School of Anthropology & Conservation

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The School of Anthropology and Conservation has a proven track record of being awarded scholarships from the major Research Councils. Competition for scholarships is fierce so we advise you apply early.

Candidates interested in studying within the School of Anthropology and Conservation will be considered for the following scholarships. The links below provide full details around the criteria and application process.

Vice Chancellor's Research Scholarship in Human Evolution - Deadline 28th April 2017

Restoring a Kentish icon: feasibility of reintroducing the Chough to Kent - Deadline midnight on 8th May 2017

ESRC South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) scholarships - CLOSED

  • Deadline 30th January 2017
  • £14, 296 (2016/17 rate) plus tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and access to further research funding
  • Science, Technology and Sustainability Studies pathway
  • Social Anthropology pathway
  • Providing innovative and challenging world-class doctoral training in a dynamic, inter-disciplinary research environment.

Vice Chancellor's Research Scholarship - CLOSED

  • Deadline 30th January 2017
  • £14, 296 (2016/17 rate) plus Home fees administered under the Graduate Teaching Assistant Scheme
  • Awarded for academic excellence and outstanding research potential
  • Prior to applying: Identify and contact a potential supervisor by reviewing our academic staff profiles.

DICE MSc Scholarship - CLOSED

  • Deadline 26th February 2017
  • Scholarship covers full tuition fees, a monthly stipend and assistance in travel expenses to and from the UK
  • Please read this document for further details
  • For nationals or those who have official refugee status in a country recognised as lower to upper-middle income (as defined by the World Bank)
  • Applying: Check you are eligible (by reading the above document), identify a suitable DICE MSc programme then send a cover letter and 2 page CV to

AHRC Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) scholarships - CLOSED

  • Deadline 11th January 2017
  • £14, 296 (2016/17 rate) plus tuition fees at the Home/EU rate
  • Exciting opportunities to gain professional experience, work across institutions and disciplines, and acquire advanced research skills.

NERC Environment East Doctoral Training Partnership (EnvEast DTP) Scholarships - CLOSED

  • Deadline 8th January 2017
  • Kent interviews on 20th January 2017; NERC interviews on 14/15th February 2017
  • £14, 296 (2016/17 rate) maintenance grant plus tuition fees at the Home/EU rate
  • Applications are now open for the following projects:

What drives urban community assembly in northern Amazonia? - Dr Zoe Davies

What drives urban community assembly in northern Amazonia?

Reference:(DAVIES_KDICE17EE) - CASE project with Protected Areas Commission, Government of Guyana

Project description


Urban areas are home to >50% of the global human population. Future urbanisation is predicted to be rapid, posing a major challenge to biodiversity conservation and human welfare, particularly in the developing world. 

Study system

Guyana is a highly biodiverse developing country in northern Amazonia. With >80% of land still forested, it is an ideal system for investigating the ecological impacts of urbanisation.

Aim and novelty 

Nearly all urban ecological research has been conducted in temperate Europe/North America, with few studies from the tropics. Understanding what drives community assembly and responsiveness to different ecological/anthropogenic filters in novel ecosystems is a fundamental question that remains unanswered. Additionally, it is critically important for informing on-the-ground biodiversity conservation efforts.


1. Assess the different communities occurring spatially across Georgetown, capital of Guyana, and surrounding natural forest ecosystems. 

2. Examine functional trait variation within these communities, and the extent to which they are ecologically/functionally filtered relative to surrounding forests and regional species pool.

3. Test the common assumption that phylogenetic diversity is suitable proxy for functional diversity, using a taxon for which phylogenetic data is readily available.

Substantial fieldwork will be required to survey communities and habitats. Multiple focal faunal taxa will be used, based on CASE partner needs and the interests of the student. 

Methods and training

Transferable skills (e.g. communication, time management, collaboration with government and NGO partners)

Analytical skills (e.g. spatial analyses in ArcGIS/QGIS, statistical modelling in R including state-of-the-art functional trait approaches; e.g. convex hull, n-dimensional hypervolume and trait probability density methods)

Academic skills (e.g. writing peer-reviewed journal papers, giving conference presentations, academic interdisciplinary collaboration). 

