PhD Studentships (3) Sept 2018

The University of Manchester - GCRF FutureDAMS Research Centre

Global Development Institute

Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College

Project Description

The University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute is pleased to announce three PhD studentships to fund doctoral research on priority issues related to its FutureDAMS Research Centre [Design and Assessment of Resilient and Sustainable Interventions in Water-Energy-Food-Environment (WEFE) Mega-systems]. The Centre has been established with a grant of £8 million from RCUK’s Global Challenges Research Fund. The Centre is a multidisciplinary collaboration between the University’s Global Development Institute (GDI), the Mechanical, Aeronautical and Civil Engineering School (MACE) and partners across universities and research institutes in the UK, Africa and Asia. Its aim is to accelerate the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the delivery of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by helping developing countries select, design, finance and manage dams to meet local, national and regional needs and preferences - for further details on the research programme contact Adam Randon.  Its work covers the developing world but it has particular research interests in Ghana, India, Jordan, Myanmar and the Nile Basin (Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan).

This full time 3 year PhD studentship, starting in September 2018, is funded by The University of Manchester.

The PhD will require the successful candidate to conduct research directly related to the achievement of the goals of FutureDAMS, particularly deepening the understanding of how nexus interventions in water management cascade through socio-economic, engineered, ecological and political systems and using this knowledge to help stakeholders develop and negotiate solutions that are more economically, socially and environmentally beneficial.

The studentship project

As part of the University’s contribution to this initiative three PhD studentships will be awarded to outstanding candidates who can support the achievement of the Centre’s goals. Successful applicants will join a vibrant team of first-rate scholars engaged in understanding global development.  They will complete a PhD thesis and will be expected to engage with the full range of GDI and Doctoral College activities, and make a contribution to Centre’s research and administration.

Studentships will be available from September 2018 and will cover UK/EU tuition fees—with a possibility in exceptional cases of overseas fees—and a stipend of £14,777 per annum (fixed) for three years.

The Centre is keen to recruit students in three specialist areas. Applicants need to have a very strong training in relevant social sciences but do not need to have prior research experience on dams or water management systems.

This studentship will be based at the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Doctoral College

Person specification

1. The politics of dam design, selection, financing and management

The successful candidate will be trained at the Masters level in a relevant discipline (political studies, political science, international political economy, international relations, comparative politics, political geography, political ecology, development studies with a focus on politics and other fields) and will have achieved a merit or distinction grading and excellent results for their dissertation. Candidates for this studentship are encouraged to identify a potential research topic and to have done some initial thinking about how they would approach this study. Candidates with prior experience of researching dams, WEFE nexus management systems and/or infrastructure (especially financing) and/or with experience of researching in Africa or Asia are particularly welcomed.

We anticipate that the lead supervisor for the successful candidate will be drawn from the GDI academic staff and that Dr Tom Lavers will be involved with the supervisory team. 

2. The economics of dam design, selection, financing and management

The successful candidate will be trained at the Masters level in a relevant discipline (economics, econometrics, GIS, social statistics, agricultural/ development/environmental/natural resource economics and other fields), will have very strong quantitative analysis skills and will have achieved a merit or distinction grading and excellent results for their dissertation. Candidates will have to demonstrate a good knowledge of STATA and GIS analysis (or show an aptitude to rapidly develop high level skills in these areas) and have some experience of creating or manipulating large datasets. Applicants with prior experience of researching dams, WEFE nexus management systems and/or infrastructure and with experience of researching in Africa or Asia are particularly welcomed.

We anticipate that the lead supervisor for the successful candidate will be Dr Ralitza Dimova 

3. Understanding decisions about investment in dams from a social and/or multidisciplinary perspective

The successful candidate will be trained at the Masters level in a relevant discipline (development studies, social research, social policy, social anthropology, sociology, gender studies, economic/human geography, political studies/science, political economy and other fields) and will have achieved a merit or distinction grading and excellent results for their dissertation. The research for this thesis should involve the development and application of a multi-disciplinary analytical framework and might focus on decision-making about dams or the distributional impacts of dams (including gender analysis) or a topic identified by the student. Candidates for this studentship are encouraged to identify a potential research topic and to have done some initial thinking about how they would approach this study. Candidates with prior experience of researching dams, WEFE nexus management systems and/or infrastructure and/or with experience of researching in Africa or Asia are particularly welcomed.

We anticipate that the lead supervisor for the successful candidate will be drawn from GDI’s academic staff and that Professor David Hulme will be involved with the supervisory team. 

Eligibility

Applicants should normally enjoy ‘home’ (UK/EU) tuition fee status. This generally includes UK or EU nationals having resided within the EEA for 3 years or more prior to starting their course. In some cases nationals of other countries may enjoy ‘home’ tuition fee status if they satisfy certain residency requirements. In exceptional circumstances, the studentships may cover the full cost of ‘overseas’ fees, and we welcome applications from all highly qualified candidates.

Further information

Each successful candidate will be supervised by a team of two scholars drawn from relevant Schools at the University. The exact focus of the PhD dissertations will be negotiated by candidates and their supervisors but must address a priority research issue for the achievement of FutureDAMS goals. The PhD studentships will be awarded only to students meeting the registration requirements of the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED), of the School of Social Sciences (SoSS) or another relevant school. The course of study undertaken by successful candidates conforms to the standard PhD programme at The University of Manchester.

Further information about GDI, FutureDAMS, and the GCRF contact adam.randon@manchester.ac.uk

General enquires about applications should be directed to Admos Chimhowu

Academic enquires should be directed to Phil Woodhouse

Application

Apply by May 25th 2018 5pm GMT by emailing pgr-seedfunding@manchester.ac.uk the following:

  • A full CV
  • Personal statement of no more than 700 words indicating why you would like to undertake this studentship award and explaining you theoretical and/or practical interests in particular research focus. Applicants with prior research experience on dams/mega-water management can submit an outline PhD proposal that shows how it links to the FutureDAMS research agenda.
  • An example of a piece of academic writing produced by the applicant of 2,500-5,000 words. (Applicants may consider submitting two shorter pieces if these deal separately with conceptual and empirical analyses.) This may be an academic essay or a chapter(s) from a Master’s dissertation or, in which case, an abstract or introduction outlining the context/aims/research questions of the study must also be included.
  • The names and contact details of two academic referees who are able to comment on the applicant’s suitability for PhD study and to undertake the advertised project.

Please insert ‘FutureDAMS Global Development Institute Studentships’ in the subject of your email to help filter applications.

Students will be informed of the outcome of the selection process by June 8th 2018. If you have not been contacted by late July, please assume that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Northern England