Embedding justice principles into marine governance and offshore energy consenting

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2022.


To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Human Geography (and select the entry point of October 2022), 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 doctoralcollege@plymouth.ac.uk.

Director of Studies: Professor Ian Bailey
2nd Supervisor: Dr Anne Marie O’Hagan, University College Cork  
3rd Supervisor: Professor Owen McIntyre, University College Cork 
Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2022. 
Project Description
Marine planning forms a mainstay of the Irish and UK government’s approaches to resolving tensions between ambitious plans to expand offshore renewable energy generation and the need of other users of marine spaces. The concept emphasises integrated and participatory approaches to marine management but important questions remain about how affected stakeholders and other parts of society engage with marine planning at the plan-development and project-consenting stages, how competing objectives and disputes are negotiated, and how principles of environmental justice inform these processes. 
This PhD will examine the application of environmental justice principles within the Irish and UK marine governance systems with a particular emphasis on marine planning for offshore energy. It will examine regulatory arrangements and experiences with consenting and dispute resolution and develop a multi-dimensional justice perspective encompassing: distributive fairness in the benefits and burdens of offshore energy projects; procedural fairness in assessment and decision-making; and equitable and meaningful involvement in decision-making, recognising the rights of different groups and marine biodiversity. It will determine what forms of justice are being applied/neglected, factors influencing their application, and promote mutual learning on integrating justice into climate-energy transitions.  
  • First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent) in geography, environmental management, marine social science or a related subject. 
  • Good understanding of environmental justice principles and marine planning/offshore energy. 
  • Experience of documentary and qualitative research methods. 
  • Good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills. 
  • Experiencing of conducting research on environmental or marine law, policy or governance. 
Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters qualification.
The successful candidate will be awarded a studentship for 3 years which covers fees, stipend (non-taxable £16,062 per year – increasing in-line with UKRI) and funding to cover research costs (£1,500 per year). A discrete annual travel/collaboration budget between UCC-UoP will also be available.
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.
NB: The studentship is supported for three years of the four-year registration period. The fourth year is a self-funded ‘writing-up’ year.
Applications are welcomed from UK, EU and Non-EU students. Please be advised that there are English language requirements in place which must be adhered to. Please note funding does not cover visa costs (including immigration health surcharge) or other additional costs associated with relocation to your place of study.
If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Professor Ian Bailey .
The closing date for applications is 23:59 on 3 July 2022. 
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview before the 15 July. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Our Strategic Research Partnership with University College Cork

Climate change is a global emergency. In the wake of COP26, it is more evident than ever that the world needs to take radical action to tackle this crisis.
To that end, the University of Plymouth and University College Cork have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces in establishing a Post-COP26 Doctoral Training Partnership.
It will aim to address some of the key climate challenges and opportunities of our time, while inspiring and nurturing the next generation of innovative and pioneering researchers.

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