Conducting a Research Degree (PhD) at the CCRI
Contact: James Kirwan.
The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) has a thriving research student community, with about 15 students studying on both a full-time and part-time basis. (Click here to view details of current and recent research students). The range of topics covered reflects the strength and mix of staff available to supervise students. Current and recent students’ thesis titles include: ‘Investigating the economic impacts of the restoration and adaptive re-use of historic buildings’; ‘Land use planning policy and the sustenance of rural services’; and ‘The changing place of traditional food retailing: a geographical analysis of English retail markets’.
Pathways to a Research Degree
· Full-time over 3 years
· Part-time over 5-7 years
· Professional doctorate
· PhD with publications
Undertaking a research degree at the CCRI
The CCRI fosters a vibrant research culture that includes a range of training and intellectual exchange within the Institute, that research students are actively encouraged to partake in. This includes a lunchtime ‘seminar series’, which provides a forum for speakers from both inside and outside the CCRI to present and discuss any methodological, theoretical or policy-orientated aspect of their research; a ‘projects and methods group’, where presentations are made on projects in progress or methodological issues; and 'papers in progress', that aims to encourage and support staff and postgraduate students who are preparing papers and research chapters for publication.
Members of the CCRI staff run a Winter School, which is aimed specifically at the needs of research students. Its main aim is to deliver advanced training in research methods, inter-disciplinary approaches and theoretical constructs, as well as providing an opportunity for students to present their research to a sympathetic audience. It also aims to foster knowledge exchange and debate between students, as well as between staff / outside speakers and students. Similarly, the CCRI Summer School, which is run by the student community within the CCRI as an informal one-day event that allows for the discussion of ‘hot’ topics facing students as they undertake their research.
This close association with the staff of the CCRI helps ensure that research students feel supported and part of a larger research community. This relationship is further enhanced as students also have the opportunity to be actively involved in contract research projects being undertaken by the CCRI.
Prospective students are encouraged to contact James Kirwan to discuss their research ideas.
Case Study, Recent graduate, Julie Urquhart
"I graduated from the CCRI in 2010 after completing an ESRC CASE 1+3 Masters in Research Methods and PhD. My PhD, entitled 'Public benefits from private forests and woodland in England: investigating the opportunities for public good enhancement' was co-funded by the Forestry Commission and supervised by Dr Paul Courtney (CCRI) and Professor Bill Slee (Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen). While at the CCRI I was also given the opportunity to work on several contract research projects for clients such as the Forestry Commission, Defra and English Heritage. One project, commissioned by Defra, as part of their SAIF (Sustainable Access to Inshore Fisheries) programme, looked at the social impacts of inshore fishing in England. This led to a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Greenwich working for 2.5 years on the Interreg 4a ERDF-funded CHARM III project, exploring the social and cultural importance of marine fishing for coastal communities in England and France. Alongside the CHARM research, I have also co-written 6 funding bids over the past year, as well as organising and hosting an international conference in April 2011 in Greenwich for over 100 delegates (www.gre.ac.uk\fisheries)."