Person specification

We seek a highly motivated individual excited by the prospect of conducting cutting-edge research with real-world application. The successful candidate will have an MSc in conservation/ecology/zoology/environmental sciences, strong analytical skills and tropical fieldwork experience. He/she will need to demonstrate enthusiasm for working collaboratively with social scientists, conservation NGOs and government agencies.


Dr Jake Bicknell (DICE)

Dr Richard Davies (UEA)

Damian Fernandes (Protected Areas Commission, Government of Guyana).

Further Details

  • Start date: 1 October 2017
  • Programme: PhD
  • Mode of Study: full time
  • Studentship Length: 3.5 years

Apply Now

Deadline 23:59 on 8 January 2017

How is environmental change shaping the future of Southeast Asia’s top predators? - Professor Jim Groombridge

How is environmental change shaping the future of Southeast Asia’s top predators?

Reference:(GROOMBRIDGE_KDICE17EE) - CASE project with TRACE wildlife forensics network

Project description


With widespread habitat fragmentation occurring across human-dominated landscapes, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how environmental change affects connectivity and gene flow in wide-ranging large carnivores. The elusive nature of big cats makes them particularly challenging for obtaining comprehensive data on population status across human-modified landscapes, yet their top-predator status means they act as  ‘singing canaries’ highlighting the vulnerability of other biodiversity to human disturbance. This study will use the Malayan tiger as a focal species to explore the impacts of environmental change on small populations by generating new spatial genetic data from tiger faecal samples in Malaysia, and combine this with ecological forecasting to predict how populations respond in the face of future change. 

Research questions and methodology

1. How will populations change under future environmental, habitat and management scenarios, and what are the key drivers of change?
The student will combine existing climatic, landscape, and tiger occupancy data and use advanced spatially-explicit modelling techniques and resource selection approaches to explore patterns of change in population status and distribution.

2. To what extent do external factors affect gene flow and how do landscape barriers align with potential areas for habitat connectivity?
The student will conduct field surveys in peninsular Malaysia to collect faecal samples for DNA extraction and genotyping and integrate this new genetic information with environmental and occupancy data to identify potential dispersal corridors.


The student will have access to a rich array of specialist training and support at DICE (, including expertise on climate and landscape-change assessment in Southeast Asia (Dr Struebig), and optimised methods for tiger landscape genetics (Dr Groombridge). In Malaysia, the student will receive field survey support under Rimba, and be a part of international scientific collaboration through Panthera. In-country expertise on DNA techniques will be available through CASE partner TRACE.

Person specification

An ambitious and independent student, who wishes to develop their skills in landscape genetics and international large carnivore conservation. The ideal applicant will have a postgraduate qualification in wildlife biology or similar subject, with previous research experience in Southeast Asia, carnivore biology, and population/habitat modelling.


Dr Matthew Struebig (DICE)

Dr Rob Ogden (TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network)

Dr Reuben Clements (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and Rimba

Further information

  • Start date: 1 October 2017
  • Programme: PhD
  • Mode of Study: full time
  • Studentship Length: 3.5 years

Entry requirements

  • Acceptable First Degree wildlife biology or similar subject
  • Minimum Entry Standard 2:1 Honours degree

Apply Now

Deadline 23:59 on 8 January 2017

Modelling future scenarios for conservation land-use in England - Dr Robert Smith

Modelling future scenarios for conservation land-use in England

Reference:(SMITH_KDICE17EE) - CASE project with Natural England

Project description


The UK’s biodiversity is declining. Consequently, its government agencies have recognised the need to increase the extent, connectivity and effectiveness of their protected area networks. Natural England has approached DICE to help them develop a novel approach for creating joined up and resilient ecological networks at a landscape scale.

Project significance

Most unprotected biodiversity is found outside of state-owned protected areas, so developing effective conservation initiatives on privately and communally-owned land is critical. This is particularly relevant in England, where most land is privately-owned. This studentship will inform future conservation policy, which is currently based chiefly on funding landowners through agri-environment schemes.

Research questions

This research would help inform future conservation and agriculture policy by answering the following questions:

1)    Where are the priority areas in England for meeting biodiversity targets while minimising opportunity costs, and how will these change under climate change?

