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Embodiment in professional practice

The student will be part of a wider project aiming to understand the possible implication of an embodied awareness on professional practice in a range of professions and disciplines. 

This will be a qualitative study in which social workers are also body practitioners (for example, yoga teachers, dancers, massage therapists).

This project will aim to explore if/how and what ways these practitioners approach their work practice any differently or in a more embodied way. We are interested in understanding if these individuals' enhanced sensitivity and awareness to their own and their clients/service users' bodies impact the way they practice their work.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)


Yohai Hakak - Dr. Yohai Hakak joined Brunel in September 2014 as a lecturer in social work. His practice experience as a social worker is in mental health where he worked with long term service users. Yohai’s research interests are in the sociology of risk-perception, youth, religion, parenting, gender and mental health and the connection of these areas with social work. Yohai's last manuscript titled Haredi Masculinities between the Yeshiva, the Army, Work and Politics: The Sage, the Warrior and the Entrepreneur, was an ethnographic study Jewish Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) young men in Israel. It was published by Brill in 2016. The outcomes of Yohai’s academic worked included also several award winning documentary films. Yohai is interested in supervising students in the following areas and in relation to social work:
  • - Religious minorities
  • - Masculine identities
  • - Mental health
  • - Risk and its perception
  • - Mixed couples

Related Research Group(s)

Embodiment in Academic and Professional Practice

Embodiment in Academic and Professional Practice - Development of an enhanced awareness of bodies as sensors of crucial information about ourselves and our reality; Enhancing our performance as human beings, practitioners, researchers and educators.