Moving beyond food waste-based solidarity kitchens in time of crisis: the role of agroecology-based community kitchens in building community resourcefulness

Moving beyond food waste-based solidarity kitchens in time of crisis: the role of agroecology-based community kitchens in building community resourcefulness

Eligibility: UK/EU graduates with the required entry requirements

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

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

Application deadline: 15th October 2020

Interview dates: Interview date will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: January 2021

To find out more about the project, please contact Dr. Chiara Tornaghi.


PhD Details

Covid-19 has exacerbated problems related to the current unjust and unsustainable food systems, with millions of people going hungry, and farmers struggling to recruit farmworkers to work in the fields. The crisis has revealed the structural problems of a food system which reflects social inequalities and the marginalisation of the fundamental ecological basis of our nature as humans. The unfolding of the pandemic has seen a proliferation of community-run food support initiatives, some based on solidarity cooking, and a wider use of food discarded by the mainstream retail sector as ‘surplus’. While the use of food ‘surplus’ is commendable in providing for the vulnerable in emergency situations in the short term, the normalisation of the existence of food surplus and food waste sold or distributed as ‘cheap food’ overlooks a problematic reality: that food surplus exists because a powerful retail sector ‘extracts’ agricultural products with exploitative farm prices at the expense of dignified livelihoods for farm workers.

This project focusses on how to turn the energy, sensitivity and organisational capacity of grassroots communities currently engaged in community kitchens into building blocks of new community-based food systems, where the production of food is rooted in broader networks of soil carers and agroecological food producers in urban and peri-urban contexts.

Benefits

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 such as Environmental engineering, chemistry, materials science with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
    PLUS 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)

Additional requirements:

  • Practical experience within solidarity food initiatives, particularly within a community kitchen;
  • Willingness to engage with local food initiatives in Coventry
  • Interest in participatory action research and co-creation methodologies;
  • Knowledge of and/or involvement in the agroecology and food sovereignty movement;
  • Interest in feminist, decolonial and commoning conceptual frameworks and practices;
  • Desire to be actively involved in a research team for the development of an agroecological urbanism.

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. Chiara Tornaghi.

Apply to Coventry University