COVID-19 and the emerging atmospheres of urban living: how is the pandemic refiguring the ways we live and move with others?

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start 1 October 2021


To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Human Geography, then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship and name the project at the top of your personal statement.

Online application

Before applying, please ensure you have read the Doctoral College’s general information on applying for a research degree.

For more information on the admissions process please contact

Project description

COVID-19 continues to have a dramatic impact upon the character of urban spaces. The extent to which we live and move together (and apart) is an unfolding issue that impacts the lives of many. As we move in and out of restrictions, attention needs to turn to the refigured life of the (post-)pandemic city and the crucial question of ‘how to rebuild’. Comparisons to post-war and post-disaster recovery have been used far and wide in highlighting the urgency and importance of how we ‘rebuild’ post-pandemic. The issue of how to implement recovery plans and use stimulus packages stir discussions, controversies and even crises at the core of governments. This not only raises physical and technological questions around designing environments and mobilities that are ‘COVID secure’ in the long term, but also more wide-ranging questions around how such environments will be experienced by a diverse urban population, both as individuals and together, and above all what kind of sociality these environments will shape or not. 

This project proposes to explore how the post-pandemic city is experienced; how urban populations are (re-)learning to live and move together, and the challenges that this brings. In this moment of attuning to a new reality, we ought to understand how we feel in and about the city, in order to understand how to rebuild it. As such, the project aims to understand the emerging atmospheres of urban living as the appear in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility and funding

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant masters qualification. 

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,609 per annum (2021/22 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover international fees will have to cover the difference between the home and the international tuition fee rates (approximately £12,697 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Paul Simpson ( .

Please see a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.

For more information on the admissions process contact

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 26 May 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in early June. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by 9 June should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.