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BUDMC PhD Students

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James Stride

PhD Title: The Cultural Challenges of Disaster: Creating a High Reliability Organisation in a large, complex, multi-national, multi-cultural organisation.

James is undertaking a research PhD with BUDMC investigating the concept of High Reliability Organisations (HRO) in a complex, multicultural, multinational environment. His research focus is on understanding cultural factors and their impact on information exchange in an HRO such as a large complex ship. The research will have wider applicability for other complex operations which are reliant on multinational teams.


Yue Zhang

PhD Title: Evaluating Hotel Resilience: Understanding Effective Disaster Management of Hotels in China.

Yue’s PhD research aims to evaluate hotel resilience from a human factor perspective by exploring the complex relationship between entrepreneurial resilience of hotels agents and hotels human resource management in China. More importantly, it will develop understanding of how human factors in hotel resilience can be better achieved in order to effectively enhance hotel disaster management in China.

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Huda Al Maashari

PhD Title: Building Private Health Sector Resilience in Oman: An Evaluation of Effective Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Health Emergency Management. 

Huda's research focuses on proposing recommendations for building a PPP framework for a systematic, organized and regulated partnership with the private sector in the medical and public health disaster management field using Oman as a case study. While the study focuses on the Oman case, it may help other similar healthcare systems to adopt its recommendations as per their situation.

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Suzanne Gosling

PhD Title: Talking reform, but not doing reform? Investigating the international humanitarian dynamics of humanitarian reform in the health sector of humanitarian assistance.

Suzanne has developed an interest in the impact humanitarian aid has on countries and beneficiaries. The aim of this study is to critically evaluate whether institution dynamics have created a path dependency that itself has unintentionally become an issue to reform, and whether the system needs a substantial reform of their humanitarian resources, to ensure it is effective for those the response was intended to serve.

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Peter Dawes

PhD Title: The role of public policy in drowning prevention.

As a former lifeguard and rescue helicopter crew Peter has had a life long interest in water safety with a career working within lifesaving organisations in Australia and the UK, including Surf Life Saving Queensland and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The aim of the research is to investigate the conceptual and practical parameters of establishing an effective, comprehensive and coordinated public policy framework for drowning prevention in the UK in order to improve the understanding of how public policy can drive action that can enhance the implementation of drowning prevention strategies. 


Lubna Al Ibrahim

PhD Title: Investigating Disaster Risk Reduction in the Public Sector in the Sultanate of Oman: Exploring new approaches to risk assessment to enhance the Omani public health resilience. 

Lubna is a Doctor of Medicine with a background in primary healthcare. She currently works in the Ministry of Health Oman, as the focal point between the Ministry and the World Health Organisation. Having completed her MSc in Disaster Management in 2019 she is now working towards her PhD. 


Grace Kingsbury

PhD Title: The Scandinavian Resilience Incongruity: Can Societal Safety and Widespread Resilience Co-Exist in Times of Crisis?

Grace’s research interests are impacted by the notion of commonly accepted notions and paradigms being contrary to what was assumed. Grace hopes to develop an alternative to the current understanding of the relationship between safety and resilience, and apply it to the way in which disasters and crises are handled in Scandinavia, and other so-called ‘safe’ regions.

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Elecia Bethune

PhD Title: Real Time Resilience: A smart approach to Tourism Destination Resilience.

Elecia has a keen interest in matters of governance and has an interest in the strategic management of government, approaching solutions through the lens of innovation. It is this thinking that has guided her research interest. Her specific focus is on connecting the disparate areas of organisational resilience, smartness and real time. While her current focus is Tourism, it is her aim that this framework will become a benchmark and will advance and position resilience thinking as part of strategic management across industries.

BUDMC PhD Alumni

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Dr Justyna Janicka

Thesis Title: International Norm Diffusion? Durable Solutions and Displaced Persons from Post-War Bosnia and Herzegovina – 2000-2010.

