Researching the Islands Plan & Benefits to Our Communities

A fully funded 4 year PhD student placement is on offer to interested candidates to get in on groundbreaking work to look at how island communities are affected by national policies.

The Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) will be working with Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and Western Isles (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar) councils and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), to identifying how the Scottish Government’s Islands Plan can benefit island communities. 

The research will investigate the changing relationship between local authorities and governments in Holyrood and Westminster through the implementation of the plan, with a view to understanding how communities can be empowered and engaged in delivering better outcomes and individual wellbeing. 

Andrew Walker, Head of Research, LGIU said:

“This is a truly historic moment for LGIU and the first of what we hope will be many such partnerships for our newly launched Local Democracy Research Centre. We are delighted to bring together LGIU, local government and the research community for this important and exciting project to develop a shared understanding as well as practical insights for local and national policy makers.

We look forward to receiving applications from high calibre students for this project and continuing to build strong relationships in the community such as this.”

The start date for the project is 15th January 2022. All candidates are asked to supply an academic CV and cover letter, explaining their suitability as a candidate, to Professor Donna Heddle, Acting Vice Principal (Research and Impact) and Director of the institute of Northern Studies at the University of Highlands and Islands via The deadline for applications is 12th November 2021 at 5pm.

Dr Beth Mouat, Islands Strategy Director, the University of the Highlands and Islands, said:

Strengthening research activity in the islands is a key theme for our university partnership and we are proud to be building on the significant number of research students already associated with our island based centres and institutes. We are committed to expanding the number of PhD students and the geographical spread of these over the coming years.”

Rendall Doocot with wind turbine in the background Credit Bell


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