PhD Funding Opportunity - Risks, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change of cultural heritage in Scotland
Based at the University of the West of Scotland
Closing date for applications 14th May 2012
Climate change together with sea level rise and its impacts on temperature, rainfall patterns, flooding, coastal erosion, and a potential increase in storminess will pose a challenge to the conservation of the cultural heritage. A policy response, such as the development of adaptation strategies, will be required to manage the transformational pressures of this changing climate. However, there is currently a lack of knowledge about the risks of climate change to the historic environment in Scotland, thereby making the development of a policy response unworkable. This project will first involve a scoping study of the threats that climate change poses to the historic environment in Scotland, including the production of risk assessment maps using a geographical information system. For the purpose of this study the historic environment or cultural heritage is defined as old buildings, monuments, and archaeological sites. Then, based on the outcomes of this national risk assessment, a more detailed vulnerability assessment either geographically-based or focusing on a specific sector of the cultural heritage will be accomplished. The assessment will be bottom-up, starting with the identification of the sensitivities of the historic environment to climate change through interviews with key stakeholders, including site visits, and surveys; the identification of adaptive measures to deal with existing vulnerabilities; and the subsequent use of the outputs from a regional climate model providing projections for relevant climatic variables. The project will report on the methodological challenges in measuring vulnerability and aims to develop a framework of analysis applicable to the cultural heritage. The outcomes of this risk and vulnerability analysis will form the basis of an initial assessment of opportunities for adaptation and inform about the information required for a policy response within the sector.
This studentship brings together the research expertise of Dr Alexandre Gagnon in vulnerability and adaptation to climate change and that of Dr John Hughes in construction, conservation, and restoration of the built heritage both at the University of the West of Scotland. This proposal grew from experience gained through an AHRC-funded Research Network on the transformational and resilience pressures on immovable Cultural Heritage coordinated by Dr Hughes, involving academic and heritage organisation stakeholders in Scotland and Northern Ireland. This project will also benefit from external supervision from Dr Ewan Hyslop at Historic Scotland. For further information about the Environmental Initiatives Research Group, please refer to: http://uws.ac.uk/schoolsdepts/science/environment/index.asp.
UWS is an inspiring, vibrant place to study with a growing research community; an important aspect of which is its outstanding and committed research students.
Successful candidates will receive a £12,000 annual stipend for three years and payment of tuition fees (current value £3400).
This studentship is open to Home/EU candidates with a first degree in a relevant discipline.
Non-EU students can apply, but will not receive the stipend and will be required to pay fees.
Candidates must be available to commence their studies in October 2012.
Application deadline is 14th May 2012 – please quote Project Reference Number PHDSC1002.
All interviews will take place between 21st May and 8th June 2012.
How to apply:
Please apply online at http://www.uws.ac.uk/apply/research-apply.asp.
Applications without all relevant documents will not be considered.
If you have any queries about the application process please contact Charlie Fielding on + 44 (0)141 848 3919 or email [log in to unmask]
If you would like to discuss the project per se, please contact Dr Alexandre Gagnon at [log in to unmask]
Dr Alexandre Gagnon
School of Science
University of the West of Scotland
Paisley PA1 2BE
Tel: +44 (0) 141 848 3270
E-mail: [log in to unmask]