President's Scholarship - PhD in Planning and Geography (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R1054
Key Studentship Information
The School of Planning and Geography has been awarded nine President’s Research Scholarships as part of a Cardiff University scheme that aims to promote excellence and impact of research in all academic disciplines. Six of these scholarships have already been filled.
The School of Planning and Geography is a major international centre for research in the areas of human and economic geography, planning and spatial policy. The School strives to be a centre of excellence in research, teaching and policy and practice associated with the planning and management of cities and regions. The main goal of this scheme is to establish the School of Planning and Geography as a globally-recognised PGR training centre in the area of food and sustainable city-regions. The School is uniquely positioned to take on a leading role in this emerging research field, given its inter-disciplinary environment, its international research focus (involving developed and developing countries), and its worldwide reputation in the areas of planning, agri-food studies, more-than-human geographies, social and environmental justice, and regional, urban and rural development.
The School of Planning and Geography has invested these highly-prestigious PhD scholarships to strengthen and expand its ongoing and internationally renowned research on Food and Sustainable City-Regions. The scholarships have been devised to support research around one cutting-edge question: what is the role of different actors, governance levels, spatial scales and pro-poor planning strategies in reconnecting cities (physically, economically and socially) with their surrounding countryside?
Proposals are welcome in the following three areas. Candidates are strongly advised to contact the main supervisor if they want additional information on these themes.
Project title: Urban food security in the UK (this project is jointly funded by the ESRC)
Project description: Pioneering city governments are beginning to devise a systemic approach to food security that signals the emergence of a “new urban foodscape” – an urban environment that fosters the multifunctional values of food in relation to public health, community development, environmental integrity and land use. This project aims to enhance understanding of the nature, dynamics and transformative potential of this new foodscape: What are the opportunities for (and barriers to) the development of a sustainable approach to security' What tools and roadmaps for food security can emerge through co-production and exchange of knowledge between pioneering cities'
To address these questions, the project will select innovative case study cities (e.g., Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, London) and focus on urban governance for food security and sustainability. Data collection will be organised around qualitative methods, including documentary analysis, interviews and strategy workshops with key policy-making, planning and civil society actors to identify scenarios for future development of the new urban foodscape.
Project title: A spatial analysis of rural/urban flows in the UK (this project is jointly funded by the ESRC)
Project description: When more than half of the world’s population is urbanised, the public is increasingly interested in research that investigates more sustainable linkages between cities and their rural hinterland. Food has risen up academic and policy agendas, given its unique role in sustaining human life and its connections with a wide range of urban and regional policy areas, including land-use, transport, environment, etc. This project aims to contribute to this new agenda through a focus on food flows between rural and urban areas in the UK. A central research question is how to understand, evaluate and sensibly restructure the existing food supply chains in order to encourage more regionally-based sustainable food systems.
To address this question, the project employs a mixed methodology, combining quantitative spatial analysis and qualitative inquires regarding the food chains within a selected study area. Some potential outcomes of this study are as follows:
- A set of digital GIS maps visualising the rural-urban food flows within a specific UK region, e.g., south Wales
- An accounting of both the economic (e.g., vendors’ commission) and environmental cost (e.g., food miles) of such food chain vis-a-vis the alternative distribution network
- A series of in-depth case studies regarding the choices and behaviours of urban food consumers
- An agent-based spatial simulation exploring the potential impacts of certain policy interventions, e.g., establishing community gardens in selected urban neighbourhoods, providing conceptual and policy-relevant guidelines from the analysis for a range of city regions in adapting to more regionalised food systems
Project title: Community food growing and animal farming in the UK
Project description: Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a small but expanding niche sector of the British food system, which is attracting increasing academic scrutiny as an example of alternative food network and as a form of ‘caring practice’ (Wells and Gradwell, 2001),. In this context, animals play a frequently ambiguous role – they are often used as a public face of the farms and as a way to engage children and families, but are also reared for food production.
Using qualitative research methodologies, this PhD will examine the various roles played by animals on community farms. It will develop existing work around CSAs and social justice but expand the focus to develop the notion of a ‘more-than-human’ justice, involving not only the humans but also the farm animals.
Applicants will have a First Class Honours degree or a 2.1 plus a postgraduate Masters degree at Distinction level in a relevant social science discipline (or their equivalents).
Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.
These awards comprise of UK/EU tuition fees and a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,726 p.a. for 2013/14, updated each year). In addition, students will receive additional funding for research expenses (£750 per annum for 2 years, £375 in third year of study).
Number of awards: 3
How to Apply
In the first instance, applicants should send a CV and covering letter, along with a 1000-word research proposal, to Sian Moseley (MoseleySE@cardiff.ac.uk). Applications for this studentship are automatic on applying for a PhD in City & Regional Planning (October 2013 start), made through our Online Application Service. Please ensure you state in the 'Funding' section of the application that you intend to apply for this studentship.
Deadline for applications: 4pm on Wednesday May 22nd 2013
For further information, please contact Dr Roberta Sonnino via email (SonninoR@cardiff.ac.uk) or by telephone (+44 (0)29 2087 5781).