PhD: Exploring Cultural Modes of Forecasting Rainfall and Droughts in Rural Zimbabwe using Indigenous Knowledge

Coventry University
Coventry, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship with the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience.

Project Details

Climate change is causing increasing disruption in farming systems in Africa; lives are being lost both directly and through disrupted harvests. The aim of this project is to safeguard rural communities from extremes of climate change by more effective understanding and use of indigenous knowledge for forecasting rainfall and droughts in a fragile region of Zimbabwe.

The dual-challenges of climate change and food insecurity are addressed through exploring the interplay of indigenous and modern knowledge to empower local communities to make appropriate decisions. The GCRF challenge area of sustainable societies is aligned to - by building resilience and action on short-term environmental shocks and long-term environmental change, as well as aligning with STG 13 Climate Action. Taking a multi- and trans-disciplinary approach, the project combines meteorology and agronomy with ethnoscience and environmental humanities, and uses action research with community stakeholders. This study’s importance is its contribution of new understanding to the significantly growing field of local knowledge in climate sciences.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
    PLUS the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component.
  • Knowledge of the study location

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.