Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures – Great Flood Stories and What They Teach Us: Applying Lessons from Cross-Cultural Diluvial Traditions (closing 24 January 2024)

Applications are invited for a funded 4-year PhD studentship to start in September 2024. Closing date for applications is Wednesday, 24 January 2024. Apply for this scholarship.

This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious, talented and enthusiastic researcher to conduct interdisciplinary research in order to advance thinking within the area of blue-green humanities.

Despite being one of the world’s oldest narratives, stories about Great Floods have yet to receive sustained critical attention. No synthesis has brought together the increasingly precious adaptation and mitigation lessons held within the anthropological, literary and historical intercultural responses to past floods. This PhD sets out to mine their potential lessons for the present. It will set out applied historical lessons of global value resulting from analysis of the Great Flood stories that span the ages through Indigenous South and North America, the Near East, the Greco-Roman world, and Mesoamerica.

This exciting PhD project will address this environmental history research gap via detailed examination centred upon the context-specific elements from flood stories that made the flood mitigation/adaptation options successful (or not) within sources such as the “earth-diver’ motif in the Northeastern United States, the Maya Deluge Myth and the Four Flood Myth Traditions of Classical China.

The student will analyse international historical, ethnographic, and paleoclimatology sources, oral history collections and academic literature on Great Flood stories and conduct semi-structured interviews/policy document analysis on present-day flood resilience in a specific flood-prone region.

They will be encouraged to produce a policy report, article and a short book publication such as a Cambridge Element (a book series within Treatied Spaces Research Group). The aim of each output will be to connect historical knowledge to present-day practice. The PhD will also have its own suite of impact-orientated activities designed to tie the flood experiences of populations within Yorkshire to the flood experiences of communities across the globe. The selected student will be mentored to bid for further funds from subject associations and from HIKE to advance these.

If you have any queries about this project, please address them to [email protected], rather than contacting the supervisor directly. This is to support our inclusive recruitment practices (please see ‘How to apply’ section below for more information). Our Water Cultures Professional Services Team will liaise with Supervisors and ensure you receive responses to your queries.

How to apply

Apply for this scholarship. Closing date for applications is Wednesday, 24 January 2024.

You will need to complete this Centre for Water Cultures Supplementary Application Form which you can download here and upload your completed form, alongside the other supporting documents requested below.

As part of our inclusive practices, the Centre for Water Cultures adopts a process of assessing applications purely based on skills and attributes and does not consider any personal details. As such we ask applicants to remove any personal details from the Supplementary Form which is used by the Panel to assess and select applicants for interview. The form asks for details of your education, training and employment history as well as some specific questions about your motivations and research experience and interests. It is very important that you do not include any personally identifying information such as such as name, age, gender, ethnic group, nationality etc.

To complete your application, you should upload the following documents through the University of Hull student application portal (you will be directed there via the ‘Apply Now’ link below):

PhD Scholarships in the Water Cultures research cluster

For this recruitment round, you may apply either to a named project, or develop your own research proposal. Follow the links to find out more about the other projects available:

Animal psychology, climate change and public engagement

Cultural responses to the challenges facing small scale fisher communities around the UK

Dissecting the climate, water and health nexus for people with disabilities

Narrative Waves: Unveiling the power of class-based, place-attachment to water through creative, intergenerational storytelling for climate action

Uncovering the hidden wetland histories of the Humber Estuary from the Late Iron Age to the Early Medieval Period

Water, music, and environmental beliefs and behaviours

Open Call for Proposals under the Water Culture Centre’s Three Research Strands

Please note that you can only apply for one project in the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures, either via a research proposal or a named project.

Research Training for PhDs at the Centre for Water Cultures

The Centre for Water Cultures offers an unrivalled doctoral training scheme designed to promote open-minded and outward-facing researchers, ready to collaborate across disciplines, and to partner with industry and other non-academic organisations, in the search for innovative solutions to today’s water challenges. Doctoral scholars will benefit from a dedicated placement scheme with opportunities to undertake placements of 1-3 months with one of our range of national and international water, heritage, and creative industry partners, designed to develop the career ambitions of our scholars within and beyond academia. They will benefit from a dedicated programme of invited talks, masterclasses, and workshops delivered by speakers from academia and industry. They will also receive bespoke support for career development before and beyond graduation, delivered by our interdisciplinary teams of supervisors and via our mentoring programme, which offers one-to-one support for professional and career development.

The University of Hull is uniquely positioned to deliver doctoral research training in the green-blue humanities. No other UK university offers Hull’s combination of an international reputation in water research, significant expertise and experience in community engagement and cultural sector evaluation (gained as Hull UK City of Culture’s principal research partner), along with a rich maritime history and long experience living with complex water challenges.

The Centre for Water Cultures is housed in Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute (EEI), a world leader in research into global water risks and resilience, including in relation to climate change, flooding, marine pollution and toxic water, and home to state of the art research facilities including the Total Environment Simulator (TES), experimental research flumes and high-performance computing running sophisticated hydro models. Doctoral Scholars at the Centre for Water Cultures will benefit from access to the EEI’s facilities and research environment, and from world-class expertise in water-related research in the arts, humanities, social, physical, and health sciences at Hull.

Important Links

Full details

Application portal

Supplementary Application Form (required in place of your Personal Statement)