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Credit Lewis Clarke

Credit: Lewis Clarke

First SWEEP of PhD studentships in place

As we celebrate the official start of the South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP), there has been some early success as a number of co-funded PhD studentships are confirmed.

As well as delivering a wide range of pioneering impact projects, SWEEP will also co-fund 13 PhD studentships to conduct new and targeted research studies with the potential to make a real-world change.

The studentships will be based with partners across the region to help deliver environmental, business and community impact, and build on strong existing connections with businesses, policy makers and other organisations.

The students will work alongside academic and partner colleagues, and have access to the SWEEP network of Impact Fellows who can share their experience of embedding research into action.

South West Water is one of the first partners to commit to the scheme. Their investment is a 50% contribution to the full cost of one studentship over four years, with SWEEP funding the other 50%. The study will begin in September 2017, and will develop methods to support and inform decisions around investing in the region’s natural capital.

Professor Ian Bateman, SWEEP Project Lead, welcomed the commitment, saying: “I’m delighted to be able to announce this first joint-funding arrangement which demonstrates clearly the strength of commitment from a key SWEEP partner – it’s a great way to kick off the programme and fantastic to see this agreed so early on in the development of the programme. But of course, it’s more than just a financial agreement – what I find really exciting is the commitment to practical involvement in the research that South West Water and other partners are making: SWEEP is above all about impact and about making real-world changes which will improve the sustainability of the region’s economy and help safeguard its natural capital.”

A further PhD studentship has also been confirmed with Clinton Devon Estate. The study will support their work in developing new approaches to land management and intensive agriculture that can help preserve natural resources.

We are now looking to develop further co-funded PhD studentships with SWEEP partners. If you are interested in this opportunity please contact the SWEEP Programme Manager, Dawn Scott, d.m.scott@exeter.ac.uk, 01392 725474.

Date: 14 February 2017

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