NERC/ESRC/DFiD PhD studentship How are values of ecosystem services constructed and transformed over time?



We are inviting applications for this NERC/ESRC/DFiD Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation PhD studentship to commence 1 September 2013. This studentship will be based in the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), (Cornwall Campus, near Falmouth).

This student is part of the ESPA-funded Sustainable Poverty Alleviation from Coastal Ecosystem Services (SPACES) project, an interdisciplinary international collaboration between Stockholm Resilience Center, University of Exeter and 30 other institutes. The student will be co-supervised by Professor Katrina Brown at Environment and Sustainability Institute, and Professor Beatrice Crona and Stockholm Resilience Center. They will be registered at University of Exeter and based at ESI at the Cornwall campus, with periods of time spent in Stockholm, and in the field in Kenya. The student is also encouraged to take part in the SRC transdisciplinary Research School

This studentship will study the processes behind the construction of values related to ecosystem services, and how these values are constructed over time and by different people. Focus will be on understanding how the multiple drivers affecting coastal communities in East Africa interact with local ecological understanding and valuation of ecosystem services. It will also examine how the construction of values influences individual behaviour, such as decisions surrounding resource use and governance of the ecosystems providing the goods and services.

The studentship will draw on methods and approaches from environmental social sciences including sociology, cognitive anthropology, ecological economics and environmental psychology. It will build on work by both supervisors using mental models to understand perceptions surrounding ecosystem services and will make use of multiple methodologies to elicit data on (i) what constitutes the values linked to different ES, (ii) how are these constructed, and (iii) have they/are they changing in relation to factors internal or external to the community. You must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant subject. Applicants should have a background in environmental social sciences, preferably with experience of fieldwork in a developing country.

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The studentship will cover a stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£13,590 per annum for 2012-2013), research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements outlined by NERC (see http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/available/postgrad/eligibility.asp). Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 30 June 2013.

Application procedures:

Please upload the following documents to the studentship application form by clicking on the apply link below

  • CV
  • Covering letter (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
  • 2 references (if your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to [email protected])

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email [email protected] or phone +44 (0)1392 725150/723706/723310. Project specific queries should be directed to the supervisors.

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