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3 Feb 2023 | Atmosphere

PhD Studentship: The Political Economy of Vulnerability to Air Pollution in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

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Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership – ESRC DTP Collaborative Studentship

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: ESRC Studentships
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 30th January 2023
Closes: 27th February 2023

Apply here


The Midlands Graduate School is an accredited Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). One of 14 such partnerships in the UK, the Midlands Graduate School is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham.

The University of Birmingham as part of Midlands Graduate School is now inviting applications for an ESRC Doctoral Studentship in association with our collaborative partner, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development based in Nepal, to commence in October 2023.

This PhD project aims to understand the political economy and spatial geography of air pollution exposure amongst low-income communities of the Kathmandu valley, Nepal, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative data and analysis of data from low-cost portable particulate matter (PM) sensors. It seeks firstly to understand how livelihoods are stratified according to class, caste/ethnicity and gender, and how this impacts daily spatial mobility in terms of the location of one’s residence, length of commute, and time spent in areas recognised as pollution hotspots. The project will secondly seek to understand how these stratified livelihood strategies and mobility patterns affect daily exposure to particulate matter outdoors, in one’s place of work and inside the home. Finally, the project will involve work with government and civil society stakeholders to identify effective interventions in terms of tailored responses to reduce exposure amongst the most vulnerable groups.

We welcome applications from candidates with a social science background and an interest in air quality, public health and / or urban planning. Knowledge of South Asia would be advantageous. We would expect applicants to be comfortable working in an interdisciplinary environment, and to be willing to work with quantitative datasets as well as more in- depth qualitative data. We would also expect candidates to have the sensitivity and research skills to work with marginalised and vulnerable communities.

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