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Award details

From ‘Feed The Birds’ to ‘Do Not Feed the Animals’ Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology PhD: Wellcome Trust/SSIS studentship. Ref: 4046

About the award

Project Description:

Signs stating ‘Do not feed the animals’ are ubiquitous in zoos, national parks and urban spaces. They stress that uncontrolled feeding by people can affect animal health, alter wild animal behaviour and create public hygiene and nuisance issues. However, humans appear to have a widespread and longstanding proclivity to feed other animals. Many ancient cults fed animals, some modern religions require it, and feeding is often actively encouraged as a tourist attraction. Millions of people feed wildlife in gardens and in 2018, the pet-food industry was worth £2.7 billion in the UK alone. DNFTA will explore the human fascination with feeding animals - and explore the consequences of this feeding for the shared health of humans, other animals and wider environments.

DNFTA is a collaboration between Exeter’s Departments of Archaeology; and Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology; alongside partners at the University of Roehampton (Anthropology), University of Reading (Geography and Environmental Science), and National Museums of Scotland (Department of Natural Sciences). 
In line with the transdisciplinary scope of DNFTA, these projects will bring theory, ideas and methods from multiple disciplines to bear upon the above questions. The projects will be co-supervised by project staff from the sociology, anthropology, and bioarcheology teams. The candidates will join a cohort of early career researchers joining DNFTA in early 2021, including two anthropology PhDs currently advertised at the University of Roehampton. They will be expected to collaborate closely with project colleagues across all disciplines and work with external stakeholders in the co-production of their research.

These fully funded PhD studentships will support projects investigating the history and governance of animal feeding, focusing specifically on: 

i) Following Animal Feed: Nutrition, regulation and industry.

This project will use qualitative social science methods (e.g. interviewing; participant/observation; media and documentary analysis) to investigate animal nutrition science and feed industries in the UK. How have the sciences of animal feeding mutually shaped the industrial production and consumption of food for domestic and wild companion species?  In turn, what roles does this knowledge play in the practical governance of animal feeding?
Suitable candidates will have a Master’s degree or equivalent research experience in a relevant field (e.g. science and technology studies, human geography, environmental social science or policy studies).  Candidates with a first degree from outside the social sciences must have a Master’s or equivalent research experience in a social science subject.

ii) Feeding Time at the Zoo: From postwar to the present day.

This project will use qualitative social science and contemporary history methods (oral history interviewing; archival research; media and documentary analysis) to investigate how animal feeding in zoos has changed since the mid-twentieth century. How have keepers, veterinarians and biologists worked together to understand and improve feeding practices; and how have these concerns interacted with the interests and activities of zoo visitors?
Suitable candidates will have a Master’s degree or equivalent research experience in a relevant field (e.g. history of science, technology and medicine; science and technology studies, human geography, environmental social science or policy studies). 

Candidates with a first degree in a natural science must have a Master’s or equivalent research experience in a social science or humanities subject.

For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact the primary supervisor, Dr. Angela Cassidy

Entry requirements

For Studentship i)

You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent. At the point of applying, you should hold, or expect to hold, a relevant Master's degree, or have equivalent research experience in a relevant field (e.g. science and technology studies; human geography, sociology, anthropology, environmental social science or policy studies). If your undergraduate degree is not in social science, a Masters degree or relevant research experience in a social science subject is required. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the English language requirements and provide proof of proficiency. Click here for more information and a list of acceptable alternative tests.

For Studentship ii)

You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent. At the point of applying, you should hold, or expect to hold, a relevant Master's degree, or have equivalent research experience in a relevant field (e.g. history of science, technology and medicine; science and technology studies; human geography; sociology; anthropology; environmental social science; or policy studies). If your undergraduate degree is not in social science or humanities, a Masters degree or relevant research experience in a social science or humanities subject is required. 

1) UK/EU only

This studentship, including full tuition fees and maintenance allowance, is available to UK/EU candidates.

2)  International students can apply and pay the difference in tuition fees.

To meet the residency entry requirements for full funding (tuition fees and a maintenance allowance) you must have:

• Lived in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship
• No restrictions on how long you are able to stay in the UK
• If you are not a UK or EU national, the purpose of your residence in the UK must not be wholly or mainly for full-time education

If you have not resided in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship, you are not eligible for a maintenance allowance so you would need an alternative source of funding for living costs.

To be eligible for fees only funding you must be:

• Ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU
 

How to apply

You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter and details of two academic referees. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project.

You may also be asked to upload verified transcripts of your most recent academic qualification.

Interviews will be held remotely via MS Teams/Zoom week commencing 7 December 2020.

Please quote reference 4046 on your application and in any correspondence about this studentship.

For general information about this studentship and the application process, please contact hass-pgradmissions@exeter.ac.uk.

Interview Date: Week commencing 07/12/20

Summary

Application deadline:30th November 2020
Number of awards:2
Value:[UK/EU and international] tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Wellcome Trust rate of £19,919 per year
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions - 0044 (1392) 723044 hass-pgradmissions@exeter.ac.uk