ESRC and Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship: Food and Sustainable City-Regions (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R943
Key Studentship Information
The School of Planning and Geography has been awarded eight 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.
CPLAN 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:
- The politics and planning of urban food security in the UK (Main supervisor: Roberta Sonnino; Second: Kevin Morgan)
- A Spatial analysis of rural/urban food flows in the UK (Main supervisor: Terry Marsden; Second: Yiming Wang)
- Community animal farming: food production, therapeutic agriculture and more-than-human justice (main supervisor: Chris Bear, second: Paul Milbourne - advanced deadline: 1st February 2013)
Candidates are strongly advised to contact the first supervisor if they want additional information on these themes.
The School of Planning and Geography (CPLAN) is the largest planning school in the UK and takes a wide definition of planning which encompasses the policy areas of economic development, environment, housing, urban design, transport, health as well as land-use planning. 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-recognized 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 and regional, urban and rural development.
1. The politics and planning of urban food security in the UK: 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 through a focus on the relationship between urban governance and planning: What are the opportunities for (and barriers to) the development of a municipal approach to food system planning' 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 two innovative case study cities (e.g., Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, London) and focus on 3 themes: urban food governance and the multi-level polity; the urban food policy repertoire; urban food policy in action. Data collection will be organized around qualitative methods, including documentary analysis, interviews and strategy workshops to identify scenarios for future development of the new urban foodscape and support a participatory research approach.
2. A Spatial analysis of rural/urban food flows in the UK: When more than half of the world’s population is urbanized, 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 regionalized food systems.
3. Community animal farming: food production, therapeutic agriculture and more-than-human justice: Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a small but expanding niche sector of the British food system. Developing across Europe since the 1970s, their growth in the UK has been slow, though the Soil Association (2011) estimates that there are around 50 CSA enterprises in England, with a combined annual turnover of £7m. They are often established on the basis of ‘values and principles covering areas pertaining to social, economic and environmental justice such as community relationships, co-operation, sustainable production, reconnection between the land and people, associative economy, and shared responsibility’ (Charles, 2011). CSA is attracting increasing academic scrutiny, with work to date focusing on the role of CSAs as examples of alternative food networks, as a form of ‘caring practice’ (Wells and Gradwell, 2001), and has examined issues of social and cultural diversity within CSAs and economic difficulties faced by CSAs.
This PhD studentship will focus on a specific area of CSAs that has been little studied within the existing literature: community animal farming. An important aspect of many community farms, animals play a frequently ambiguous role – they are often used as a public face of the farms and are a way to engage children and families, but are also reared for food production. Because of this ambiguous role, specific animal welfare codes have been established for community farms. Many community farms, through their aim for ‘caring practice’ are also developing an interest in ‘therapeutic agriculture’, with the farm animals often playing a central role. 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.
The deadline for this third project is 1st February 2013.
This studentship is funded in part through the Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship programme and in part by the Economic and Social Research Council through a block grant awarded to the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre. The award includes full UK/EU tuition fees plus a doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,590 p.a. for 2012/13, updated each year). The studentship also includes a research expense allowance of £ 1875 (£750 p.a. in years 1 and 2, £375 in year 3).
Academic Criteria: 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).
Residency: 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.
How to Apply
Consideration is automatic on applying for a PhD in City & Regional Planning (October 2013 start).
In the first instance, please submit a CV and covering letter to Sian Moseley at the School of Planning and Geography (MoseleySE@cardiff.ac.uk) to register your interest.
Following initial correspondence applicants will then be required to submit a formal application to the school using Cardiff's online application service (www.cardiff.ac.uk/apply). Applicants should also submit a 500 word research proposal and two academic references.
Application Deadline: Friday, 1st March 2013, 4pm GMT (or Friday, 1st February 2013 for project number 3).
For further information please contact Dr Roberta Sonnino.
Email address: SonninoR@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone no: +44 (0)29 2087 5781