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PhD Studentship - Sustainability, Migration and Environmental Justice

The University of Manchester - Politics (Sustainable Consumption Institute) - School of Social Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,000 annual stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 4th September 2020
Closes: 2nd October 2020

The applicant will join an international research team in the Sustainable Consumption Institute.  They will produce an independent doctoral thesis on a topic that contributes to the 39-month research project ‘Environmental Sustainability in Immigrant Households’ led by Dr Sherilyn MacGregor.

Our project will investigate how Global South to North migration and the drive for urban sustainability intersect at the household level. The location is Manchester, where increasing immigration and ethnic diversity combine with an agenda to become a leading green city in Europe. Through mixed-methods research, we will examine how immigrants from Pakistan and Somalia, two of the largest and fastest-growing groups in Manchester, perceive the green agenda and engage in 'environmentally-significant' practices in daily life. We will also investigate ways that immigrants’ engagement in sustainability practices can contribute to building social cohesion and community resilience.

This project builds on pilot research, the findings of which are discussed in a recent journal article.

The project will be primarily supervised by Dr MacGregor and should focus on some combination of the following themes: sustainability/sustainable consumption, environmental politics/justice, and the experiences of people who migrate from Global South to settle permanently the UK. Alongside conducting their own research project, the PhD researcher will work with other members of the project team to plan and conduct participant recruitment and data collection. They will have access to all data for use in their PhD and will be involved in academic publishing, conference presentations and impact activities as appropriate.

UK/EU tuition fees, £15k annual stipend and 5 x Cathie Marsh Institute methods training course fees are covered by the project funding.

Value of award funded by Leverhulme Trust: £58,975 total over three years.

PhD Minimum Entry Requirements:

  • Bachelors (Honours) degree (or overseas equivalent) at 2:1 level or above in a cognate subject; and
  • Master's degree in a cognate subject - with an overall average of 65% or above, and a minimum mark of 65% for dissertation (or overseas equivalent) and no mark below 55%.

In addition to meeting the essential criteria for PhD entry, the ideal candidate will have completed at least one degree in environmental studies, politics, sociology, human geography, or development studies. A demonstrable interest in social inequalities, environmental justice, migration studies, race relations, and community research methods, as well as knowledge of the UK context, are desirable. Further desirable qualities include: bi-lingual in English and Urdu/Punjabi/Somali/Arabic; lived experience as a first or second generation immigrant; experience of working and/or volunteering/community development work in Pakistani/Somali communities; and existing contacts and relationships with Pakistani/Somali community groups and organisations.

To apply: please send (1) a CV, including degree classification for any prior degrees including grades, (no more than 4 pages); (2) a supporting statement of between 1 and 2 pages setting out how your skills, experience, attributes and interests equip you for this PhD; and (3) a short covering letter including contact details for two academic referees; by email to no later than 5pm on Friday 2 October  Please include “Leverhulme PhD studentship” in the subject line. The successful candidate will be required to submit a full University of Manchester PhD application to fulfil admissions requirements.

Interviews to be held; end of October, 2020.  You will be notified about two weeks before if you have been short-listed.

For further information/informal discussion, email:

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