I would encourage applications from potential PhD students interested in the following broad areas of research:
• Children's geographies
• Geographies of education
• Geographies of architecture
• Sustainable urban design
Whilst I am keen to supervise projects that are geographical in scope, I would encourage applications from students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Thus, we would discuss and negotiate the precise scope of your research at the application stage. However, in order to provide some direction, I would currently be particularly interested in applications on the following topics.
• Theoretically-driven research that develops a nascent ‘new wave' of childhood studies, bringing together nonrepresentational children's geographies and posthuman, intra-active, new materialist approaches. Students interested in studying the entanglement of children with/in nonhuman, more-than-social worlds of affect, embodiment and materiality are particularly welcome. The substantive/empirical focus would ideally be developed through your own interests, although could be driven by either of the two topics below.
• Alternative education spaces – whether situated ‘outside' the mainstream or within. Students interested in studying one or two alternative education spaces in-depth – through ethnographic and/or creative methods – are particularly encouraged to apply. Moreover, there is a need for critical, theoretically-informed research on rapidly-emerging outdoor education spaces (Forest Schools, Care Farms), for international comparative studies, and for research on alternatives in mainstream settings (e.g. Free Schools in the UK). Therefore, applications that focus on these areas would be prioritised.
• Sustainable urban design – whether in the UK or another geographical context, there is still an urgent need for research with communities who are living with/in attempts to build cities more sustainably. Possible projects might examine: children and young people's experiences of living in sustainable urban communities, with a particular focus on experiences of eco-architecture; participatory and creative approaches to research with communities (including the use of digital technologies and big data); studies that ‘transcend scale' – combining local, community-based research with approaches to urban governance, urban metabolism and/or regional/national policies for sustainable urban regeneration.
UK and EU applicants may enter the competition for ESRC and / or AHRC scholarships at the University of Birmingham, depending on the specific research topic. A separate application is required for the funding competitions. Deadlines for these are in January (AHRC) and February (ESRC), and applicants interested in applying for such funding must contact the named supervisor and apply for PhD study at Birmingham well ahead of these deadlines. See:
Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. It is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full programme details for further information.