Resilient and environmentally-sustainable conservation strategies for conflict-damaged heritage


An exciting opportunity to apply for eight fully funded PhD positions in the College of Arts, Technology and Environment, UWE Bristol.

Ref: 2223-APR-CATE17

The expected start date of these studentships is 1 April 2023.

The closing date for applications is 8 January 2023.

Please note: out of the eight projects being advertised for the CATE Studentships 2022. The projects for funding will be selected based on the merit of applicants following the process outlined below.


Studentship details

Heritage science focussed on conflict damage is an emergent field, thrust into the limelight by the deliberate deformation and destruction of heritage across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Events at these sites have taken centre stage in public awareness of heritage at risk through conflict, while ongoing conflicts continue to inflict untold damage to heritage. 

This collaborative UWE Bristol and Sheffield Hallam University project focusses on stone-built heritage, where exposure to ballistic and/or explosive impacts creates craters as well as subsurface fracture networks and loss of stone matrix density. While stone is a resilient and durable building material in comparison to weaker materials (e.g. wood), it does deteriorate when exposed to stress such as temperature change and moisture movement. Stone-built heritage sites are therefore at risk of natural deterioration, which is substantially accelerated when high-energy events (e.g. a ballistic projectile or blast) impacts the surface. Sensitive and sustainable in situ consolidation techniques to stabilise damaged stonework are therefore urgently needed, that are compatible with the stonework characteristics, the nature of the damage, and the changing climatic conditions the stonework is subjected to. 

The PhD candidate work within the Heritage in the Crossfire team and will use a combination of laboratory tests, fieldwork, and local co-production of knowledge to develop a conservation methodology that works across the most commonly used types of sedimentary stone (sandstone and limestone) and is adaptive enough to cope with changing stresses, while also low-cost and low-tech to facilitate uptake of the technique in conflict areas where resources are limited. 

The successful candidate will be a member of the in the Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience (CWCR).

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Lisa Mol at

You can also contact Professor Jessica Lamond at or Dr Stephen Hall at about the studentship programme.


The studentship is available from 01 April 2023 for a period of three and half years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £17,668 per annum. 

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years. 


Applicants should possess a minimum 2:1 in a related discipline such as environmental science, conservation science, or archaeological science. An MSc degree in a related discipline would be considered an advantage but it is not essential.

An interest in stone-built heritage and conservation challenges is essential.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number  2223-APR-CATE17. 

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 08 January 2023.


Further Information

It is expected that interviews will take place on weeks commencing 20 February 2023. If you have not heard from us by February, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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