The aim of my PhD study was to investigate the linkages and misalignments between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) ‘top-down’ policy development on durable solutions with a detailed exploration of the ‘bottom-up’ views of actual refugees and displaced migrants. Refugee groups have significant political capacity and considerable interest in shaping durable solutions to suit their needs. However, my thesis argued that evidence suggests that there is insufficient awareness among refugees on how the development of policy at UNHCR level are actually informed by the refugee perspectives. There are notable asymmetries between the policy development of UNHCR and the actual perspectives of refugees that can explain why aspects of UNHCR’s durable solutions continue to be controversial and not always that successful.

Summary of results:

The thesis, in particular, provides a contribution to knowledge in identifying this relevant group as potential norm entrepreneurs. Second, the thesis also shows how UNHCR plays a very important role in the entire process of serving refugees, from orientation and assistance upon arrival to registration and involvement in the status determination process, to the search for durable solutions such as naturalisation, third country resettlement, or voluntary repatriation. The thesis, therefore, re-affirms that studies of the role of UNHCR in delivering durable solutions represent an important contribution to knowledge. Third, and nevertheless, the findings in this study also suggest that although UNHCR is continually portrayed as a powerful entity involved in nearly every aspect of refugee matters, the organisation’s dependency on ‘top-down’ policies, donors and host states limits this power.

As my findings demonstrate, central to forging any long-lasting solution enhancing the effectiveness of the policy of durable solutions requires engaging refugees and their home or host governments in dialogue.

Career plans:

I have a passion for communicating knowledge to different audiences and telling people’s stories of resilience and survival in difficult times, as shown in my research. It is with enthusiasm that I would like to pursue a career in academia. I am keen to develop my academic career in a university setting or research institution as a teaching fellow or a postdoctoral researcher. The dream is to contribute all my research and teaching efforts to international policy and development.


Dr Gunn-Mari Holdo

Thesis Title: Disaster Nursing or Nursing in Disaster: A Case Study Approach to Investigate the Future Requirements of Disaster Nursing in Norway.

The aim of my PhD study was to undertake a critical evaluation of nurses’ role in disasters and mass casualty events with particular reference to remote community settings. In rural arctic northern regions of Norway, in the small communities, nurses are often the health professional with the highest medical competence and given the extent of a disaster there will always be a necessity for all nurses in a municipality to be involved in assisting the community. Therefore, my thesis argued that nurses in particular, are important in order to reduce the effect of a disaster on the affected population and to grow awareness of disaster in order to facilitate and open up discussion in relation to ‘Disaster Nursing’. Disaster Nursing (DN) can be defined as providing holistic nursing to affected populations in all phases of a disaster. A Disaster Nursing (DN) and more generalist Nursing in Disaster (ND) Conceptual Framework (DN-ND) was introduced to understand the routes and processes for developing more effective disaster nursing organisation and education.

Summary of results:

The study demonstrates that there are many challenges, some of a generic type, others quite specific to the region, for Disaster Nursing in rural northern Norway. It is clearly recognised that there must be a change in attitude towards nurses and that their expertise and proficiency should be fully utilized through participation in for example the development of the Municipal Health Preparedness Plans and Municipal Disaster Plans. Nevertheless, the study also uncovers and develops an approach for organizing and educating nurses in and for this region, to deliver health care that will be required if a disaster strikes, despite harsh weather conditions, difficult transportation and large distances between health care centres of any kind. This approach is established from the Disaster Nurse (DN) and Nursing in Disaster (ND) conceptual framework, adapted to the regional conditions as well as adjusted to be of generic value using the contribution from the interviews of the nurses and leaders working in arctic rural northern Norway. The present study implies that overall preparation and mitigation of a potential disaster or mass casualty event in northern rural regions of Norway could be improved. These would require investment in equipment, infrastructure and education, but they are essential in order to increase rural resilience.

Career plans:

My passion for improving the nursing profession as shown by my research is a result of my work as a Lecturer at the Nursing education of the Arctic University in Norway. I am keen to develop my career as an academic in further research, and Disaster Nursing is a good example which demonstrates why university academics must carry out research in nursing and areas akin to nursing. My hope for the future is that more research into nursing and disaster will bring the nursing profession to the forefront and give Disaster Nursing the place it deserves.


BUDMC has a thriving and vibrant research community, with a number of part-time and full-time doctoral researchers. If you are interested in completing a PhD with BUDMC please reach out to a member of our team

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