Science for Humanitarian Emergencies & Resilience (SHEAR) is an international research programme jointly funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). SHEAR focuses on four areas: disaster risk assessment (mapping and analyses), sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasting, disaster risk monitoring, and the integration of these into practical decision making.

The SHEAR Studentship Cohort (SSC) consists of funding for 13 PhD studentships and aims to complement and integrate further the current SHEAR-funded projects, with a particular focus on providing the students with excellent opportunities to gain transferable skills, to conduct original and scientifically excellent research, and to contribute to impact creation beyond the existing SHEAR projects.

Current SHEAR studentships available

Imperial College London

Project TitleSupervisors
Interactive visualization and communication of hydrological information to support multi-level natural hazard reduction and resilience building
Read the project advert: Imperial_InteractiveVis

Leveraging interactive web technologies such as infographics and social networks to enhance the flow of information between different actors in a complex development context.
Wouter Buytaert
Low-cost sensor networks for flood and drought monitoring and forecasting
Read the project advert: Imperial_LowcostSensors

Developing the next generation of real-time sensor networks to support participatory monitoring of water resources and water-related risks in a development context
Wouter Buytaert
Currently available SHEAR studentships at Imperial College London
Summary of the table's contentsExploring earth observation data to map and predict useful and accessible biomass for pastoralist communities.

King’s College London

Project TitleSupervisors
Cascading vulnerability in the Eastern Himalayas: disasters, politics and poverty     
Read the project advert: Kings_Cascading
Amy Donovan
George Adamson
Understanding transboundary impacts of multi-hazard early warning systems and their cultural context
Read the project advert: Kings_Transboundary
Amy Donovan
George Adamson
Bayesian networks for multi-hazard risk assessment in the Himalaya as a way of improving early warnings
Read the project advert: Kings_Bayesian
Amy Donovan
Bruce Malamud
Evolution and memory of early-warning institutions for natural hazards in South Asia   
Read the project advert: Kings_EvolutionMemory      
George Adamson
Amy Donovan
Serious Games and Early Warning for Natural Hazards in South Asia
Read the project advert: Kings_SeriousGames 
Bruce Malamud
Amy Donovan
Currently available SHEAR studentships at King's College London
Summary of the table's contentsExploring earth observation data to map and predict useful and accessible biomass for pastoralist communities.

University of Birmingham

Project TitleSupervisors
Actionable knowledge for disaster risk reduction: understanding social vulnerability to enhance community resilience to natural hazards
Read the project advert: Birmingham_Actionable1

Doctoral studentship to develop new understandings of community social vulnerability to natural hazards in low and middle income countries (India, Nepal, Mozambique)

Julian Clark

Actionable knowledge for disaster risk reduction: collaborative governance to enhance community resilience to natural hazards
Read the project advert: Birmingham_Actionable2

Doctoral studentship to develop new forms of collaborative governance for disaster risk reduction in low and middle income countries (India, Nepal, Mozambique)
Julian Clark
Understanding water-related multi-hazards in a sustainable development context
Read the project advert: Birmingham_Understanding

This innovative PhD aims to assess hydrometeorological drivers, river basin controls and local impacts of hydrologically-induced landslides and floods in a multi-hazard framework.
 David M. Hannah
Integrating low-cost Wireless Sensor Networks into hydrological risk governance for community-based disaster resilience building in developing countries
Read the project advert: Birmingham_Integrating

This PhD project aims to examine environmental sensing, information and communication technologies for hydrological hazard mitigation in a governance and sustainable development context
 Feng Mao
Currently available SHEAR studentships at the University of Birmingham
Summary of the table's contentsExploring earth observation data to map and predict useful and accessible biomass for pastoralist communities.

