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PhD Studentship: Cambridge ESRC DTP Interdisciplinary Studentship

University of Cambridge - Department of Geography

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Cambridge
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th November 2021
Closes: 6th January 2022
Reference: LC29164

Cambridge ESRC DTP Interdisciplinary Studentship 2022 - Dangerous waters: investigating the distribution and social impacts of volcanic metal and volatile pollution in the East African Rift.

The studentship can be either a one-year masters followed by three-year doctoral programme or a three-year doctoral programme and will be co-supervised by Dr Amy Donovan (Geography), Prof. Marie Edmonds (Earth Sciences) and Dr Anja Schmidt (Geography and Chemistry)

Project description:

Communities in the East African Rift are growing rapidly, and live alongside some of the least studied volcanic systems in the world. These systems are known to pollute local water resources with fluorides, but other trace metal volcanic products (lead/mercury/arsenic) are much less studied, despite volcanic rocks in the region being considerably enriched in these species relative to other settings. This project will work with communities to understand their own narratives around the soils beneath their feet, contributing to emerging work on political geology, and gain insights into local-level adaptations to the pollution. It also involves original measurements of metal pollution to quantify the level of hazard from these rift volcanoes.

You will spend four months living alongside a community in the Rift Valley, learning about their experiences of water use. You will undertake a range of measurements of trace metal content in water resources (groundwater, aquifer, well and run-off) and open water bodies. You will use a combination of social methods which could include walking interviews, photo journals plus undertaking water and geological sampling around the town and a wider regional field campaign. Meteorological modelling will be used to establish the likely impact of a volcanic eruption from a nearby volcanic centre. Training in social methods is available.

An ESRC DTP studentship is open to all students who meet the required academic conditions and will cover Home rate fees and provide £15,609 p.a. in living costs (current rates). DTP students also receive a personal allowance for additional training costs, and can apply for further funding to pursue fieldwork, academic exchange, and collaboration with non-academic partner organisations.

You can find out more about:

Cambridge ESRC DTP at: https://www.esrcdtp.group.cam.ac.uk/about/onoffer.

Department of Geography at: www.geog.cam.ac.uk.

Department of Earth Sciences at: www.esc.cam.ac.uk.

Address any questions about this studentship to Dr Amy Donovan (ard31@cam.ac.uk).

Apply via the Department of Geography Postgraduate Admissions Portal to start your application. Ensure you indicate the project title as the proposed research title and Dr Amy Donovan as proposed supervisor on the online application form. Applicants' research proposal should explain their motivation for applying, including why their prior skills/knowledge make them a good fit for the studentship, as well as offer preliminary reflections on how they might tackle the studentship topic/methods.

Please quote reference LC29164 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy. 

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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