PhD studentship Conservation Advocacy: The Role of Wildlife Attractions in Promoting Environmentally Responsible Practices



This collaborative PhD studentship between the University of Exeter and Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT) offers a unique and exciting opportunity to work together with a leading wildlife trust in the UK to explore the potential for utilising wildlife attractions as a way of raising awareness of wildlife conservation issues and engaging visitors in the promotion of environmentally responsible practices. In order to facilitate studying for the PhD in Geography, you will be accessing and applying data from the working environment across three wildlife attractions (Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Newquay Zoo and Torquay’s Living Coasts), which will aid the WWCT in their strategic aspirations to engage publics in a range of conservation practices.

Supervisors: Dr. Stewart Barr and Professor Henry Buller (University of Exeter) and Dr Amy Plowman (Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust)

Period of study and funding: Due to funding this award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees, a stipend, payment for 110 hours of work (teaching duties) and a contribution towards research costs. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus £13,726 per year (covering stipend and work payment). Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for 110 hours of work (teaching duties) and part of the international tuition fee. Studentships will be awarded on the basis of merit and are awarded for four years of full-time study. Part-time students are also welcome to apply; the award would be over a period of seven years of part-time study.

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As part of the PhD study, the student will take part in a placement at the WWCT based at a combination of the Trust’s three attraction sites and feeding-in to the subject of the PhD, namely the conservation advocacy and the engagement of publics.  

As part of the placement at WWCT the student will be involved in translating their findings into workable recommendations that can be implemented through the design of the WWCT Education Department programmes aimed at encouraging behaviour change; on the basis of their learned interim research techniques and methods, advise (one-two placement year students) on the development of other education evaluation and visitor related research; on the basis of the PhD research programme, assist the research director with devising a framework evaluation and review of advocacy projects.

Entry requirements: Candidates must have obtained a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a social science or relevant discipline.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 7th October 2013.

We anticipate interviews during the week commencing 4th November 2013

For full project details, instructions on how to apply and a link to the application form, click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

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