Communicating risk with communities for local climate change adaptation
This project is in two parts, and funded by a UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship. It is only available to students who have completed their most recent study (within 5 years) at a New Zealand university, prior to April 2023, with additional criteria below.
The project and following PhD will work at the intersection of risk communication and civil engineering, with supervision from Dr Zita Joyce (Media and Communication) and Dr Tom Logan (Civil Engineering & Risk Analysis).
The candidate will work with NZ councils including the Christchurch City Council's Coastal Hazards Adaptation Programme (CHAP) and the Buller District Council’s Climate Adaptation Programme, to develop and test engagement and communication strategies for climate change adaptation. The advisory team has strong partnerships with several NZ councils and are working on their climate risk planning, considering risk to the built, natural, social, and cultural wellbeing domains. Critical to the success of these projects is the risk communication. This is highly technical work with a lot of uncertainty, but engagement is essential for its success.
The project is a unique opportunity to be involved with council engagement processes. In Christchurch, community engagement is scheduled to begin in early 2023.
This scholarship has two parts:
- A 12-week project to scope the research and develop some core skills for the PhD work.
This will include working with the CHAP group to understand the coastal hazards assessment process, and working with the initial community engagement process, evaluating the process and developing a plan for the future.
- A PhD that expands on the outcomes of the initial project, following the multi-year progress of the CHAP, through iterative processes of engagement, evaluation, and planning. The candidate will draw on key processes of formative and evaluative research, theoretical frameworks and case studies in strategic communication to observe, plan, and refine forms of risk communication that are effective for residents, council, and the wider community.
The CCC Adaptation Planning Programme is carried out in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Papatipu Rūnanga, with input from Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd on behalf of Ngāi Tahu. The PhD project will require a bicultural approach in centering these key partnerships in the communicative process and in working with the coastal communities, beginning with communities in the Whakaraupō / Lyttelton Mt Herbert area.
Interdisciplinarity is embedded in this project. The candidate will be an integral part of the CHAP-UC partnership and partnerships with other councils. This work involves co-design and relationships with members of the CDHB, the city parks team, and the infrastructure teams, as well as mana whenua.
How to apply:
You will need to meet the requirements of the UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship, which are specified below.
The nature of the research project means that candidates from a variety of academic backgrounds may be considered, but this would particularly suit candidates with an interest in interdisciplinary work and a background and / or interest in all or any of: communication; climate risk assessment and planning; understanding of potential risk to the built, natural, social, and cultural wellbeing domains
- Qualify for admission to the PhD at UC. In cases where a potential student demonstrates particular promise but does not yet meet the research experience requirement of the PhD (and by prior negotiation with the Dean of Postgraduate Research), accelerated admission to the PhD may be approved;
- Have completed their most recent study (within 5 years) at a New Zealand university, prior to April 2023;
- Exhibit a minimum GPA of 7 in the last two years of study;
- Not be enrolled in a course during the project period, unless prior approval has been obtained from the Dean of Postgraduate Research.
- Be residing in New Zealand.
Interested candidates should email a cover letter outlining your background, interest in the project, how you meet the UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship eligibility criteria, and a CV to Dr Tom Logan firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr Zita Joyce email@example.com
Supervisors: Zita Joyce, Tom Logan
Key qualifications and skills
The nature of the research project means that candidates from a variety of academic backgrounds may be considered, but this would particularly suit candidates with an interest in interdisciplinary work and a background and / or interest in all or any of: communication; climate risk assessment and planning; understanding of potential risk to the built, natural, social, and cultural wellbeing domains.
Does the project come with funding
Yes: UC Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship
The scholarship provides financial assistance for the student at a value of NZ$6,000 for the 12-week project element and a further NZ$28,000 per 120 points of thesis enrolment for 360 points (e.g. per year for three years). In addition to the stipend, the scholarships cover tuition fees for thesis enrolment only, at the Aotearoa New Zealand domestic rate.
Final date for receiving applications
15th February 2023
climate change; risk; adaptation; communication; media; engagement; outreach