housing and social inequality
  • Housing options for young people
  • Youth homelessness and supported housing
  • Generation rent and the private rented sector
  • The socialisation of the private rented sector
  • Financial and Social Exclusion/ Inclusion
  • Welfare reform and impacts on young people
  • Transitions to Adulthood
  • Migration
  • Housing for EU migrants
  • Housing options for domestic abuse victims and ex-offenders

Please note that one bursary award is ring-fenced for a project which engages with the experiences of BAME communities around the themes of housing, social injustice and/or young people.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list – you can also consider other topics related to these broad themes. What you will need to demonstrate is that your topic and project is original, innovative or tries to fills a gap in knowledge in these areas. Try to think creatively about solutions but ground these in evidence and with a robust methodology!

Eligibility and Application

Programme

You are eligible to apply for this bursary if you are undertaking an undergraduate dissertation within the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology 

  • BA Social Policy (with/without Year Abroad)
  • BA Sociology (with/without Year Abroad)
  • BA Social Policy (Pathways)
  • BA Policy, Politics and Economics (with/without Year Abroad)
  • BA Social Policy and Criminology
  • BA Social Policy and Sociology