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PhD placement opportunity at Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE) and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) are offering a 10 week placement opportunity (35 hours per week) for existing PhD students at Cardiff University. The placement will provide an opportunity for one PhD student to gain experience of consultation with communities in Ystradgynlais or Merthyr Tydfil, working collectively with BBNPA.

The placement

The one-off placement is funded by PLACE and hosted by BBNPA. The student will be co-supervised by Dr Sara MacBride-Stewart (PLACE) and Clare Parsons (BBNPA). The student will contribute to a research project investigating the health and wellbeing in the context of the park, for communities at the periphery of the park. This is an excellent opportunity for current PhD students engaged in work that addresses community and civil society involvement in national park wellbeing initiatives and interventions.

The student will work with Dr MacBride-Stewart and Clare Parsons to undertake fieldwork examining understandings and experiences that underpin community engagement in using a National Park for wellbeing and the barriers to increased participation. The student will gain experience in qualitative interviewing of existing groups in community settings. The programme of work involves working closely with the supervisors and communities, conducting group interviews (via mapping), identification of key themes (knowledge, uses and intergenerational experiences) and report writing.

At the end of the placement the student will produce a qualitative report and 1-page infographic for the community and BBNPA based on the analysis of the group interviews and the consultations. The student will also produce a blog post for PLACE and a placement report (template will be provided).

How to apply

The placement must start by Wednesday 22 May (starting earlier is preferable). It will need to be completed by Wednesday 31 July 2019.

  • PLACE will pay a stipend of a maximum of £2,930.
  • The student may also apply for additional support (up to £500) to cover any travel costs outside of Cardiff associated with the placement.
  • The ability to drive is desirable.
  • There is some flexibility with regards to where the student will be based (depending on fieldwork and the requirements any given day) however a desk and equipment will be provided at both PLACE and BBNPA.

All students wishing to apply should seek permission from their supervisor(s). It is also the student's responsibility to check with their funding body that this placement activity is eligible under the terms and conditions of their studentship.

The application deadline is Wednesday 1 May at 17:00.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 8 May in Cardiff.

Guidance notes and an application form can be obtained by emailing the Sustainable Places Research Institute Manager, Sarah Evans:,