Application of the structural equation modelling approach to ascertain the true costs of EIA and the determinants of impact prediction quality

Application of the structural equation modelling approach to ascertain the true costs of EIA and the determinants of impact prediction quality

Eligibility: UK/EU/International students with the required entry requirements

Award Details: No award (self funded)

Duration: Full Time - between 3 years and 3 years 6 months fixed term

Application deadline: Ongoing

Interview dates: TBC

Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Dr. Babatunde Anifowose to discuss this opportunity.


Coventry University has been voted ‘Modern University of the Year’ three times running by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide. Ranked in the UK’s top 15 (Guardian University Guide), we have a global reputation for high quality teaching and research with impact. Almost two-thirds (61%) of our research was judged ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. By joining the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing (EEC), you will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships with some of the biggest names in industry, including Jaguar Land Rover, GE Aviation, Cummins and Intel.


Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a global tool that investigates and predicts the potential impacts of proposed project activities on environmental. This process is not without costs – both to the proponents and government regulators – but there’s little or no research on the temporal and financial transactive costs of undertaking EIA. These transactive costs are a measure of EIA effectiveness and include the “Degree to which EIA avoids delays and cost overruns”, “Clarity of stakeholder roles”, and “Personnel with adequate skills readily available”. These variables are latent constructs whose understanding can better inform the overall EIA performance, underpin the needed improvements in cumulative impacts especially in the oil and gas industry, and engender cost-effective response to pollution incidents. We do not yet fully know these transactive costs and how well they contribute to the quality of impact prediction and the overall goal of EIA. This constitutes a vital research gap.

We therefore seek an exceptional candidate who is willing to investigate this problem in an innovative and rigorous manner. We expect that Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) method will be applied in this study to analyse time and financial costs as measured variables against some selected latent constructs which will evolve from extant literature.


  • Self-funded
  • For the academic year 2018/19, any English student who is not part of a research council can borrow up to £25,000 to help cover the cost of their PhD tuition fees. Further details can be found here.


  • Our research strategy is underpinned by a £250m investment in research and facilities
  • Dedicated Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability Development deliver high quality professional support for researchers, from PhD to Professor
  • Free training: research career planning, managing your doctorate, research communication skills, research ethics, research impact, research integrity, research methods and research supervision
  • Coventry is a member of the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA), the largest multi-partner and only nationwide doctoral training initiative of its kind.


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.
  • In the event of a first degree classification of less than 2:1, a Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at minimum merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at minimum merit level (60%), or
  • a taught Masters degree in a relevant discipline, involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark, plus
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


  • practical knowledge and/or experience in the subject
  • familiarity with global EIA practice, preferably in the oil and gas industry
  • a good knowledge of Structural Equation Modelling
  • experience of (or a willingness to quickly learn) other techniques including mixed approach (quantitative and qualitative) in empirical research.

Application Deadline:

This opportunity will only remain open until a suitable candidate is identified. Early application is therefore recommended. Closing dates indicated for each entry point will apply.



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

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