European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg) Featured PhD Programmes
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured PhD Programmes
King’s College London Featured PhD Programmes

Building capacity for more sustainable and equitable governance of the rangeland commons in South Africa

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 15, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship affiliated to Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. The studentship will co-supervised with Centre for Peace Trust and Social Relations (CTPSR) at CU and Conservation South Africa (CSA), in South Africa. Funding is available for 3.5 years and the studentship will commence in September 2020.

Communal rangelands within South Africa provide a range of important ecosystem services (e.g. water, grass for grazing of livestock and thatching, timber and fuelwood), sustaining the livelihoods of local people. This research studentship will build on an existing BBSRC-GCRF award (2019-2021) examining trade-offs between different stakeholders (policy makers, NGOs, communities) with an interest in the use and management of the rangeland commons in South Africa (see https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-directories/current-projects/2019/evaluating-people-environment-trade-offs-through-low-tech-intensification/).

The project has begun to co-construct with these stakeholders alternative land use and management scenarios to meet a range of different environmental and social outcomes. These have included removal of invasive alien plants such as wattle (Acacia spp), which opens up more land for grazing as well as providing timber and fuelwood, and alternative livestock management practices (e.g. resting of rangeland leading to greater availability of grass for forage). However, in the context of limited institutional capacity and the continued marginalisation of many groups such as women from the use of rangeland in these communities, it is critical to characterise in more detail the social and ecological benefits that are accruing from these practices (what, how, to whom and how much), as well as their efficacy and sustainability over the longer term.

The studentship will focus on addressing these unknowns, using a mixture of social and environmental research. The student will be seconded to the South Africa partner during the second year of the studentship to undertake their fieldwork in the Mvenyane community of Eastern Cape Province.

Training and Development


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry criteria for applicants to PHD


• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
PLUS
the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

The candidate must be a self-starter happy to spend one year undertaking fieldwork in a rural community in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. They can potentially be from any academic background (typically geography, agriculture, environmental studies or agriculture) but must be confident collecting and working with quantitative data from both the sciences and social sciences as well as qualitative data and in using appropriate methods to do so. They must also have a full, clean drivers licence and be prepared to drive on dirt roads as part of their fieldwork.

For further details see: https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-students/making-an-application/

To find out more about the project please contact Dr James Bennett ().

To apply on line please visit: https://pgrplus.coventry.ac.uk/

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully





FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2020
All rights reserved.