PhD Studentship in the DEMAND Centre/Sociology, Lancaster University in collaboration with the Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University

Applications are invited for one fully funded 3 year PhD studentship in the DEMAND (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand) Centre with joint supervision from the ENP (Environmental Policy) Group at Wageningen University (the Netherlands), to start early 2015. Rapidly growing energy demand underpins many current global environmental, social and political problems, including climate change. The DEMAND Centre is known for its progressive and original approach to the conceptualisation and analysis of energy practices and is distinctive in that it asks about ‘what energy is for’. The ENP group has a strong track record in theoretical and empirical research in environmental governance in the Global North and South. This PhD studentship builds on these strengths and involves an international comparative study. The proposed PhD project recognises that energy-related practices are connected to social, technological and political developments on a global scale. It also recognises that cross-cultural comparison is critical for learning about how relevant social practices develop and change between as well as within contemporary societies. DEMAND is a social science led research centre, funded for 5 years by the RCUK energy programme involving ten University partners and non-academic collaborators: see for more details. The studentship is physically based in the DEMAND centre/Sociology Department at Lancaster University. Successful applicants will join a vibrant academic community both at Lancaster and across the DEMAND consortium, including postdoctoral researchers and other PhD students. This setting provides many added benefits in terms of the development of strong academic and non-academic networks and involvement in summer schools, workshops, seminars and reading and writing groups. The student will be co-supervised from the ENP group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands ( The ENP group is active in the field of environmental social science and policy research and is global in character. This is reflected in the content of the research program, in the PhD research, and in the composition the group. ENP’s research program focuses on three specific research themes; Sustainable Production and Consumption; Sustainable Natural Resource Use; and Global Environmental Change. These themes are all embedded in both social theory and methodology. The successful applicant will have regular meetings (both online and offline) with the ENP group, including the possibility of a 3 to 6-month stay in the Netherlands. The student will have two supervisors: Professor Elizabeth Shove (co director of DEMAND) and Dr Mattijs Smits (ENP).

The project: household practices and energy demand in the Global North and South – a cross cultural analysis We are open to high quality proposals from people with a strong background in any area of the social sciences to develop and work on a project focusing on cross-cultural comparison of household practices and energy demand in the Global North and Global South. We encourage applicants to focus on a number of specific practices, such as heating/cooling, refrigerating, lighting, entertainment, IT use. The research design is open to various theoretical and methodological approaches, for example – but not limited to – a combination of practice theory and political economical approaches (e.g. political ecology). The geographical focus should be on urban and/or rural areas in one or more countries in the Global North and/or South, e.g. comparing countries in mainland Southeast Asia and Western Europe. Methodologies could include a combination of macro-level (statistical) methods, (non-energy) policy analysis, and in-depth qualitative fieldwork, depending on the type of questions and the nature of the research. If appropriate, a 3 to 6 month placement at the International Energy Agency (Paris) could be included as part of the studentship. The successful student will be expected to develop a detailed research design within the first 6 months of their studentship. We intend to award the studentship based on a review of all full applications received by 31st January 2015. If you are interested in this studentship please get in touch with Elizabeth Shove, or Mattijs Smits to discuss your ideas and experience before submitting a full application.

Eligibility and Application Process Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree at 2(i) or first class level (for UK applicants), and a relevant postgraduate Master’s degree. We are only able to accept applications from EU citizens, resident in the EU, for these studentships. English language requirement is IELTS 7.0.The studentship will cover tuition fees, and provide a maintenance grant of £13,590 (~€ 17,000) per year for 3 years. The DEMAND Centre also has a budget for travel and research costs. Applications should be made via the University application system: Please select ‘Sociology PhD’ as the Programme and submit the following documents:

1.     A covering letter (up to four pages), outlining why you want to undertake this PhD project, why you have relevant skills, commitment and enthusiasm for PhD study, how you would approach the topic given the parameters of the project, and what you take to be relevant literature on which to draw (up to 5 key references).

2.     A full academic CV.

3.     An example of your recent academic writing (up to 8,000 words) Send a copy of your application by email to Kate Wright, DEMAND centre administrator, ( and Mattijs Smits ( Kate can be contacted by email or on tel. +44 (0)1524 510842; and Mattijs can be contacted by email or on tel. +31 (0)317 483917 if you have any questions or queries.

