Fully Funded ESRC Collaborative Studentship (+3/1+3): Fire Safety in Practice: Making Residents Safe in Camden Council

The University of Edinburgh

Applications are invited for a period of either three years (+3) for those with an ESRC recognised research training qualification or four years (1+3) for those without.

Host institution: University of Edinburgh. Although working closely with the fire safety group in the School of Engineering. The studentship will also involve three three-monthly periods in residence at Camden Council.

Student Profile and Eligibility: We are particularly keen to receive applications from candidates with a strong background in Science and Technology Studies (or a related social science discipline), Fire Safety Engineering, or other safety related disciplines. As the majority of the planned research is qualitative, an interest in learning and using these methods is essential. It is also important to have an interest in producing impact beyond academia through the engagement with stakeholders and other research users in governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Please check to see if you are eligible to receive this award (http://www.socsciscotland.ac.uk/studentships/eligibility).

Project description:

Working in close cooperation with Camden Council, this studentship will investigate how to address concerns about fire safety in social housing following the Grenfell Tower fire. How can the promise of Camden Council leader Georgia Gould for ‘a more thorough and transparent approach to fire safety that fully involves our residents’ be fulfilled? And what approaches can be used to implement the commitment made by Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd, following the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, ‘to ensure that people in similar buildings are safe and, feel safe, in their homes’? The research will thus need to investigate what ‘safety’ means with regard to fire risks in social housing, and look at ways in which safety can be measured, monitored, and improved.

The research is expected to draw on theoretical perspectives from Science and Technology Studies that can offer insights into the role of expertise in regulation, the challenges of defining and following rules, risk perception and analysis, and the extent to which lay knowledge and expert knowledge can be integrated. The student will work with the Council’s Director of Resident Safety. This time will be devoted to specific tasks that will form key elements of the PhD thesis whilst also comprising immediately relevant deliverables for the Council’s day-to-day activities. Six-monthly progress meetings will be held that will involve the student, supervisors, and Camden Council, with the aim ensuring the generation and dissemination of interdisciplinary approaches to improving fire safety in social housing.

Apply here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&id=322

There are two application processes that you must complete at the same time to be considered. These are the ‘studentship application’, which is specific to this project, and the ‘PhD application’, which must be completed by anyone wanting to pursue a PhD at the University of Edinburgh.

  1. PhD applications follow the procedures described on the following web pages, and will require two academic references, and a PhD proposal. For the PhD proposal please explain how you would go about developing the project described above in 1,000-1,500 words. For further guidance on the PhD application process please write to the STIS Postgraduate Admissions Advisor info-stsres@ed.ac.uk
  2. Studentship applications are to be sent to Graham Spinardi (g.spinardi@ed.ac.uk). They should include the PhD proposal and a CV.