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GCDC: Forecasting the impacts of development on natural capital and human wellbeing in central Indonesia

Annual Tuition fees at the UKRI Home/EU rate (£4,260 in 2018/19) plus annual stipend at UKRI rates (£14,777 in 2018/19)

This scholarship competition is open to all new postgraduate research applicants.

GCDC scholars will receive the following for 3.5 years:
- Annual stipend at UKRI rates (these were £14,777 in 2018/19);
- Annual tuition fees at UKRI Home/EU rates (these were £4,260 in 2018/19);
- A minimum research training support grant of £3,500; and
- Specialised interdisciplinary GCDC cohort training activities.

GCDC Project-led Studentship - School of Anthropology and Conservation: Forecasting the impacts of development on natural capital and human wellbeing in central Indonesia

Loss and degradation of tropical rainforest is causing widespread declines in biodiversity, profoundly altering ecosystem functioning, and reducing stocks of natural resources and ecosystem assets. The future prospects for this ‘natural capital’, and the people who depend on it for their livelihoods and quality of life, will therefore depend on how we manage human-modified landscapes.

Indonesia is a global leader in timber and oil palm production, which is expanding to new frontiers in Sulawesi and the Moluccan archipelago. To date, research to inform sustainable landscape development is largely lacking in this vast region of central Indonesia, despite its social context and exceptional biodiversity. This studentship will assess the natural capital available to society in human-modified landscapes, and how this contributes to people’s livelihoods. The successful candidate will use mixed method approaches to evaluate how potential changes to land-use and landscape configuration will impact upon the provision of natural capital and human wellbeing.

· Develop a range of spatially-explicit future landscape scenarios for Sulawesi and Maluku, including business-as-usual and alternative land-use configurations

· Review literature resources to appraise current natural capital assets (e.g. forest cover) and the monetary/non-monetary benefits people derive from them (e.g. non-timber forest products, protection from natural hazards, tourism, etc.)

· Compile government census and collect primary household data on human wellbeing and investigate how current rural land-use policies (e.g. community forestry) are performing in terms of poverty alleviation.

· Integrate the above to assess how each future scenario would affect natural capital and the flow of benefits to people. This will be achieved via techniques such as multiple-criteria decision analysis and natural capital mapping/modelling using the InVEST framework.

Professor Zoe Davies https://www.kent.ac.uk/anthropology-conservation/people/475/davies-zoe
Dr Matthew Struebig https://www.kent.ac.uk/anthropology-conservation/people/558/struebig-matthew


Person specification:

We are seeking a highly motivated individual, excited by the prospect of conducting cutting-edge interdisciplinary applied research. They will demonstrate enthusiasm for working collaboratively with social scientists, resource economists, ecologists, conservation NGOs and government agencies. 
  • The successful candidate will have a BSc in conservation, environmental sciences, geography, environmental economics or ecology.
  • They will have experience of conducting fieldwork in tropical countries and will be happy working abroad independently. 
  • Ideally we would be looking for applicants who have an interest in applying both qualitative and quantitative methods. 
  • We anticipate he/she will have strong quantitative skills and confident using Geographic Information Systems. Training can be provided in the other methods listed above if need be.
  • Candidates applying for a PhD degree must normally hold a good Honours degree (First or 2:1) or a Master’s Degree (at Merit or Distinction) in a relevant, appropriate subject, or the equivalent from an internationally recognised institution
  • The University of Kent requires all non-native speaker of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. For more information on English language requirements, please visit this page.

The scholarship call is open to applicants from all nationalities.
Applicants paying Overseas fees can still apply: some academic schools may be able to support applicants financially beyond the UKRI level.

How to apply

When applying, students should follow the University of Kent’s online application process.

As part of the process, students should include the following:
- specify the project they wish to apply for;
- explain reasons for study;
- provide details/evidence of qualifications;
- provide two academic references;
- provide other personal information and supporting documentation. 

Students need to apply for the PhD in Biodiversity Management.


Applications are now closed

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