Enhancing Scotland’s resilience to climate change – a blue-green infrastructure inclusivity framework based on community-centred nature-based solutions.

   Hydro Nation Scholars Programme 2022

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  Dr Rebecca Wade, Prof S Dawson, Prof Joel Borgs Pinto Da Rocha  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

There is a recognised need for a fundamental change in how cities manage urban water and flood risk in response to increasingly frequent climate events coupled with urban expansion. Approaches centred on ‘living with and making space for water’ and using Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are increasingly adopted internationally. The importance of Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) as an NbS approach has become central to climate change mitigation and adaptation and the drive to make our cities more resilient. However, the unpredictable nature of floods, diverse priorities of governments and differing institutional structures hinder the development of a standard framework for flood risk management thus different combinations of approaches are often used to suit the local context. At its best, BGI can deliver a host of benefits in addition to flood mitigation and water quality improvement, these include enhancing health and wellbeing and increasing biodiversity. However, widespread implementation of multi-functional BGI is currently hampered by barriers that impede uptake and innovation. The increasing incorporation of BGI within Scotland’s response to climate change, highlights a need to consider the inclusivity of BGI as part of how we bring about a just transition, delivering healthy places for healthy people.

The key aim for this Hydro Nation Scholar appointment is to deliver an inclusivity framework to aid BGI selection and planning. This framework will be developed and tested in pre-selected sites (in Dundee) but will have a wider framing that can be adapted and used throughout Scotland. We anticipate that the hydro nation scholar will develop a set of template principles for the use with community engagement frameworks to facilitate and encourage greater community co-production of BGI, to improve public preferences, accountability and sustainability.

This is an interdisciplinary collaborative project which aims to deliver an inclusivity framework to aid BGI selection and planning through exploring the balance between grey and blue-green infrastructure, the optimisation of sustainable solutions over conventional, delivering natural flood risk management and multiple co-benefits. The project will build on existing academic expertise within Scotland but draws on extensive applied research conducted both in the UK and globally by the supervisory team. Their knowledge of water management and ecosystem services applied to Blue and Green Infrastructure (BGI) and integrated within both urban and rural settings will provide strong support for the successful candidate on the Hydro Nation Scholarship Programme. The supervisory team comprises Dr. Rebecca Wade (Abertay University), Professor Sue Dawson (University of Dundee) and Dr Joel Rocha (Abertay University).

We invite applications from highly motivated candidates with interests in interdisciplinary applied research focused on delivery of place-based, nature-based and inclusive solutions. The successful applicant will have a 1st or 2.1 class degree in a relevant subject (e.g. geography, urban planning, environmental science, environmental engineering etc.); qualification at Masters level may be an advantage.

Applicants are strongly advised to make an informal enquiry about the PhD to the primary supervisor well before the final submission deadline. Applicants must send a completed Hydro Nation Scholarship application form (available here https://www.hydronationscholars.scot/apply) with a Curriculum Vitae and covering letter to Dr. Rebecca Wade ([Email Address Removed] ) by the final submission deadline of 7th January 2022.

Funding Notes

The Hydro Nation Scholars Programme is an open competition for PhD Scholars to undertake approved projects, hosted within Scottish Universities and Research Institutes. This project will be hosted by Abertay University. Full funding is available from the Scottish Government (to host institutions via the Scottish Funding Council). The funding available will be in line with the UKRI doctoral stipend levels and indicative fees. Applicants should have a first-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent). Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed on 27th or 28th January 2022
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