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GCDC: Human-elephant co-existence in a post-ivory ban landscape

Annual tuition fees at UKRI Home/EU rates for 3.5 years (£4,407 for 2020/21) (A small number of fee waivers at the international rate will also available to international candidates, at the discretion of the awarding panel) plus annual stipend at UKRI rates (£15,285 2020/21)

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

GCDC scholars will receive the following:
• Annual stipend at UKRI rates for 3.5 years (TBC but this was £15,285 for 2020/21);
• Annual tuition fees at UKRI Home/EU rates for 3.5 years (£4,407 for 2020/21);
• A Research Training Support Grant of £1,500 per year for the first 3 years of study; and
• Specialised interdisciplinary GCDC cohort training activities.

GCDC Project-led Studentship - School of Anthropology and Conservation: Human-elephant co-existence in a post-ivory ban landscape

Many people in low-income countries depend on healthy ecosystems for their livelihoods but the environment has never been in such a vulnerable state. The illegal exploitation of wildlife is an important cause of this problem, fostering corruption and fueling conflict, and is exemplified by the decline of African elephant populations through poaching. National governments and the international conservation community have responded with a set of policies to tackle the ivory trade, so there is a need to understand how this will change the human-elephant landscape across Africa. In particular, we need systems to predict how expanding elephant and human populations will compete for space and resources, and the extent to which this will bring both conflicts and opportunities through ecotourism.

By combining continental scale analyses with a case study from Kenya, this studentship will provide an understanding of future human-elephant co-existence at the landscape scale, identifying where conflict will occur and where ecotourism could help build support for elephant conservation and equitable local economic development.

1. Develop a range of spatially-explicit future landscape scenarios for population growth of people and African elephants at a continental scale.
2. Develop a range of spatially-explicit future landscape scenarios for the ecotourism industry around wildlife viewing in Africa.
3. Integrate the above models to identify areas of current and future human-elephant conflict and areas that could potentially benefit from ecotourism for local communities.
4. Provide a fine scale understanding of the value of elephants to local communities through ecotourism in terms of individual elephants and herd size, using Kenya as a case-study.

• Dr David Roberts
• Professor Bob Smith
• Professor Iain Fraser
• Dr Mark Hampton


Person specification:

• We are seeking a highly motivated individual, excited by the prospect of conducting interdisciplinary applied research. They will demonstrate enthusiasm for working collaboratively with natural and social scientists, conservation NGOs and government agencies.

• Candidates will be expected to have obtained an MSc at a Merit (or equivalent) or higher in conservation, environmental sciences, geography or international development, or a BSc at 2.1 or higher with equivalent additional relevant experience.

• They will have strong quantitative skills and be confident in using Geographic Information Systems.

• Ideally, applicants will have experience of working in Africa and have an interest in applying both qualitative and quantitative methods.

• GCDC scholars are required to be based at the Canterbury or Medway campuses for the duration of their studies except for research-related overseas visits.

• The student will be expected to actively engage with the Global Challenges Doctoral Centre (GCDC) and participate in the Centre’s training and events throughout the duration of their PhD.

• The University of Kent requires all non-native speakers 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: four GCDC scholarships will be offered at the international rate and some academic schools may be able to support other 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.
The interview date is Wednesday 29 January 2020


The application deadline has now passed.

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