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Multi-impact operability modelling - decision-making under uncertainty

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

We invite applicants to apply for a fully funded PhD position in decision-making under uncertainty in New Zealand.

The successful candidate should have a Masters’ or Honours degree either in Economics or similar with strong quantitative skills. Strong computational skills and a willingness to engage in interdisciplinary research are highly desirable, as are an ability to communicate and build relationships across a range of sectors and stakeholders. Familiarity with natural hazards including climate change would be valuable.

Current approaches to decision-making are in many cases no longer appropriate to handle the uncertainties facing our societies, sectors, businesses and economies. Climate change and natural hazards present additional challenges to tradition decision-making processes and appraisal tools, such as cost-benefit analysis. As a result, there is growing interest in flexible, adaptive tools and approaches that are robust to a range of futures. This PhD will explore the potential for different approaches to support decision-making under uncertainty by investigating adaptation processes for coincident and cascading climate-related (e.g. flooding) natural hazard events. The PhD project will link with a wider research programme investigating and modelling natural hazards, their risks, and socio-economic and environmental impacts. The PhD is likely to involve mixed-methods, including economics and other social sciences. An ability to communicate and work with different disciplines and stakeholders is essential. There is scope to modify the project aim according to the successful candidate’s interests and expertise.

The project is part of the New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment funded work package “Multihazard and Risk models” (2019-24) led by Prof. Mark Bebbington (Massey University) and Dr. Garry McDonald (MEResearch), part of the Resilience to Natures Challenges National Science Challenge. The project will involve researchers from Lincoln, Massey and Auckland Universities, MEResearch (Market Economics), NIWA, and GNS Science.

The student will be based at Lincoln University (Lincoln, close to Christchurch, New Zealand) and supervised by Assoc. Prof. Anita Wreford (senior supervisor, Lincoln University) and Dr. Garry McDonald (MEResearch). Final composition of the supervision team will be determined once the candidate has met the project team and begun to develop their proposal.

The scholarship will cover all tuition fees, all reasonable research costs (including travel to international conferences), and a stipend of NZ$25,000/year for three years.

If you are interested, please send a CV and short cover letter to Assoc. Prof. Anita Wreford () and Dr. Garry McDonald (). There is no closing deadline, but we will ideally fill the position within the next three months.

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