2)    How does the optimal conservation approach for developing ecological networks on private land depend on the traits of the focal species being considered?

3)    In which circumstances would new conservation strategies, based on longer-term stewardship agreements and/or improving landowner support, provide greater benefits?

Methods and training

The student would be based at DICE but also work with Natural England and Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, University of Queensland. They would develop spatial databases using ArcGIS/QGIS, identify priority conservation areas using the Marxan and MinPatch spatial prioritisation software packages, update existing Python scripts to compare impacts of different conservation land-use acquisition strategies, and collect quantitative data on landowner attitudes and analyse it using the  themlogit and Psych R Packages. They would also learn academic skills such as academic writing, giving conference presentations and time management. 

Person specification

A highly motivated student interested in combining ecological connectivity and metapopulation theory with conservation science to produce high-impact, policy-relevant research. The candidate should have an MSc degree in conservation/ecology/environmental sciences, strong analytical skills and, ideally, GIS expertise.


(i) Venter O, Fuller RA, Segan DB, Carwardine J, Brooks T, Butchart, SHM, Di Marco, M, Iwamura, T, Joseph, L, O’Grady, D, Possingham, HP, Rondinini, C, Smith, RJ, Venter, M and Watson, JEM (2014) Targeting global protected area expansion for mperilled biodiversity. PloS Biology, 12, e1001891.

(ii) Morecroft, MD, Crick, HQ, Duffield, SJ, & Macgregor, NA. (2012). Resilience to climate change: translating principles into practice. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49, 547-551.

(iii) Davies, ZG, Kareiva, P, and Armsworth, PR (2010). Temporal patterns in the size of conservation land transactions. Conservation Letters, 3, 29-37.

(iv) Margules, CR and Pressey, RL (2000). Systematic conservation planning. Nature, 405, 243-253.

(v) Smith, RJ, Di Minin, E, Linke, S, Segan, D and Possingham, HP (2010). An approach for ensuring minimum protected area size in systematic conservation planning. Biological Conservation, 143, 2525-2531. 


Dr Nicholas Macgregor (Natural England)

Dr Zoe Davies (DICE)

Dr Humphrey Crick  (Natural England)

Further information

  • Start date: 1 October 2017
  • Programme: PhD
  • Mode of Study: PhD
  • Studentship Length: 3.5 years

Entry requirements

  • Acceptable First Degree Conservation/ecology/environmental sciences
  • Minimum Entry Standard 2:1 Honours Degree

Apply Now

Deadline 23:59 on 8 January 2017

Further information about EnvEast is available at:

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The Vice Chancellor's Research Scholarships - PhD Studentship 2016 entry - Deadline 31st January 2016

About the Scholarships

Kent has established 100 doctoral scholarships to be awarded annually. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic excellence and outstanding research potential. Scholarships will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils’ rate and administered under the Graduate Teaching Assistant Scheme, further details of which can be found at:

Selection Criteria

  • Candidates must hold a good Honours degree (First or 2i) or a Master’s degree at merit or distinction in a relevant subject or equivalent. 
  • The scholarship competition is open to all new postgraduate research applicants.
  • Current Kent research students are not eligible for this scholarship.
  • UK, EU and overseas fee paying students are invited to apply. Please note that overseas students must have the appropriate documentation to evidence eligibility to work in the UK. Further information can be found at:

Application Process

  • Candidates must submit a formal application for postgraduate study at the University through the online application form by the deadline date of the 20th July 2016
  • In addition, candidates must send a copy of their research proposal (2 sides of A4 not including references) and CV to Katie Watson at by the same deadline
  • Interviews will be held via Skype in the week beginning Monday 25th July

South East ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) - PhD Studentship 2016 entry - Deadline 31st January 2016

About the South East DTC

The South-East ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) is a centre of excellence in social science postgraduate research training and is a partnership between the Universities of Kent, Reading, Royal Holloway and Surrey.The South East DTC is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and draws on a rich variety of collaborations in research and in research training across the partner institutions and benefits from advanced training links to other HEIs in the region.

