Environmental Risk Management under Increasing Extremes and Uncertainty (MERIT)
Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) in collaboration with Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Makerere University, University of Dar es Salaam and Haramaya University are implementing a six year NORHED funded project entitled “Environmental Risk Management under Increasing Extremes and Uncertainty (MERIT)”. The overall objective of the MERIT project is to strengthen capacities of targeted south universities to provide quality education, research and outreach in the field of environmental risk and climate change that meet labor market demands, supports sustainable socio-economic development and national achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. The priority research areas will be Climate smart agriculture, Environment conservation, Risk management and disaster preparedness in Eastern Africa. The project invited interested applicants for 5 Masters scholarships studies tenable at Uganda Martyrs University in the Msc Agro ecology programme. Successful candidates shall be required to start their studies in August 2022.
- Research clusters
Successful candidates shall be required to conduct their masters dissertations in one of the four research clusters of the project. Applicants should indicate the research cluster under which their Masters’ study will be situated.
Research Cluster I – Biophysical Systems and Nature Based Solutions: Cluster I will address better understanding of natural hazard processes under uncertainties socioecological systems of East Africa. Prevalent hazards like landslides, floods, drought will be studied at spatially explicit scales. States and connectivity of biophysical systems covering elements like soils, geology, geomorphology, hydrology, vegetation dynamics, climatic patterns and climate change and land cover will be addressed. It will cover local consequences such as impact on ecosystems, communities, agriculture and livelihood. It will address the biogeochemistry and feedbacks under current and future climatic conditions. Suitable Nature Based Solutions (NBS) packages with potential for risk mitigation will be tested.
Research Cluster II – Socio-Economic/cultural System: Cluster II will address the vulnerability component of risk covering social institutions, livelihood strategies and asset bases and adaptation to risk and climate change stress. Gender issues, social inclusion, networks including state and non-state actors will be tackled. Community resilience/Hazard management at local level taking into consideration constructs and contexts.
Research Cluster III – Risk Governance and policy: Cluster III will interrogate governance and policy arrangements that either constrain or propel effective risk management. Institutional and policy frameworks for environmental risk and climate change governance will be tackled. Issues of legal frameworks, institutional mandates, service delivery structures, state and non-state actors at national and local government levels will be explored including interactions between national and lower governance scales.
Research Cluster IV – Emerging digital technologies and tools for risk management: This cluster will cover a range of new and evolving digital technologies on how they can be harnessed and optimized for risk management at society level. It will entail advances in earth observation, remote sensing and GIS for mapping climate change and environmental risk. Under this cluster, we will interrogate the potential of citizens science to improve resilience. Community level sensor for geohazards monitoring, digital telephone apps such as i-RAIN (http://irain.eng.uci.edu) for sensing insitu rainfall conditions in real-time on the mobile phone,
social media will be covered under this cluster.
- Should hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field to the research clusters indicated above.
- The proposed research should align with the research clusters above.
- Qualifying female candidates and candidates with disabilities will be given priority
- Candidates with a prolific record of publication will also be given priority
- Application procedure
Interested and eligible applicants should submit the following documents;
- A one-page application letter and copies of education certificates
- A motivation statement for a master’s study including total commitment to the programme
- A concept note detailing the proposed research (5 pages maximum). The Concept Note should indicate the research cluster under which the study aligns
- Two recommendation letters from academic referees
- CV of the applicant
- Scope of the scholarship
The MERIT scholarship will cover tuition, stipend, research costs, travel and living costs in Norway, publication costs. The candidates will work in a vibrant research TEAM with experienced and competent scholars from Uganda, Norway, Tanzania and Ethiopia.