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Pandemics as a non-traditional maritime security challenge – exploring the impact of COVID-19 on maritime trade and border management

Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship in the area of Maritime Security studies. The successful applicant will be based at the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations (CTPSR), a thriving and successful University Research Centre which has over 60 full-time researchers supported by a team of professional support staff. CTPSR has a very well established maritime security team that delivers impactful, innovative, cutting edge research both nationally and internationally, and an online MA in Maritime Security since 2013.

CTPSR staff take a multi-disciplinary approach to their work that brings together creative thinking on concerns of trust, communities, social relations, peacebuilding, security, and on the contemporary challenges of societal relationships in a diverse and connected world. Our portfolio of excellent and impactful research seeks to change lives and enhance well-being. Our staff are extremely well-connected and are called upon to contribute their expertise on the national and international stage, as advisers to governments and international bodies or at conferences worldwide. We convene and contribute to public debates, provide effective policy guidance at local, national, regional and global levels, and generate international collaborative research through our global networks.

Details of the PhD project

Maritime trade represents well over 80% of global trade flows and as such the effective movement of cargo is essential to economic stability and growth. While many states have responded to COVID-19 by closing borders, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of people (including seafarers) and goods through the maritime domain remains a prerequisite for global economic recovery.

Existing literature on the conceptualisation of maritime security doesn’t identify pandemics as one of the key contemporary challenges that affect maritime and human security.

The aim of this study is to examine the extent to which pandemics could be considered as a non-traditional maritime security challenge by utilising the case study of the recent COVID 19 outbreak. It will examine in depth the impact of the pandemic on maritime trade and border management within the framework of the measures implemented by the governments of the UK and Ireland (or one other EU country) to limit the spread of the virus.

Training and Development

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 minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.


• the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
• The applicant should hold a post-graduate degree in a relevant area, such as for example international security, international relations, maritime security, etc.

For further details see:

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Ioannis Chapsos,

To apply online please visit:

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus an up to 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Start date: Jan 2021

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