A Supportive Research Environment
Over the past 25 years the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) has supervised over 30 students to the successful completion of their PhD. The CCRI has a thriving research student community, with students studying on both a full-time and part-time basis. Many of our former students have gone on to distinguished careers in academia, the third and private sectors.
Research Degrees 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 take part in.
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, external speakers and students.
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.
Case Study – 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 (CCRI and latterly the James Hutton 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.”
In 2017, Julie returned to the CCRI as a Senior Research Fellow.
- Food, farming and agri-environment
- Heritage, landscape and rural development
- Economy and society
- Sustainable environments and governance
Pathways to a Research Degree
- Full-time over 3 years
- Part-time over 5-7 years
- PhD with publications
In addition, studentships are sometimes built into research projects. Where this is the case, they will be advertised through these pages as well as in the Guardian and on jobs.ac.uk. An MPhil or PhD will open the door to work in fulltime research, management posts in a wide range of rural and environmental organisations or to careers in local authorities or government agencies concerned with rural issues. Research Degrees are primarily carried out through individual supervision.
As an MPhil or PhD student you will critically evaluate an approved topic, resulting in an independent contribution to knowledge and demonstrate an understanding of research methods through a thesis and coursework. For the PhD you will also be required to make an independent and original contribution to knowledge.
Other options are Masters of Research (MRes) which is a taught course or the Masters by Research (MSc) which is entirely project based.
Contact: Dr Matt Reed firstname.lastname@example.org
Prospective students are encouraged to contact Dr Matt Reed to discuss their ideas.