The Institute for Water Futures (IWF) is an interdisciplinary Institute which brings together experts from sciences, social sciences, humanities and public policy to support sustainable water futures to identify transformative, innovative and robust strategies to resolve the water challenges of today and tomorrow.
The Fenner School of Environment and Society has a large, dynamic community of PhD students who are provided with a high quality work environment. Students are encouraged to collaborate widely and attend national and international conferences.
We have two potential PhD opportunities to participate in the IWF research, and in particular contribute to an Australia Research Council funded project Foresight in times of disruption: Advancing the theory and practice of anticipatory governance in water resource management.
Applicants are expected to hold or be seeking an APA or equivalent scholarship. A generous top up scholarship of AUD 10 000 p.a. is offered per project. All fieldwork costs will be covered by the project.
Mid-year start 2020 is preferred, for application details see https://science.anu.edu.au/study/how-apply/how-apply-doctor-philosophy-phd.
PhD Project 1: Anticipatory capacity in Australian NRM
This project will identify the dimensions of anticipatory capacity that are needed to enable Australia’s NRM regions to prepare for environmental disruption. The project will primarily revolve around a capacity assessment survey of the 54 NRM regions that will to serve multiple objectives: 1) to identify if, where, and what types of foresight processes have been used, and the challenges faced in implementation and integration into decision-making processes; 2) to identify perceived capacity building needs related to foresight, and preferred approaches to capacity building; and 3) to identify individuals or organisations interested in participating in the development of capacity building materials for Australian NRM regions. This PhD project meets the broader goals of the DECRA by contributing an understanding of the current anticipatory capacities, and those that are needed across Australia’s NRM Regions. It is envisaged that this project will involve a partnership with NRM Regions Australia.
Experience with mixed methods social research methods, particularly interviews and surveys is highly desirable. Expertise in environmental governance, natural resource management, water resource management or related field required. Experience engaging with diverse NRM stakeholders, and developing and implementing workshops is desirable.
PhD Project 2: Foresight in water resource management
This project will undertake three in depth case studies of participatory foresight processes that have been undertaken in the Murray Darling Basin. The project will focus on the governance conditions, capacities, challenges and opportunities of to foresight into existing decision-making processes. It will consider whether these processes have enabled participants to conceptualise the future and integrate action pathways into existing strategies, plans, or policies. The case studies will primarily be compiled through interview data, as well as project documentation and any related planning documents. This project contributes to the overarching goals of the DECRA through providing insights from to inform the design of capacity building materials, as well as in-depth analysis of the efficacy of different participatory foresight methods within the MDB. Three potential case studies have been identified, building on existing relationships with State Governments and the MDBA.
Experience with qualitative social research methods, particularly interviews is highly desirable. Expertise in environmental governance, natural resource management, water resource management or related field required. Experience engaging with diverse NRM stakeholders, and developing and implementing workshops is desirable.