PhD studentships will be available across the consortium for students commencing their studies in the 2016-17 academic year. The scholarships are divided into ten subject pathways and students who meet the eligabilty criteria can apply for consideration under that pathway. Within the pathways, there is a selection of PhD programmes and routes which can be taken based on a candidate’s previous experience and research interests. From the School of Anthropology and Conservation the following pathways can be considered:

  • Social Anthropology Pathway: visual anthropology, computer-intensive methods in anthropology, ethnobotany, medical anthropology, anthropology of tourism
  • Environment, Energy and Resilience Pathway: biodiversity conservation/land-use, climate change, food security, sustainability, environmental life cycle analysis, environmental disaster management

Scholarship Details

South East DTC funding is only available to Home or EU students who satisfy the research eligibility criteria (see Funding Guide below). EU students who have not been resident in the UK for the 3 years preceding the award will be entitled to a Fees Only award. More guidance on residency requirements and eligibility can be found in the ESRC's Postgraduate Funding Guide.

Funding levels for the 2015-16 academic year are as follows:

  • Stipend - £14,057 per annum
  • Fees - £4,052 per annum
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) - £750 per annum

Application Process

Applicants must complete the following steps when applying for the SE DTC scholarship:

  • Approach an academic member of staff from the School to discuss your proposal and request supervision. Please visit our staff profiles page for more details
  • Once you have secured a supervisor, work with them on your proposal and application
  • Submit an application for your chosen programme of study through the University's online application form before the deadline of Sunday 31st January 2016 (this should include two academic references, transcripts and certificates from your previous qualifications and a detailed research proposal).
  • Submit your SE DTC application form including two academic references and the equal opportunities form to Katie Watson at no later than 16.00 on Tuesday 2nd February 2016

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed during the week beginning Monday 8th February 2016. Following initial interviews, successful applicants will be put forward for consideration by the SE DTC Selection Panel. If you have not heard from us by Monday 22nd February 2016 then unfortunately your application has been unsuccessful.

More details about the application process can be found on the SE DTC website.

Department for International Development (DFID) - Taught Master's Scholarship 2016 entry - Deadline 16th March 2016

About the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship was set up by the Department for International Development (DFID) in 1986 and represents a unique partnership between the UK government and universities. The aim of the scheme is to assist students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. The scholarship allows the successful candidates to benefit from postgraduate study at a university in the UK which will then help them to contribute towards the development of their home countries.

The award covers tuition fees, return airfares and living costs for a one-year taught Master's programme.

Selection Criteria

Candidates must be able to certify in writing that the meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A national of one of the countries listed at and not at present living or studying in a developed country
  • Hold an undergraduate degree at the equivalent of a UK first class honours
  • Committed to the University of Kent and have not applied to several other institutions who are also nominating them for an award
  • Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country
  • Are themselves, or through their families, unable to pay to study in the UK
  • Will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete. In some circumstances a student may be permitted to remain in the UK if seeking doctoral study and they satisfy certain strict conditions
  • Hold an unconditional offer by the deadline for a full-time postgraduate taught degree on one of the following courses at The University of Kent:
      • Conservation and Tourism MSc
      • Conservation and International Wildlife Trade MSc

For full details about the DFID scholarship, and further information regarding eligibility please see:

Application Process

To be considered for the DFID Scholarship you must complete the following three steps:-

  1. Make a formal application for a postgraduate degree at the University of Kent for 2016-17. This can be done through the online application form.
  2. Send an email to the Scholarships Unit at by midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 16 March 2016. The email must include the following information:-
  • Subject Line: DFID Application 2016
  • Your full name
  • Your University of Kent postgraduate application number
  • Personal statement of between 300 and 500 words stating the reasons why you wish to apply for this scholarship, including confirmation of your eligibility
  • Full curriculum vitae
  1. Complete the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) electronic application (EAS). This can be done online at

Your application will not be considered unless you have met all of the eligibility criteria and have completed the steps above by the deadline of midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 16 March 2016.


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School of Anthropology and Conservation - © University of Kent

School of Anthropology and Conservation, Marlowe Building, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NR, T: +44 (0)1227 827056

Last Updated: 07/04/2017