PhD Studentships: Disaster Resilience

Developing New Approaches to Community Resilience Assessment: Using technology, including web-based software, crowd-sourced data, & knowledge-based systems, as co-creative tools

Resilience across all sectors of society is imperative for global efforts to reduce the adverse effects of disasters and to build a society that is change-ready and seeking opportunities for future wellbeing. Building robust pathways toward resilience begins with assessment: gathering empirical evidence of what factors enhance resilience, under what contexts, and for which shocks; benchmarking a community's capacities, and monitoring resilience over time. The Resilience Trajectories work stream of New Zealand's Resilience to Nature's Challenges research programme is interested in exploring innovative, socially engaged, technology-based solutions to robust resilience assessment.

Applications are now invited for those wishing to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by thesis addressing key challenges in the field of disaster resilience assessment, including:

  • How disaster resilience assessment can be made more accessible to communities; local, territorial, and regional authorities; and national decision makers, and
  • How technical tools, including web-based software, crowd sourced data, and/or knowledge-based systems, can be employed to make resilience assessment a robust and repeatable co-creative process.

The funding for this PhD Scholarship is part of the Resilience to Nature's Challenges research programme (RNC) – Kia manawaroa Ngā Ākina o Te Ao Tūroa –a priority research area under the National Science Challenge (NSC) umbrella. RNC is a New Zealand-wide research programme, launched in July 2015, with the aim of achieving, "transformative resilience, discovering and implementing new research-based solutions for our society, culture, infrastructure and governance to address factors that will enable New Zealand to thrive in the face of nature's challenges," (Jolly 2014).

Within the RNC research programme, Dr. John Vargo and Dr. Joanne Stevenson from Resilient Organisations Ltd. are co-leading the Resilience Trajectories work stream. This work stream aims to guide disaster resilience benchmarking and monitoring across a range of systems (e.g., rural and urban communities, horizontal infrastructure, regional economies), and will help RNC stakeholders identify barriers and opportunities to accelerate progress toward a resilient New Zealand.

The Resilience Trajectories work stream is looking to engage a PhD student to develop and lead the learning frontier of this project. The successful applicant will explore options for co-creative resilience assessment, develop appropriate tool(s) (e.g., web-based software for gathering, integrating, and visualizing resilience measures, or tools for crowdsourcing relevant data) in collaboration with the Resilience to Nature's Challenges researchers, and then prototype the tools 'in the field' with a case study community.

Scholarship Details

Location: University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch, New ZealandScholarship. Stipend NZD$25,000 per annum stipend (+$7000 domestic tuition). Duration: 3 years. Starting Date: February 2017, or sooner if possible. Closing date for Applications: November 14, 2016 (please note applications will be reviewed upon submission).

More details.

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Post-doc: Social Innovation

University of Waterloo - Institute for Social Innovation and Resiliance

One year fulltime postdoctoral fellowship: $50,000 annual salary, office and administrative support provided

Supervision by Frances Westley, McConnell Chair in Social Innovation, and Dan McCarthy, Director of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR)

The University of Waterloo's Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) is offering a postdoctoral fellowship to start August 1, 2016 for one year. WISIR was founded as part of a national initiative funded by the J.W McConnell Family Foundation and is designed to build capacity for broad system change in Canada.

Currently, four specific areas of interest and commitment concerning WISIR are:

  • The challenges of indigenous innovation and engagement
  • Capacity building in the social profit sector - particularly the development of the skills and mindsets required for addressing increasingly complex social-ecological problems
  • The integration of art and science in stimulating innovative and breakthrough approaches to linked social-ecological systems
  • General theory of transformation and social innovation in linked social-ecological systems, with particular emphasis on historical cases

Qualified candidates must have a PhD (completed within the last five years), be familiar with complexity theory, social innovation theory and social-ecological transformation processes including such approaches as the Multi-Level Transition theories, and resilience theory approaches to adaptation and transformation. A strong research background and sound methodological training is a must. An ideal candidate will be interested in joining problem solving teams in writing proposals for research funding, leading teams researching social innovation, and collaborating on research articles for publication.

Review of applications will begin on July 11, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. The position will start August 1, 2016

Please send curriculum vitae, one research paper and, two letters of reference with the subject line "Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Social Innovation" to: Nina Ripley, Office Coordinator at nmripley@uwaterloo.ca

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African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting Award

African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting Awards (hereafter ACCER Awards) is Africa's premier environmental and climate change reporting program, run and founded by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) in 2013.

Over a period of 7 weeks, (8th March – 26th April 2016) journalists and other media practitioners from across Africa submit entries which demonstrate how their work has practically enhanced access to environmental information, built Climate Change resilience or changed the way societies "do business." After the online submission process finalists will be announced at the sidelines of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (23rd – 27th May) and enrolled in an intensive training program, the ACCER Awards Finalists Academy (TAAFA).

More information.

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Links I Liked

Can You Win a War on Facebook? (Burundi)

Jimmy Carter on US Democracy

Discussion on food security, the article is interesting, I recommend browsing the comments

Literature Scan of Resilience (ODI)

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Logan Cochrane

logan.cochrane@gmail.com

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