University of Reading

Project TitleSupervisors
Application of global scale forecasting systems for local scale early warning in Zambia
Improved early warning to support Forecast-based Financing preparedness actions in Zambia
Applications for this project are now closed 
Elisabeth Stephens
Hannah Cloke
Use of sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasts during ENSO phases for early action before hydrometerological drought in Southern Africa
Applications for this project are now closed

Improving the production, dissemination and use of cutting-edge S2S forecasts to build resilience to ENSO and other drivers of hydrometeorological drought in southern Africa
Nick Klingaman
Elisabeth Stephens
Seamless prediction of flood hazard in Nepal for forecast-based financing
Advancing capacity for multi-hazard early warning in Nepal         
Applications for this project are now closed 
Elisabeth Stephens
Hannah Cloke
A model for impact-based flood early warning in Uganda
Linking data on hazard, vulnerability and exposure to develop impact-based early warning in Uganda
Applications for this project are now closed
Ros Cornforth
Elisabeth Stephens
Extended range hydrometerological forecasting for improved flood early warning in Bangladesh
Supporting earlier flood preparedness in Bangladesh
Applications for this project are now closed
Elisabeth Stephens
Hannah Cloke
Early warning of flash flood and landslide risk in S Asia
Assessing coincidence, predictability and early warning potential using global scale forecasting systems
Applications for this project are now closed
Hannah Cloke
Elisabeth Stephens
Currently available SHEAR studentships at the University of Reading
Summary of the table's contentsExploring earth observation data to map and predict useful and accessible biomass for pastoralist communities.

University of Sussex

Project TitleSupervisors
Resilience and pastoralism: satellite-based decision support systems for pastures
Read the project advert: Sussex_Resilience

Exploring earth observation data to map and predict useful and accessible biomass for pastoralist communities.
Pedram Rowhani
Alexander Antonarakis 
Seamless seasonal to subseasonal forcasts of flood risk for the River Tana, Kenya
Read the project advert: Sussex 2_Seasonal_SSC
Martin Todd
The political economy of Forecast-Based Action in the context of the 'new humanitarianism' paradigm: a multi-scalar analysis of anticipatory intervention
Read the project advert: Sussex 3_Political Economy
Dom Kniveton
Peter Newell 
Currently available SHEAR studentships at the University of Sussex
Summary of the table's contentsExploring earth observation data to map and predict useful and accessible biomass for pastoralist communities.

ELIGIBILITY

The NERC eligibility criteria apply for most of the studentships but a number of international studentships are available. For more details on eligibility and university entry criteria, refer to the description of individual projects listed below.

HOW TO APPLY

The studentships are hosted by 5 different UK universities, listed above. Click on the university to see a list of projects, and on the project title to get a document with more details about each project, including contact details. Contact individual project supervisors for further information about the application procedure.  

Students are allowed to apply for more than one project. However, if you apply for projects supervised by different supervisors, then you should make supervisors aware. This will not affect your chances of winning a scholarship.

The deadline for application is 15 October 2017. However, projects for which no suitable candidate has been found by the deadline will continue to be advertised in the list above, until the position is filled. Studentships will start in February 2018 at the latest.

Background of the SHEAR programme

Science for Humanitarian Emergencies & Resilience (SHEAR) is a £19 million, five-year (2016-2021) international research programme jointly funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The overall SHEAR programme focuses on four thematic areas: disaster risk assessment (mapping and analyses), sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasting, disaster risk monitoring, and the integration of these into practical decision making. The programme is targeting lower to middle income countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. SHEAR currently funds via their first call 4 Consortium Grants, each of which has a budget of approximately £2M and began in September to December 2016 for a four-year duration.

Current SHEAR funded projects
AcronymTitleLead PI and institute
 Landslide EVO Citizen science for landslide risk reduction and disaster resilience building in mountain regions Dr Wouter Buytaert, Imperial College London
 LANDSLIP Landslide multi-hazard risk assessment, Preparedness and early warning in South Asia: integrating meteorology, landscape and society Prof Bruce D Malamud, King’s College London / Dr Helen Reeves, BGS
 FATHUM Forecasts for AnTicipatory HUManitarian action Dr Elisabeth Stephens, University of Reading
 ForPac Towards Forecast-based Preparedness Action: Probabilistic forecast information for defensible preparedness decision-making and action  Prof Martin Todd, University of Sussex
Table 1 - Consortium Grants
Summary of the table's contents