Funded (UK/EU and international students)

Project code



School of the Environment, Geography, and Geosciences

Start dates

October 2020

Application deadline

23 February 2020

This project is now closed. The details below are for information purposes only. Please see the Earth and Environmental Sciences Postgraduate Research Degree page for further opportunities. 

Applications are invited for a fully-funded 3-year PhD to commence in October 2020. 

This studentship belongs to ‘Transforming Portsmouth’, a cross-university interdisciplinary research programme designed to provide actionable evidence to underpin Portsmouth’s transformation to a sustainable city. 

Portsmouth faces multiple challenges related to climate, economy and environment. The programme will draw evidence from around the world to really make an impact in Portsmouth. Through early and ongoing engagement with key local agencies, Portsmouth residents, and leading international organisations, the programme will use global excellence to meet local needs.

The PhD will be supervised by Dr Jonathan Potts, Professor Pierre Failler and Professor Steve Fletcher.

The scholarship covers tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant of £15,009 (UKRI 2019/20 rate) for three years. Scholarship recipients will also receive up to £3,000 for research project costs/consumables during the duration of the programme. 

The work on this project could involve:

  • Working with global blue governance experts
  • Directly contributing to Portsmouth’s transition to a sustainable city
  • Undertaking a global analysis of how marine governance and resource management contributes to city transformations
  • Directly contributing to the evidence base to support the delivery of the ocean related UN Sustainability Goals
  • We also anticipate a placement at a UN organisation

This studentship will open a new area of blue governance research focused on the role of our ocean and coasts in the transformation of coastal cities.

The conservation and sustainable use and our ocean and coasts is a critical global challenge, especially in light of our sustainable blue economy ambitions and the urgency of climate action. It will also examine how novel and innovative approaches to coastal and marine governance can generate social and economic for coastal cities while driving positive climate action.

The successful candidate will contribute to shaping the future agenda around blue governance and its contribution to local, national and global sustainability – and through this project, will evaluate global examples of blue governance approaches that support urban sustainability with a view to translating effective practices to the context of Portsmouth.

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

A background in geography, ocean policy, or economics would be desirable.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Jonathan Potts on or Prof. Steve Fletcher on to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote the project code SEGG4811020 when applying.