Local food systems and local economic democracy: a framework for delivering food security? (PhD studentship)

On your attention an opportunity to do a PhD with Dr Mags Adams, Prof Mark Dooris and Dr Ursula Pool based in the Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change, at UCLan in Preston, UK. We have a fully funded DTA studentship (https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/programmes-and-projects/#social), funded through the DTA3/COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellowship programme (https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/). The research will take place in Preston, UK and in Patna, India where Prof Pushpendra will support the fieldwork: http://www.tiss.edu/centrefacultystaff/centre-for-development-practice-and-research/.   

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RECOMS is an H2020 MSCA Innovative Training Network. The purpose of RECOMS is to train 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in innovative, transdisciplinary and transformative approaches to promoting and facilitating resourceful and resilient community environmental practice. The ESR positions are fixed term for 36-months (beginning September 1st 2018). The ESRs will be employed with normal social security coverage by the host institutions and will have all benefits provided for in the MSCA-ITN early career fellowship regulations, including a highly competitive remuneration, living allowances and mobility expenses.  The ESRs will enrol for doctoral study in one of the 15 projects offered by the seven hosting institutions. The 15 positions are listed below, together with links to further information on the corresponding doctoral study projects. From early January 2018 the formal recruitment of candidates for these vacancies will begin. In addition to undertaking doctoral research, the ESRs will engage in a series of collaborative research and training activities. They will be encouraged to critically, practically, and creatively explore the contribution and relationships between their individual doctoral study projects across three interconnecting research themes:

Research theme cluster 1: Unlocking and Empowering

ESR2: Urban Agroecology for Health and Wellbeing (Coventry University, England)

ESR3: Co-creating Urban Waterways as Socially Diverse Spaces (Coventry University, England)

ESR5: Perceptions of Risk: Adaptive Community Strategies (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

ESR6: Citizenship and Responsive Governance (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

ESR14: Environmental Justice through Resourceful Engagement (Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Belgium)

Research theme cluster 2: Adapting and Transforming

ESR1: Transforming Urban Environments: a Collaborative Approach (Coventry University, England)

ESR8: Nature Based Cultures in Vulnerable Communities (Natural Resources Institute Finland)

ESR10: Transforming the Bavarian Forest: A Historical Perspective (Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, Germany)

ESR11: Transformation and Restoration: Portland and Munich (Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich, Germany)

ESR12: Farms as Coupled Social-Ecological Systems (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria)

Research theme cluster 3: Connecting and Collaborating

ESR4: Building Coalitions: Socio-Spatial Planning (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

ESR7: Climate Adaptation and Socio-Spatial Planning: Waterways (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands)

ESR9:   Green Economies and Ecosystem Services (Natural Resources Institute Finland)

ESR13: Managing Social-Ecological Systems for Resilience (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria)

ESR15: Participatory GIS: Community Management of Open Space (Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Belgium)


The employment contract start date for all 15 positions will be 1st September 2018. The working language of the network will be English.

For each ESR position, once formally advertised (January 2018), further information will be made available on the institutional level criteria to be met by applicants (e.g. disciplinary background, qualifications, skills, English language fluency etc). In addition, named individuals will also be listed to whom any informal scientific or administrative enquiries can be directed prior to applying. By way of further advance information at this stage, however, we kindly ask that all interested individuals begin by scrutinising and ensuring their ability to comply with the following eligibility criteria (as specified by the European Commission under the rules of the MSCA-ITN):

  • Applicants must NOT have resided in the country of the recruiting institution* [*for each individual ESR position respectively (see above list)] for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the recruitment date(and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country) – unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention
  • Applicants MUST – at the start date of the employment contract (1st September 2018) – be an ‘early stage researcher’: they must be in the first four years of their research career and NOT have a doctoral degree.

For more general information on the RECOMS programme please contact Dr Alex Franklin


Fully-funded collaborative PhD Studentship: School of Geography, University of Nottingham

‘Developing sustainable diets collectively: participatory approaches to addressing the challenge of dietary sources of pollution in the Eye Brook catchment, Leicestershire’

The School of Geography at the University of Nottingham invites applications from suitably qualified students for the following ESRC funded collaborative PhD studentship to cover maintenance and fees for full-time study.

This novel and transdisciplinary PhD research project embeds a social science research project within a larger natural science experiment on water friendly farming conducted by the project partner – the Allerton Project, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. It intersects with emerging societal and social scientific debates about the contribution of diet to sustainability transitions within the food system, the challenges of ‘diffuse’ pollution control and the role and practice of participatory and collective approaches in rural environmental governance, particularly at the spatial scale of the catchment.

The candidate will have, or be working towards achieving in 2016, an upper second or first class Bachelors degree in geography or cognate discipline, such as sociology, anthropology, social psychology or environmental studies. A candidate with a Bachelors degree will be expected to undertake a Masters degree (in Environmental Geography) that will be fully funded during the first year of the studentship. Alternatively, the candidate will have a Masters degree in any of the above disciplines and if this higher degree meets the ESRC’s research training requirements they will be eligible to begin studying immediately for a PhD and for 3 years of funding. Ideally, the candidate will also have relevant pre or post-degree experience of working with community groups and be able to demonstrate an academic interest in the relationships between food, eating and the environment. The candidate must fulfil relevant ESRC eligibility criteria: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/skills-and-careers/studentships/prospective-students/am-i-eligible-for-an-esrc-studentship/

The successful applicant will be entitled to a full-time, yearly tax free stipend at current RCUK rates (£14,057 for 2015/16, updated each year), plus tuition fees (£4,060 for 2015/16) and additional research funds.

Further details and application forms are available at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/geography or from Andrea Payne, Postgraduate Research Administrator, School of Geography, The University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD. Tel: 0115 951 5575. Email: Andrea.Payne [at] nottingham.ac.uk. For an informal discussion about the project please contact the academic supervisors: contact Dr Carol Morris (Carol.Morris [at] nottingham.ac.uk) or Dr Susanne Seymour (Susanne.Seymour [at] nottingham.ac.uk).

The closing date for applications is 12th February 2016 and the date for interviews for the position is Wednesday 2nd March. The project will start in September 2016.

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