Call for applications for GESA 2015

The Global Diversity Foundation is pleased to announce GESA 2015: the fifth Global Environments Summer Academy, to be held in collaboration with the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern, between 27 July and 14 August 2015. More information is available on and the application form is online at

Over the last four years, 76 emerging changemakers from 43 countries have participated in the Global Environments Summer Academy, and we are now inviting new applicants to join this network of exceptional individuals with the capacity to become environmental leaders who impact academia, civil society, the private sector or government

Marina Aman Sham Communications Director, The Global Diversity Foundation

Third International Conference: Micro Perspectives for Decentralized Energy Supply

The Microenergy Systems Research Group at the Technische Universität Berlin, the BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore  and the Berkeley Rural Energy Group at UC Berkeley, California, invite you to the MES 2015 conference, an interdisciplinary and interactive forum for academics and experts to discuss latest research and current trends in the field of decentralized energy supply.

The conference will take place in Bangalore, the ‘Silicon Valley of India’, on April, 23-25 2015.

+++ Paper Submission Date Extension +++

Due to numerous requests we have extended the deadline for paper submissions. Authors will be able to submit up to Friday 21st November, 2014. We however ask you to register and start the paper submission now as this will make it easier for us to plan the agenda. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your submission.


Call for Papers

Please find the call for papers here. 

Submission Procedure

All papers have to be submitted as short papers (4 pages) including an abstract of 90 – 120 words. We request you to use the provided paper template provided for scientific papersPlease note that there is a separate template for practitioner papers. Please also make sure that you provide high-resolution versions of all of figures and provide them in a separate file using jpeg/png.

All papers will be peer-reviewed. Papers must be submitted online by October 31, 2014Click here to start the submission.

The papers should clearly state the objectives, methods, results, and conclusions (see template). Authors are requested to indicate the related topic of the contribution. Final acceptance either as poster or oral presentation will depend on peer review. The symposium language is English. We will only accept papers if: 1) They comply to the provided format requirements (see respective templates) 2) All graphs and figures are provided as a separate file (high-resolution jpg/png) 3) The papers have been English proof-read

The review process is scheduled as follows:

  • Deadline for papers: Oct. 31, 2014                           
  • Notification of acceptance and feedback on reviewed papers: Dec 15, 2014
  • Deadline for revised papers: Jan. 20, 2015


In addition to the papers, proposals for organizing workshops during the conference can be submitted. We welcome additional ideas and suggestions for our conference program and we look forward to hearing from you! Contact us here.

MATTIJS SMITS, PhD  |  Assistant Professor (Energy and Climate) Environmental Policy Group  |  Social Science Department WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY AND RESEARCH CENTRE Room 2018, Leeuwenborch (201)  |  Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen T +31 (0)317 483917  |  M +31 (0)6 3044  | | @MattijsSmits

Postdoc vacancy: Urban Infrastructures in Transition: The Case of African Cities

Announcing a Postdoctoral Position in the Graduate Program
“Urban Infrastructures in Transition: The Case of African Cities”

The Graduate School for Urban Studies (URBANgrad) at Darmstadt University of Technology is currently setting up a new graduate program on urban and infrastructural change in East Africa. This interdisciplinary program is funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation and includes the following academic subjects: Spatial and Infrastructure Planning, Urban Development and Design, History of Technology, and Economic Geography and Global Studies. Within this program we are currently inviting applications for a

Postdoctoral Position (full-time, 3 years)

beginning in October, 2014 in the field of urban and infrastructure planning. The program “Urban Infrastructures in Transition” focuses on developments in the East-African cities of Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. In particular, it highlights the history of and the current challenges posed by urban infrastructures—the supply and use of water, energy, sewerage, telecommunication, and transportation services. Within its framework, researchers critically investigate the tensions between, on the one hand, internationally circulating technological ideals and models in the planning, design and construction of cities (especially those of the networked city) and, on the other hand, local processes of appropriation and modification.

