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Dr. Alex Franklin, Senior Research Fellow

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If you have any question, please contact Alex for an informal discussion.

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Sustainable management of natural resources: adopting a collaborative approach

Eligibility: UK/EU

Award Details: Bursary plus tuition fees

Duration: 3 years 6 months Fixed Term

Application deadline: February 17th 2017

If you have questions about the Project, please contact Dr. Alex Franklin.

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree with Coventry University. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

The Project

The sustainable management of natural resources (SNMR) is increasingly dependent upon the collaborative engagement of multiple stakeholders. Within Wales, the Wellbeing for Future Generations Act (2015) and the Environment Act (2016) are central to guiding such a collaborative approach. Both Acts prioritise multi-stakeholder engagement as a central organizing principle for the sustainable governance of the natural resource base of Wales at a local as well as national level. The active engagement of a full range of public, private and third sector organisations, but also individual local residents, supports the building of resourceful and resilient communities across both urban and rural settings. A collaborative and place-based approach to natural resource management is capable of producing multiple cross-cutting benefits. Realizing these returns is, however, far from straight forward and by no means guaranteed.

This study will investigate the ways in which collaborative forms of natural resource planning, management and ownership are currently being pursued in Wales and with what effect. It will review the contribution of place-based initiatives to building sustainable, resourceful and resilient relationships between community residents and their surrounding natural resource base. Specifically this will include investigating the role and impact of formal practices, schemes and models of shared management and ownership, but also more informal arrangements, as well as intangible feelings, beliefs and forms of attachment associated with a shared sense of natural resource ownership.

About The Centre/Department

The doctoral candidate will be recruited by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University. Established in 2014, CAWR represents a multi-million research investment by Coventry University. It is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of 50 staff and 35 doctoral students. CAWR’s research develops and integrates new knowledge on the environmental, socio-cultural and economic dimensions of agro-ecological and hydrological processes, systems and practices, as well as on the pivotal role that communities play in developing resourcefulness and resilience. Research at CAWR encompasses a wide range of disciplines, philosophies, and methodologies.

Doctoral students are an integral part of the CAWR research community. They are regularly invited to participate in CAWR’s thematic group meetings, guest seminars and general staff meetings - thus gaining access to research expertise and mentoring beyond the immediate supervisory team. Our ethos is for PGRs to be fully integrated into the CAWR community and this allows them to gather insight into work culture, practices and norms by working alongside researchers and other professional services staff at the Centre. 

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average, or
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at merit level (60%).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study
  • Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).


  • a degree in human geography, sociology, politics, planning, or related social science discipline
  • knowledge and/or experience of collaborative approaches to sustainable resource management
  • knowledge and experience of qualitative research methods
  • knowledge of the UK and/or Wales policy context


  • a valid UK driving licence

Eligibility and Application procedure

Application Procedure:

Application information can be found by clicking on the image 'Making an Application' shown here. For enquiries related to the project please contact Dr. Alex Franklin.


All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found on the making an application page.