NERC-funded PhD Opportunity – “Children’s Citizen Science and the Natural Environment”
Geography and Environment, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Loughborough University
Applications are now open for this 3.5 year funded PhD studentship via the Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA2) DTP2, to begin 1st October 2020. Full details on the below project are available via this link: http://centa.org.uk/themes/organisms-ecosystems/lu10/. Please feel free to contact Dr Sarah Mills with any informal enquiries, via S.Mills@lboro.ac.uk.
This PhD project explores the role of volunteering in the natural environment and specifically examines citizen-science initiatives aimed at children and young people. A number of campaigns in the UK combine scientific biodiversity and ecosystem surveys with outdoor learning encounters for children and young people. Whilst there has been considerable recent interest in citizen science across the natural and social sciences, little attention has been paid to children’s own experiences of participating in citizen science, as well as the benefits and challenges for stakeholders. This research will explore three questions: first, how do citizen science campaigns and projects target and engage children and young people; second, what are their motivations, experiences and outcomes for engaging in citizen science; finally, what are the benefits and challenges for stakeholders, and the legacy of this work?
This PhD will address these questions utilising qualitative research with children, young people and stakeholders in order to bridge the gap between studies on citizen science from a biodiversity and conservation perspective, and social science investigations into the geographies of informal education, volunteering and nature-based learning. Outcomes of this project will shed new light on children’s citizen science and the natural environment, shaping future policy and practice.
Closing date for applications: January 10th 2020
Interview date: Week beginning February 3rd 2020
PhD Start date: October 1st 2020
Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Biology, Earth Science, Environmental Science or Social Sciences. A Master’s degree and/or experience in a related area associated with the research will be an advantage.
The studentship is funded for 3.5 years and is intended to start in October 2020. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum (in 2019/20) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,327 in 2019/20) and a research training support grant of £8,000. Please note that due to restrictions imposed by the funder, only students with a UK/EU fee status will initially be considered for this position. Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms and Conditions.
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