The University of Cambridge and the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) have secured funding to provide full support to a PhD student for 3 years (subject to satisfactory progress) from 1 October 2018 under the Nereus Program, a collaboration between the Nippon Foundation and the University of British Columbia which has engaged in innovative, interdisciplinary ocean research since its inception in 2011. The Program is a global partnership of leading marine and environmental science institutes (7 ‘partner institutes’ + 10 ‘expansion partners’ since 2016) with the aim of undertaking research that advances our comprehensive understandings of the global ocean systems across the natural and social sciences, from oceanography and marine ecology to fisheries economics and impacts on coastal communities. This will be the third full-time PhD in Cambridge under this programme; the successful applicant will join the Biogeography and Biogeomorphology Thematic Research Group, comprising 10 senior scientists, post-docs and PhD students. The Fellowship will be based jointly in the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, Department of Geography at the University and at UNEP-WCMC (both in the David Attenborough Building in central Cambridge and at its centre north of the city centre). There will also be opportunities to interact with the wider Nereus research community and other Cambridge-based marine scientists.


Candidates must have graduated at a University before 30 September 2018 and be eligible to pay University fees at the ‘home’ (UK/EU) rate. Funding will be for 3 years and is for full-time study only. Consideration will normally be restricted to those who have obtained, or who have a strong prospect of obtaining, a first-class Honours degree (or its equivalent). Evidence of subsequent intellectual development – such as a Masters degree in a relevant field – will be taken into account. The successful applicant will be expected to have previous experience of shallow marine / coastal environments and/or aquatic ecosystems; mathematical modelling and/or statistical analysis skills; and an interest in applied, policy relevant research. It is expected that the project will build upon the skill set of the successful applicant and, therefore, there will be some flexibility, in agreement with supervisors, in determining the exact focus of the project. This will be a highly collaborative project and evidence of collaborative and interpersonal skills will be looked for in the successful applicant.
Application procedure

The application procedure is in two stages.

Suitably qualified candidates wishing to apply should submit i) a brief (500 words maximum) covering letter stating why they are suitable for the project; ii) a short CV (2 pages A4); and iii) the names and affiliations of two academic referees who can be contacted by email. Application documents should be sent to Katrina Purser, Graduate Administrator, Department of Geography, Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK in hard copy or via email to [email protected], no later than 12:00 noon, Wednesday 31 January 2018. Late applications will not be accepted.

Interviews are expected to take place in Cambridge sometime during the period 12 – 23 February 2018. Following selection, the successful applicant will be required to submit a complete formal application to study towards a PhD in the Department of Geography, using the University’s online graduate application system.

Apply no later than 30th March 2018. The Department of Geography supervisors will be Professor Tom Spencer ([email protected]) and Dr Mike Bithell ([email protected]) and the WCMC supervisor Dr Chris McOwen ([email protected]); all three supervisors will be happy to answer any enquiries.

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