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  Historical Knowledges of Charterhouse Coventry and their Influence on Contemporary Perceptions, Planning and Practice of Ecological Restoration of Charterhouse Fields

   Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience

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  Dr Jackie Abell  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Masters by Research

Entry: January 2024

Duration: Full Time 1 Year


UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements X

(where eligibility is restricted please ensure that this is permissible under the Equality Act 2010

Details of the MRes

Applications are invited for a one year fully funded Masters by Research Studentship, from individuals who are interested in developing a research career in wildlife restoration. The studentship covers fees and a stipend for 1 year of full-time study.

For this research you will draw on knowledge and skills from the humanities, and natural and social sciences, to explore how perceptions of heritage and impact, influence restoration and public acceptance of an urban blue-green landscape. The area of focus is Charterhouse Heritage Park, located in Coventry, UK.

Situated alongside the River Sherbourne in the heart of Coventry city, the Charterhouse was established in 1381 as a Carthusian monastery. Following dissolution of the monasteries and a period of re-configurations as a private house, Charterhouse was gifted to the people of Coventry in 1940 on the death of its then-owner, Colonel Wyley. Recent funding enabled restoration of Charterhouse, which was opened to the public in April 2023. Funding has also facilitated the formation of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s (WWT) Sherbourne Valley Project, which began plans to unearth sections of the Sherbourne river which had been buried underneath Coventry in the 1960s to make way for city development. The aim of this ecological restoration project is to reconnect people to the built, natural, and cultural heritage of the river and includes Charterhouse Heritage Park, which surrounds Charterhouse itself. This site is currently fully accessible to the public and is utilised by the community, including schools who use it as their playing field. The question this MRes study seeks to address is: How do constructs of Coventry’s heritage and history, shape stakeholder’s perceptions, plans and practices of ecological restoration at Charterhouse Heritage Park?

To answer this, a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis will be required. You will conduct walking interviews and online facilitated focus groups with relevant stakeholders to understand the motivations for, and value of, ecological restoration in blue-green urban landscapes. Walking interviews will be conducted in-situ at Charterhouse Heritage Park with a range of stakeholders, including visitors, restorers, and the local community. Facilitated online focus groups will also be conducted representing different stakeholders. Data from the walking interviews and online focus groups will be analysed using thematic analysis to understand how historical depictions help shape ‘restored’ environments.

In brief, this work involves:

·       Literature search and review

·       Site visits and networking with relevant gatekeepers/partners

·       Ethics and research integrity training and approval

·       Participant recruitment

·       Data collection and analysis (qualitative)

·       Data dissemination

·       Pilot for PhD

The MRes offers an exciting opportunity to develop research skills and knowledge in the relevant areas and provides foundations for a PhD.


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 bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.


·       the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years

·       An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit:

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

Additional Requirements

Prior experience of qualitative methods of data collection and analysis is an advantage.

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Jackie Abell [Email Address Removed]

Geography (17) History & Archaeology (19) Psychology (31)

Funding Notes

Masters by Research M4C Routes in Studentship 2024 (Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Programme, AHRC)
Fully Funded with Stipend