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 www.demand.ac.uk 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 (www.enp.wur.nl). 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, firstname.lastname@example.org or Mattijs Smits email@example.com 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: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/how-to-apply-for-postgraduate-study/. 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, (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mattijs Smits (email@example.com). 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.