Urban gardens to improve health, biodiversity and climate-change resilience in cities in Bangladesh

   Hull York Medical School

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  Dr Helen Elsey, Dr Anika Haque, Prof P White  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Bangladesh has some of the most densely-populated cities facing overlapping risks of health, climate and urbanisation. Residents - particularly the poorest - have diets low in fresh vegetables and fruit, are subjected to hazardous levels of pollution, and have little or no access to green spaces. Women in particular have high levels of vitamin D deficiency due to extended time indoors fuelled by gender norms and limited access to women-friendly parks. Urban gardens can support biodiversity, local food production, access to green space and reduce heat-island effects with potential health gains and are supported by recent policies.

You will be based in the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity (LCAB) at the University of York, supervised by Helen Elsey, Anika Haque and Piran White. Your project will:

●      Systematically review evidence of impacts of policies, fiscal interventions and programmes to support urban gardens on health, biodiversity and ecosystem service outcomes in the global south.

●      Map low-income neighbourhoods to identify existing and potential urban gardens and assess their biodiversity in city/ies in Bangladesh.

●      Explore perceptions and experiences (both positive and negative) of residents and city planners of urban gardens and their biodiversity.

●      Co-design strategies with local stakeholders to stimulate urban gardens within cities.

You will have a Masters degree in a relevant subject, with a commitment to building interdisciplinary networks. Experience of qualitative and participatory research methods and knowledge of the global south would be advantageous. You will have excellent written and spoken English and an ability to speak, or willingness to learn, Bengali.

LCAB provides opportunities to interact with students and researchers across departments and institutions, and will offer additional training as required.

Several studentships are available with LCAB - take a look at the others, including the option to submit your own research proposal under the theme of Biodiversity Gains and Resilience.

Funding Notes:

This studentship covers UK fees for 4 years and a tax-free stipend to match the UKRI’s minimum rate for 2024/25 for 3.5 years.

Entry requirements:

Students with, or expecting to gain, a Masters degree and at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this research project means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any relevant subject that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and experience for the project.


To qualify for UK (home) fee status, students must be from the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) or Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the past three years.

Interviews: Feb 2024

Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Biological Sciences (4) Nursing & Health (27)

Funding Notes

This studentship covers UK fees for 4 years and a tax-free stipend to match the UKRI’s minimum rate for 2024/25 for 3.5 years.

Where will I study?

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