Exploring community-based geohazard response schemes in Gansu, China PhD

Entry requirements:
3.5 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
22 January 2018



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In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

In the Bailong region of Southern Gansu (China) sustainable community development and the resilience of infrastructures that connect them is severely compromised by the dynamic nature of the natural environment. Communities are exposed to severe hazards that include seasonal events such as landslides, extreme rainfall and flooding, and recurring hazards such as earthquakes. The disaster risk picture of this region is further complicated by added pressures resulting from rapid societal change (expanding urban footprints and increasing transport links).

This PhD project aims to achieve fully integrated, community-centred schemes that enhance early warning and reduce geohazard impact. The research emphasis will be to gain a better understanding of the human-landscape interactions and associated process-response systems. The research will also address three further research questions; (i) how do communities develop their perceptions of geohazard and risk, (ii) what are the priorities in terms of sustainable development and resilience building in this landscape and (iii) how can we mobilise indigenous and scientific knowledge to develop effective community-based response schemes in a truly multi-hazard framework to fully address disaster risk, develop appropriate early warning systems and achieve more resilient societies.

The research comprises significant fieldwork in the Bailong region and secondments to Lanzhou University. Practical research actions will be co-developed with key stakeholders in Lanzhou, Wudu and Zhouqu.

This project requires a diverse set of skills and we are looking for students with a background in Geography, Environmental Sciences, Engineering or Disaster Management who can combine an understanding of natural hazards with an ability to carry out community-based research. This broad scope of the research provides opportunities to co-develop the core activities and create a PhD that fits best with the capabilities and interests of the PhD candidate.


Primary supervisor: Dr Tom Dijkstra

Secondary supervisor: Dr Ksenia Chmutina

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Tom Dijkstra or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about postgraduate research in the department of Geography please visit our website.

For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website.

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Environmental Sciences, Engineering or Disaster Management.  A Master’s degree and/or experience in a related area associated with the research will be an advantage.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

The studentship is for 3.5 years and is intended to start in October 2018. The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,553 per annum (in 2017/18) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,195 in 2017/18) and a research training support grant of £8,000.  Please note that due to restrictions imposed by the funder only students with a UK/EU fee status will be considered for this position. Further guidance about eligibility is available at RCUK Terms & Conditions.

How to apply

To apply, you will need to;

  1. Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word format available here.
  2. All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select “Geography”. During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.
  3. Please quote CENTA17-LU13 when completing your online application.

Application details

Reference number: CENTA17-LU13
Application deadline: 22 January 2018
Start date: 01 October 2018
Interview date: Week beginning 12 February 2018