PhD Research Studentship: Adaptation and Resilience to Climate and Environmental change of a Coastal Lagoonal Community in a Tropical LEDC (Ghana)

University of Derby – Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (College of Life and Natural Sciences)

Location: University of Derby, Kedleston Road campus

Reference: LNS_Geoscience_PGRS_0318

About the studentship:
Applications are invited for a full-time University of Derby funded PhD research studentship (traditional route) commencing June 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful applicant will work within the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at the University of Derby to address a predefined research topic (see details below).

If granted the PhD studentship, subject to the interview process, and following satisfactory progress, you will receive £14,553 p.a. for three years and your fees will be fully covered at a UK/EU level. If your application is successful and you are assessed as Overseas for fees purposes, you will need to pay the difference between the Home/EU fees and the Overseas fees. Funding will be awarded for a period of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress.

About the research topic:
Twenty five years after the UN highlighted the need for an integrated approach to coastal management, and with the spectre of continuing climate change, integrated coastal zone management in global south countries is still lacking. In LEDCs, the lived coastal experience is highly dependent on local ecosystem services and the ongoing impacts of climate change at the coast, especially sea level rise (SLR), makes these communities particularly vulnerable. This project will seek to analyse how coastal communities living around the Muni-Pomadze lagoon in coastal Ghana are affected by and live with environmental and climate change and to understand and assess adaptive solutions to this change. The results of this case study will then be used to inform coastal management practices and policy in similar communities. The project is interdisciplinary, using methodologies from human and physical geography as well as spatial analysis to establish the impacts of climate and environmental change in the case study area as well as assess the response by and options available to the local communities.

Further information about the research environment and supervisory package

The project will be based in Derby with field research conducted in Ghana. You will be supervised by an interdisciplinary team comprising Dr Sian Davies-Vollum, Dr Howard Fox, Dr Deb Raha. Dr Oliver Tomlinson and Dr Toby Tonkin from the University of Derby. Assistance in Ghana will be provided by the Winneba office of Ghanaian Fish and Wildlife (Forestry Division).

We will ensure that you have the required training necessary for you to complete your PhD and encourage you to attend at least one international or national conference associated with the above research topic during your studentship.

Please see the staff profiles or email the Director of Studies for more information related to this project. Dr Sian Davies-Vollum email:

We are looking for a highly-motivated graduate student who is capable of studying at PhD level and enjoys both independent and applied collaborative research. Prospective candidates are also expected to have a good Honours degree. An interest in the research topic and broad expertise in Geography and GIS is essential, with combined knowledge in environmental science being useful, although not essential.

How to apply:
For information about how to apply, please visit:

In addition to the application documents listed as required on the website, please upload the supporting documents listed below: 

  1. A 2 page curriculum vitae
  2. A 500 word personal statement explaining your interest in and aptitude for this project. In particular we would like to learn about what skills you feel you can bring to the project and any novel ideas you would like to take forward under this theme if given the opportunity. Please reference where necessary.

Completed applications should be sent to Stuart Wain at, quoting reference number LNS_Geoscience_PGRS_0318

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Sian Davies-Vollum, email: Please note that applications sent directly to these email addresses will not be accepted. If no contact has been received by the interview date the application has been unsuccessful.

Interviews: May 2018

This studentship is funded by the University of Derby as part of the College of Life and Natural Sciences REF investment .