COVID-19 and food insecurity in the UK: looking beyond emergency responses to strengthening community food resilience

COVID-19 and food insecurity in the UK: looking beyond emergency responses to strengthening community food resilience

Eligibility: UK/EU graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursay plus tuition fees (UK/EU) 

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: Friday 14th August 2020

Interview dates: Interview date will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2020 or January 2021 subject to discussion

To find out more about the project, please contact Dr. Lopa Saxena.

PhD Details

COVID-19 has brought food insecurity to the fore much more powerfully than ever before. While intensifying the difficulties facing those who are already food insecure, its aftershocks continue to push new groups into food insecurity. It has also revealed the fragility of the UK’s food system with disruptive impacts felt all along the supply chain. Most responses to the food crisis have been emergency-driven, with community food-related initiatives striving to meet the food needs of those most vulnerable. They are facing significant challenges while trying to meet increasing demand with dwindling resources.

This project aims to identify the critical factors that enable the community initiatives to be effective at tackling food insecurity both for the immediate and longer term. It does this by looking beyond emergency responses to enhancing community food resilience (CFR). Currently, there is little understanding of what CFR means conceptually and what it can contribute to operationally.

This project would make a novel contribution towards identifying leverage points and interventions for strengthening CFR in relation to mitigating the impacts of crises, enhancing the quality of food for citizens and the possibilities for making the transition from a ‘linear’ approach to a ‘systems’ approach to food insecurity.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Candidate Specification

  • 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.
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

For further details see: 


How to Apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Lopa Saxena.

Apply to Coventry University