We invite applications from candidates with a completed doctorate in urban/regional planning, geography, political science or a related field of study with excellent academic records, research experience in cities of the Global South and a strong interest for African cities, and who are socially and politically engaged (e.g., in NGOs, university bodies or labor unions). Your previous research activities and your publication record reflect your strong interest and extensive knowledge in the fields of urban studies, urban governance and planning and your strong methodological skills in empirical social research. Knowledge in the fields of social studies of technology and/or postcolonial (urban) studies is desirable for this position. You will be expected to conduct critical research on the urban planning and governance of infrastructure in both cities, publish internationally, and teach within our Ph.D. program, to advise the Ph.D. candidates, to participate in and coordinate the academic activities of the program and to expand and deepen our network with partners from academia, planning practice and labor unions.

We offer an excellent research environment in a motivated, international team at a leading academic institution as well as the possibility for exchange in national and international networks. We encourage you to actively participate at the Darmstadt Research Centre for Urban Studies, the Frankfurt Center for Interdisciplinary African Studies and the networks of the Hans-Böckler Foundation. We offer salary according to the German public service pay scale depending on qualification and experience. Salaries range between 46,000 and 58,000 Euros per year (TV-TU Darmstadt E14). For more information, please refer to:, or contact the program director Jochen Monstadt +49-6151 16 2248;;).

The TU Darmstadt has an affirmative action program to promote equity in the employment of women, members of underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities. Interested candidates are asked to send their application (in English or German) as an email attachment directly to the following address: Please include (1) a letter of motivation, (2) your CV including information on your political engagement, e.g. in NGOs, labor unions or university bodies, (3.) a 5-8-page first sketch describing your postdoc research project and how it might contribute to our general research program, (4.) transcripts, and (5.) two short samples of recent publications (article and/or dissertation chapter); please merge the documents into one single pdf-file, max. 6 MB. The deadline is July 27, 2014. The job interviews will take place between August, 1-6.

We look forward to receiving your application!

London Workshop: Petro-urbanisms: Urban futures on the oil frontier

Today urbanisation processes in many parts of the globe are directly linked to the hydro carbon economy, producing forms of urbanism that emerge from the often significant finances being generated, the struggle over control of these resources and the contested futures of these rapidly growing cities. Together with the planetary scale infrastructures required to sustain contemporary urban life it is clear that oil is integral to how we understand cities. In this workshop these petro-urbanisms are interrogated to investigate how uncertainty mediates unfolding urbanisation across and beyond oil regions, the politics of these material transformations and the ways that imaginaries, responses and contestations of the urban future can be understood as deeply entwined with global infrastructures of oil.

Speakers include:
Andrew Barry (Department of Geography, UCL)
Chloé Buire (Department of Geography, Durham University)
Nelida Fuccaro (Department of History, SOAS)
Matt Wilde (Department of Anthropology, LSE)
ThienVinh Nguyen (Department of Geography, UCL)
Gisa Weszkalnys (Department of Anthropology, LSE)

Further information available online:

British Institute of Energy Economics conference

Here’s a reminder about this year’s conference of the British institute of Energy Economics (to take place in September). A number of Energy Geographies Working Group members will be chairing and/or presenting (including Gavin Bridge and Mike Bradshaw). Would be great to get good EGWG attendance there.

See the attached leaflet for more details
BIEE 2014 Academic Conference Email text with imagesv2

We are looking for a new Communications Officer

The Energy Geographies Working Group (EGWG) of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) is looking for a Communications Officer to manage the information channels of the group.

After a prolonged period of excellent service for the group, our Communications Officers – Sarah Marie Hall and Jon Phillips – have decided to step down from the EGWG Committee. We grateful for their committed engagement over the last year.

Their departure, however, means that we are now advertising for a new communications officer. This position has mainly centred on the management and maintenance of the EGWG blog at, and the @energygeography twitter account, but there is scope to develop the role in new ways.

The person who takes on the role is a full member of the EGWG Committee and, in that capacity, is also involved in decisions about EGWG-sponsored activities. We are seeking nominations by Thursday 18th July 2014. The post is open to anyone who is part of the EGWG (which is free and open to join) and we actively welcome nominations for post-graduates. Please send any nominations to me at