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Centre for Interdisciplinary Sustainable Practices of Research in Energy

  • Funded PhD Programme (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Programme (European/UK Students Only)

Profile Description

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Sustainable Practices of Research in Energy at the University of Strathclyde invites applications for a fully funded PhD in economics, to study the economics of the transition to a sustainable, zero carbon world.

Prospective applicants should hold:

  • A strong undergraduate and taught postgraduate background in Economics
  • An aptitude and ability to undertake research and develop into an independent researcher
  • Other relevant experience or skills will also be considered so please highlight these in your application
  • Candidates who are not native English speakers will be required to provide evidence for their English skills (such as by IELTS or similar tests that are approved by UKVI, or a degree completed in an English speaking country).

Project Details
The Strathclyde Doctoral Training Centre for Interdisciplinary Sustainable Practices of Research in Energy is a cross-faculty collaboration recognising that the transition to a sustainable zero carbon world will require that social scientists and policy analysts studying this issue understand this science and technology, and conversely that scientists understand the social and economic impact of developing these technologies. See

The project is for the applicant to propose, but should be within the areas of economics of the energy transition and the creation of a zero carbon economy. Two examples that Dr David Comerford would be interested in supervising include:

  • The interaction of developing a Carbon Capture and Storage industry that supplies hydrogen from pre-combustion capture/reformation of natural gas (currently no demand for the hydrogen); and the creation of hydrogen heating and transport infrastructure (currently no supply for hydrogen); who goes first?
  • The economics of conducting climate policy through financial market interventions (e.g. 1: central bank regulation of commercial banks – e.g. climate “stress tests” – who then change lending policy in response; e.g. 2: designation of certain projects as “green investment”, and regulation that requires pension funds invest in “green investment” projects in return for their tax relief advantages) enabling a reallocation of capital from high carbon firms to low carbon firms.
  • Integrating Natural Capital into macroeconomic modelling. Traditional macroeconomic modelling typically assumes (or derives from a lower level of aggregation) an aggregate production function which combines labour and physical capital to create economic output. With data now available on Natural Capital stocks, this macroeconomic modelling can be augmented to include natural capital. A PhD could look at theoretical issues with the implementation of this, and practical applications.

But potential candidates should feel free to propose a project based on their own interests, and indeed could contact Dr Comerford, in advance of submitting their application, to discuss.

The Strathclyde Doctoral Training Centre in Interdisciplinary Sustainable Energy Research will support this scholarship by arranging a broad training programme in energy and in interdisciplinary best practice across all four of the University of Strathclyde's faculties: Business, Humanities, Science, and Engineering.

The project will be co-supervised by Dr David Comerford, Dept of Economics
plus one of: Dr Anuna Ivaturi, Dept of Chemistry, Dr Matthew Eisler, Dept of History, Dr Stuart Robertson, Dept of Chemistry. If you have any queries, please get in touch by contacting: or


Funding Notes

The studentship covers home/EU fees and a stipend for living costs of circa £15,000 (full time) per annum for the duration of 3.5 years. Please note: international applicants will need to source additional funding to bridge the gap between home/EU and international fees.

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