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Mooting at Nottingham Law School

Climate Change and Refugee Law

  • School: Nottingham Law School
  • Starting: 2021
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / Self-funded / Fully-funded

Overview

Nottingham Law School is one of the leading providers of academic and professional legal education in the country with an established record of delivering innovative and transformational courses. We are one of the largest law schools in the UK, offering a range of undergraduate degrees, academic and practitioner taught postgraduate courses and a strong research degrees programme. The School has over 100 academic staff and in excess of 2,300 students of whom over 500 are students studying on postgraduate or practitioner courses.

Research is central to the School’s overall mission that enables our work to have an impact upon lives and society locally, nationally and globally. We enjoy a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable research environment, underpinned by a strong research infrastructure. In conjunction with Paragon Law, the School is advertising a fees-only PhD studentship to research the intersection between climate change and refugee law.

Climate change, along with the human displacement and forced migration this creates, has increasingly demanded global attention in recent years. Since 2008, it is estimated that an average of 22.5 million people a year have been displaced by extreme weather events alone. Countless more are displaced due to the slower onslaught of drought, salinization making soil infertile for crop production, and rising sea levels. In 2018, the United Nations Refugee Agency recognized that ‘climate, environmental degradation and natural disasters increasingly interact with the drivers of refugee movements.’

At the same time, the internationally accepted definition of a Refugee (Art 1A Refugee Convention 1951) does not easily apply to those fleeing the consequences of climate change. It is arguable that there is little substantive difference between the position of climate change refugees and those fleeing extreme poverty or economic disadvantage. It is understood that most of those impacted by climate change will be displaced in countries or regions of origin, adding to global inequality and instability. International instruments have tended to focus on resilience and capacity building in these regions. The place of refugee law as part of the solution to such climate change-induced displacement is therefore uncertain and demands scrutiny.

As the issue becomes ever more pressing, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and Paragon Law have agreed to co-sponsor a PhD student undertaking a study researching the intersection between climate change and refugee law.

Both partners have agreed to provide 50% of the funding each for a Home/EU Full-Time student fee to support a PhD on the topic at hand, commencing in October 2021.

While the fee is set at the Home/EU level, this would not preclude an international student from applying; although they would have to find the additional funding to make up the difference between this funding and the full international tuition fee. Please note that the studentship covers fees only; there is no stipend or maintenance payment attached.

The research project will be supervised by Professor David Ong, Dr Helen O’Nions and Dr Ruth Brittle.  We invite applicants to develop their own proposal of up to 2,000 words which seeks to make an original contribution to existing knowledge in the field.

Deadline for applications and 2,000 word proposals: Monday 21 June 2021.

Enquiries in the first instance to the NLS Postgraduate Research Tutor, Dr Helen O’Nions: Helen.O’Nions@ntu.ac.uk.

Supervisors

Dr Helen O'nions

Professor David Ong

Dr Ruth Brittle

Entry qualifications

The application for this is Monday 21 June 2021

Candidates selected for interview will have a strong undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline and relevant work experience and/or a Masters degree in a relevant subject. Preference will be given to those candidates who have undertaken independent academic research as part of their studies.

How to apply

The research project will be supervised by Professor David Ong, Dr Helen O’Nions and Dr Ruth Brittle.  We invite applicants to develop their own proposal of up to 2,000 words which seeks to make an original contribution to existing knowledge in the field.

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

For informal enquiries about this project, please contact: Dr Helen O'nions at Helen.O'nions@ntu.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and Paragon Law have agreed to provide 50% of the funding each for a Home/EU Full-Time student fee to support a PhD on the topic at hand, commencing in October 2021.

While the fee is set at the Home/EU level, this would not preclude an international student from applying; although they would have to find the additional funding to make up the difference between this funding and the full international tuition fee. Please note that the studentship covers fees only; there is no stipend or maintenance payment attached.

Find out about fees and funding for PhD projects.

Guidance and support

Find out about guidance and support for PhD students.

Still need help?

Dr Helen O'nions