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Wellbeing and participatory: Conservation How does participatory conservation work affect wellbeing?

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  • Full or part time
    Assoc Prof G Smith
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

We are seeking PhD applicants to contribute to an inter-disciplinary and mixed-method collaboration which explores the complex relationship between natural and social systems in various biodiversity conservation domains in the Australian Capital Territory. The four linked PhD projects each have a defined focus on understanding the social dimensions, impacts and implications of biodiversity conservation efforts at local, national and international levels.

In an era when climate change, social inequality and mental illness are becoming more marked, this project explores how certain agencies and communities are using nature encounters for transformative, rehabilitative and therapeutic purposes. It will analyse the meanings and implications of these programs and practices for various social groups, and evaluate what potentials a deeper connection to land and nature might foster.

The successful candidate will work closely with Australian National University faculty, the ACT Government, The Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, Mulligans Flat–Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment (www. and other relevant stakeholders in the government, industry and community sectors as the projects develop. Each of the following projects will be supervised by an interdisciplinary panel comprising leading scholars, knowledge brokers and practitioners in ecology and biodiversity studies, sociology, science communication, public health, science and technology studies, cultural and media studies, and gender studies.

The candidate will be exposed to complementary and cutting-edge methodological approaches and conceptual frameworks, and benefit from diverse disciplinary and substantive networks as well as 15 years of woodlands research and 10 years of Sanctuary development. At this stage, we are envisaging the cohort of students will be colocated across the ANU School of Sociology, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Centre for Public Awareness of Science during the tenure of their programs, as well as taking up periodic residences in the new Woodlands Learning Centre in Throsby. We see collaboration and cross-fertilisation of knowledges and approaches as key to the building of capacity in this exciting and critical area of socio-ecological studies.

How to apply
Interested individuals are invited to submit an expression of interest to Associate Professor Gavin Smith ([Email Address Removed]; 02 6125 0323) by 27th March 2020 stating their interests and ideas in one of the areas of research listed above, academic transcript(s) and their CV.

The successful candidate must obtain admission to a relevant HDR Program in the College of Science and secure an Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) PhD Scholarship or similar ANU PhD scholarship of $28,092 AUD tax free (2019 rate for 3 years). If the successful candidate is not an Australian or New Zealand citizen, they must also secure a tuition fee waiver scholarship from ANU. First class Honours (or equivalent academic qualifications) is a prerequisite for appointment. Upon confirmation of the scholarship, an $8,000 per annum top-up scholarship (for 3 years) will be awarded.

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