Nibedita S. Ray-Bennett
Associate Professor and Programme Director
University of Leicester
Expertise: Nibedita’s expertise includes exploring the complexity of small-scale and large-scale natural disasters and context-specific disaster risk management underpinned by the theories of vulnerability, human security, disaster risk reduction, organisation and sustainable development in high and low-middle income countries. This engages with the interlinked issues of health, gender, livelihoods, policy analysis, governance, and resilience. Her particular strengths lie in conducting interdisciplinary research, as well as her ability to bring this knowledge into teaching and policy change.
Presently Nibedita is interested in the agenda of reducing disaster deaths (see her latest book Avoidable Deaths). She is hosting a Rutherford Fellow to extend the framework for avoidable deaths in the context of Bangladesh.
Nibedita has BA in English Literature from the University of Delhi (1998), MA in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (2001) and Ph.D. in Sociology from Warwick University (2007).
After obtaining her Ph.D. in Sociology (funded by the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowship), Nibedita joined Northumbria University as an ESRC-Research Associate for a two-year ESRC-DFID funded research project called ‘Exploring the Meaning of Health Security for Disaster Resilience in Bangladesh’ (2007-2009). In 2010, Nibedita returned to the Department of Sociology at Warwick University to teach the MA in Gender and International Development. After completing her teaching at Warwick, Nibedita joined the Department of Management and Security at Cranfield University in August 2010 as a Lecturer in Disaster and Emergencies. At Cranfield, Nibedita lectured in several Executive MSc and MBA programmes and was also involved in the capacity building of the Indonesian Defence University in Jakarta and Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence in the UK. In 2012, Nibedita joined the University of Leicester.
Currently an Associate Professor in Risk Management, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, External Examiner and a Programme Director for the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management, Nibedita has also been involved in the capacity building of the primary health care system in Belkuchi/Bangladesh during a flood. Nibedita is regularly invited to review journal articles, research proposals, Ph.D. examination and for special talks. Nibedita has provided input to the UNISDR’s Global Assessment Report 2015. Nibedita is the author of Caste, Class and Gender in Multiple Disasters (2009, VDM Verlag) and Avoidable Deaths (2018, Springer Nature). Nibedita's research and enterprise activities have attracted funding from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission/DFID, NERC, IPPF, Kansai University, Leicester Institute of Advanced Studies (LIAS) – amongst others.