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Investigating the resilience potential of heritage in response to climate change-led conflict in UK-based refugees from developing contexts

Project Description

This project is supported by colleagues in the Storylab and GSI

This project will identify refugee communities from developing contexts affected by environmental conflict that are now settled in the UK, and will collect qualitative data and evidence for the role of heritage in their collective resilience and adaptation by means of interviews and storytelling. Key research questions are:

1. How was the heritage of these communities impacted by scarcity of resources? What led them to flee?

2. Are there specific heritage-led practices that have helped the communities to recover and adapt in the UK after experiencing environmental conflict?

3. How have these practices enhanced community resilience and adaptation to a new environment in the UK? For example: what is the role of creativity, such as storytelling, in the preservation of heritage and the articulation of new realities of displacement and settlement?

This project will contribute to the emerging field of heritage-led resilience to environmental conflict, thereby establishing ARU’s leadership in this field. It will establish foundations for collaboration between research institutes, and constitute the basis for funding applications on researching the intersection between climate change, conflict, heritage, resilience and refugees (GCRF- and AHRC-relevant).

The PhD will have access to Global Chaos Map Project data on worldwide environmental conflict events, developed by the third supervisor, and will select a case study from these data. Access to communities will be provided by START Network, which connects humanitarian aid agencies world-wide and of which ARU is a ‘member’, and City of Sanctuary UK, with which ARU already collaborates.

Candidate requirements

Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a cognate discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant subject is desirable.


You can apply via our landing page We will review all applications after the submission deadline of 9 February. Applications missing the project reference number will be rejected as will applications for multiple studentships.

If you have any queries relating to the application process or the terms and conditions of the studentships, please contact Becky Kraszewski on 01245 684920, or email .

Documentation required

You will also need the following documents available electronically to upload them to the application portal (we can accept files in pdf, jpeg or Word format):

1) Certificates and transcripts from your Bachelor and Masters degrees, (if applicable)
2) Your personal statement explaining your suitability for the project
3) Passport and visa (if applicable)
4) English Language qualifications (if applicable)
5) Curriculum Vitae

Please contact Becky Kraszewski on 01245 684920, or email

Funding Notes

The successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s studentship awards which covers Home/EU tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the studentship Terms and conditions.

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