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

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

by Public Health Update

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 Birminghamas 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. The student will be based at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, supervised by Dr Rosie Day, Dr Fraser Sugden, and Professor Francis Pope, and will also be supported by ICIMOD throughout, including in fieldwork in Nepal.

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. 

Application Process

To be considered for this PhD, please complete the Collaborative Studentship application form available online here. Shortlisted applicants will also be required to provide transcripts and two references. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview (online) between March 10th – 15th.

Application deadline: Monday 27th February 2023, 12:00 midday (UTC)

Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP

Our ESRC studentships cover fees, a maintenance stipend, and extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants. Support is available to both home and international applicants. International applicants if successful will not be asked to cover the difference between home and international fees. For further details, visit: www.mgsdtp.ac.uk/studentships/eligibility/.

Informal enquiries about the research or the Birmingham’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences prior to application can be directed to Dr. Rosie Day, r.j.day@bham.ac.uk Dr. Fraser Sugden, f.sugden@bham.ac.uk or Professor Francis Pope f.pope@bham.ac.uk.


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