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Children’s Citizen Science and the Natural Environment: Motivations, Experiences and Outcomes

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 10, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Reference number: CENTA20-LU10
Start date: 1 October 2020
Closing date: 10 January 2020
Interview date: Week beginning 3 February 2020

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/supporting-you/research/

Project Detail:

This PhD project explores the role of volunteering in the natural environment and specifically examines citizen-science initiatives aimed at children and young people. A number of campaigns in the UK combine scientific biodiversity and ecosystem surveys with outdoor learning encounters for children and young people. Whilst there has been considerable recent interest in citizen science across the natural and social sciences, little attention has been paid to children’s own experiences of participating in citizen science, as well as the benefits and challenges for stakeholders. This research will explore three questions: first, how do citizen science campaigns and projects target and engage children and young people; second, what are their motivations, experiences and outcomes for engaging in citizen science; finally, what are the benefits and challenges for stakeholders, and the legacy of this work?

This PhD will address these questions utilising qualitative research with children, young people and stakeholders in order to bridge the gap between studies on citizen science from a biodiversity and conservation perspective, and social science investigations into the geographies of informal education, volunteering and nature-based learning. Outcomes of this project will shed new light on children’s citizen science and the natural environment, shaping future policy and practice.

Find out more:

For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website (http://www.centa.org.uk/) or contact Dr Sarah Mills () or Prof Paul Wood ().

Entry requirements:

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Biology, Earth Science, Environmental Science or Social Sciences. A Master’s degree and/or experience in a related area associated with the research will be an advantage.

How to apply:

To apply:

1. Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word format (available from http://www.centa.org.uk/apply/ or here).
2. All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select “Geography and Environment”. During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.

Please quote CENTA20-LU10 when completing your online application.

Funding Notes

The studentship is funded for 3.5 years and is intended to start in October 2020. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum (in 2019/20) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,327 in 2019/20) and a research training support grant of £8,000. Please note that due to restrictions imposed by the funder, only students with a UK/EU fee status will initially be considered for this position.

Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms and Conditions: View Website

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