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Kendal Mountain Festival: Building A Values-Based Measure of Sustainability

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

Project Description

Looking for a PhD with a difference? The University of Cumbria have a funded PhD opportunity for real-world research with a leading local business as part of Eco-innovation Cumbria, an ERDF funded project.

Kendal Mountain Festival is a world leading event that seeks to set the highest standards of innovation, inclusivity and creativity, celebrating everything outdoors. Kendal Mountain Festival aims to become a ‘Beacon of Excellence’ in festival sustainability whereby core organisational values inform festival design and support downstream influence. This project presents a unique opportunity to develop a Sustainability Strategy & Management framework to measure and assess the legacy/values transfer influence on the festival, stakeholders and visitors.

The objectives of the project are:
1. To establish the baseline of values-based behaviours of Kendal Mountain Festival and a range of stakeholders including partners, venues, visitors and the town of Kendal.
2. Introduce a performance ranking framework for overall event sustainability, sustainability values, performance area and indicator over subsequent years.
3. To measure and assess the behaviour and values of Kendal Mountain Festival, its stakeholders and visitors, using a range of direct and indirect interventions.
3. To measure and assess legacy/values transfer across different levels of engagement:
• organisers, venues, exhibitors, audience, local community
4. To use evaluative assessment to provide an evidence base for implementation/success of future sustainable initiatives/performance.

This project will utilise a range of innovative methods to establish, monitor and evaluate values, beliefs and environmental focussed behaviours. Outputs will be used to develop a sustainability index toolbox that can be applied to assess the reach and influence of corporate social responsibility.

This is an exciting opportunity for an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the environment to shape and deliver this project in partnership with the University of Cumbria and Kendal Mountain Events Ltd based in the stunning Lake District National Park, UK. You will be joining a creative team where energy, enthusiasm and big ideas are essential!

Industry partner:

This doctoral research project, supervised by the University of Cumbria, will be based at Kendal Mountain Events Ltd, in the town of Kendal. The main component of Kendal Mountain Events Ltd is the Kendal Mountain Festival held each November. Kendal Mountain Festival is an award–winning, innovative, inclusive and creative celebration of everything outdoors. ‘Kendal’ is renowned for setting the standard for adventure festivals worldwide and is recognised as the main annual social event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK and Europe.

Kendal Mountain Events Ltd is also responsible for delivering a range of events, including the Worldwide & UK Kendal Film Nights; the UK Festival Live Tours; the Film and International Adventure Festivals in China, Mexico, and Ireland, plus in other cities in countries worldwide; and Kendal Mountain Media.

The project will be based at Kendal Mountain Events Ltd in Kendal, Cumbria, and at the University’s Ambleside campus.

Application process:


To apply please visit the website for details of the entry requirements which must be met and to access the application form. Under the Research Proposal section of the form please summarise your approach to the proposed project outlined in this advert under the following headings: General Overview of Area, Identification of the Relevant Literature, Key Research Questions, Methodology, Timescale/Research Planning

Please include a covering letter telling us why you want to study for a PhD, what interests you about this project and highlight the skills and experience you will bring.

For any queries relating to admissions please contact Research Student Admissions [Email Address Removed]

If you wish to find out more about the project in the first instance please contact: Dr Darrell Smith, University of Cumbria [Email Address Removed] or Steve Scott, Director, Kendal Mountain Events Ltd. [Email Address Removed]

Closing date: 31 July 2017

Interviews to be conducted in late August / early September in Cumbria. Candidates will be required to give a short presentation on their approach to the research proposal.

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded* PhD supported by the ERDF funded Eco-innovation Cumbria project www.cumbria.ac.uk/eco led by the University of Cumbria. The University is committed to providing excellence in academic practice together with a supportive and stimulating environment in which to conduct your studies.

• Full-time PhD – annual tax-free stipend of £15,000 p.a. for 3 years
• Tuition fees paid for by the industry sponsor (Home/EU fee)*
• Become part of a cohort of student researchers working on industry-led projects in eco-innovation.

*International students are required to fund difference between Home/EU and International tuition fee.

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