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Biological Sciences (4) Engineering (12)
University of Dundee, looking west and upstream of the River Tay

NOW RECRUITING: Six fully-funded PhD Scholarships at the Leverhulme Doctoral Programme for Regenerative Innovation (Regnr8-i) based in the University of Dundee.

This is the first of four annual recruitment rounds inviting applications for UK Doctoral, International Doctoral and UK Master’s Plus Plus Scholarships (each for 48 to 60 months). The community will grow to 24 full-time equivalents by 2027 and from inception we will create an outstanding cross-institutional community of postgraduate researchers. Strongly aligned to the University of Dundee’s commitment for research excellence with impact, Regnr8-i will create a new area of transdisciplinary research and will deliver a step-change in understanding of the emerging field of regenerative innovation and practice.

A unique feature of this proposal is our growing collaboration with the Eden Trust, the renowned conservation charity working with the University and others to establish a new Eden Project Dundee, opening in 2026. Eden will support Regnr8-i’s innovation agenda, particularly in relation to regenerative agriculture, clean energy, circularity and social inclusion through ecologically-inspired educational outreach. This collaboration will add flair and dynamism to Regnr8-i’s research culture and enhance public engagement. All Regnr8-i Scholars will undertake a three-month placement with the Eden Project, either in Dundee, or within its international network of ‘New Edens’.

Picture 1: Geddes Quadrangle named after Patrick Geddes. Picture 2: Designer’s visualisation the regenerative impact of Eden Project Dundee

We propose regenerative innovation as a paradigm to succeed sustainability and tackle the widely recognised global condition of polycrisis. Through Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and Place-Based Actions (PBA), the aim is to deliver vitality and prosperity for all life (human and other-than-human). This seeks to align human consciousness and actions with living-systems principles. Productive imagining (Futuring)) is an important conceptual tool wherein society is afforded civic capacity to imagine alternative futures without being constrained by current cultural, social, political, or economic conditions.

Regenerative systems create positive feedback loops between ecological and social systems, enhancing the productivity and resilience of all. This requires an understanding of the complex interactions between natural, human, and technological systems, a willingness to experiment with new methods and an ability to imagine new futures. Regenerative actions require collaborations to frame specific problems and co-design prospective solutions.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants are expected to hold (or be about to achieve) a First Class or an Upper Second Class Honours and a Master’s degree, in appropriate discipline(s) for their intended PhD topic.

APPLICATION PROCESS

An application form form is available for download and should be completed following initial contact from the lead supervisor of your preferred PhD topic. The final deadline for applications is the 3rd May 2024, but you should make contact and discuss shared visions as early as possible. We especially welcome interest from and will offer mentoring to candidates and a guaranteed interview to those from under-represented groups, specifically UK-domiciled black and minority ethnic (BME) students and those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Final appointment of Studentships will follow formal interviews w/c 10th June 2024. Successful candidates should be available to start their Studentships in September 2024.

Public Engagement & Knowledge Exchange Diagram
Logo 1: Eden Project. Logo 2: Leverhulme Trust