Global plastics: Decolonizing environmental literacies

Global plastics: Decolonizing environmental literacies

Plastics Mia Perry 2018 Shortlisted 

Project Summary: This project seeks to understand the challenges, impacts and responses to a global problem – plastic pollution – by using a comparative approach in Scotland and Uganda. Drawing on decolonial and postcolonial theories, and working in collaboration with community organisations and cultural practices in each location, this project challenges the predominant unidirectional approach to development-related research and asks the following questions across sites in the global North and South:

  • How is plastic understood and managed? 
  • What are the environmental and social impacts of plastic use? 
  • In what ways can a connected geographical imagination and decolonised environmental literacy contribute to ethical sustainable approaches to global problems?

Project Team: Dr Perry and Prof Sharp will co-supervise this project which will be based in the School of Education, College of Social Science. Perry and Sharp bring together a unique combination of postcolonial approaches to environmental and geographical literacy that promises to contribute to the academic literature in both education, human geography, and international development research. 

This project will be enriched and supported by the Sustainable Futures in Africa Network (of which Perry is co-Director), providing a strong set of existing links in Uganda; the Glasgow Centre of International Development (of which Perry and Sharp are active members); and the Centre for Research and Development in Adult and Lifelong Learning (CR&DALL). 

Person specification: This studentship is open to candidates of any nationality – UK, EU or International.

Applicants should demonstrate the following:

Academic qualifications:

  • Undergraduate Degree - 2:1/1st in Education or Geography or relevant subject area
  • Master’s Degree - Merit /Distinction
  • Demonstrated existing interest and engagement in the broad subject area of this project


  • Previous relevant academic/employment/industry/other experience in education, geography, or a relevant area
  • work in international contexts
  • work in interdisciplinary contexts


  • resilience and problem-solving skills
  • independence and ability to collaborate and function as part of a team
  • openness to difference (intellectually and empirically)
  • ability to work in community contexts and public engagement

Application Process: In the first instance, prospective applicants should contact Dr Mia Perry to discuss your eligibility. Applicants may submit applications via email to Dr Mia Perry up until the application deadline of 5.00pm, Friday 11 January 2019.

Full applications should be sent to with the subject line ‘The global challenge of plastic: decolonizing environmental literacies’.