Law, Decolonisation and Climate Change


College of Business and Law at the University of the West of England in Bristol invites applications for a fully funded PhD studentship in environmental law on the topic of “Law, Decolonisation and Climate Change”.

Closing date for applications: 23 January 2023.

Start date of this studentship: 1 April 2023

Studentship details

Historical responsibility for climate change is at the heart of climate change discourse. This includes degradation of the environment facilitated by states of the Global North, decades past. While the phenomenon of climate change is no doubt a global threat, it is arguably being borne disproportionately by those who live in the Global South, where vulnerability to climate change is generally high and adaptation capacity is low. Famine, floods, displacement are the consequences of the unbridled resource extraction and consumption from the Global North, a process with its roots in the systemic exploitation of people and planet by old colonial powers.

With the sight firmly on the future of the legal framework needed for successful climate action, we invite PhD projects that include a decolonial perspective to address systemic inequities and strengthen global adaptation to climate change. Your PhD project proposal should be set out under or across the following topics:

  • Climate change litigation and law
  • Ecocide and climate change law
  • Loss and damage from climate change (legal perspective)
  • Climate change law & displacement.

The studentship reflect ongoing commitment of the College of Business and Law at UWE to the development of its doctoral programmes. 

Prospective student will be based in the Bristol Business School, which is home to several multidisciplinary research groups.

Doctoral students at the College benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from UWE Doctoral Academy, including extensive professional development programme, research skills training and careers advice. Find out more about the Doctoral Academy.

For an informal discussion about the project proposal please contact Dr Onita Das at

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please contact Director of Doctoral Research, Dr Pawel Capik at


Studentship is available from 1 April 2023 for three years, subject to satisfactory progress, and includes tax exempt stipend at £17,668 per annum. 

Full-time home/international tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


Applicants must have at least 2.1 degree in a law or cognate discipline, and preferably Masters degree (with average programme mark of no less than 65%, UK grading scale or international equivalent). 

A recognised English language qualification is required. IELTS score of 7.0 overall, or equivalent.

How to apply

  • Prepare your research proposal (no more than 5 pages all-inclusive; font size 11, 1.5-spacing, 2-inch margins). This should ideally happen in consultation with the potential supervisor.
  • You should contact the potential supervisor with an advanced draft of the proposal to confirm they are willing to support your application.
  • Submit your formal application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-APR-FBL03

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 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

Closing date for applications: 23 January 2023 18:00 pm (UK time).

Further Information

Interviews will take place in February. If you have not heard from us by 31 January 2023, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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