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A multi stakeholder approach to developing a Net Zero Carbon (NZC) business quarter

Low Carbon Eco-innovatory

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Dr S Finnegan No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The University of Liverpool (UoL) and the Northern Schools Trust (NST) are seeking to appoint a suitably experienced and qualified individual to undertake a fully funded three-year doctoral research programme to investigate A multi stakeholder approach to developing a Net Zero Carbon (NZC) business quarter
The Northern Schools Trust (NST) Liverpool Life Sciences University Technical College (UTC) is situated in the Liverpool Baltic Creative (a business quarter in the City of Liverpool) and is surrounded by other associated and interlinked businesses.
Previous studies have found that it is possible for the Liverpool Life Sciences UTC to achieve Net Zero Carbon (NZC) status, however the capital expenditure needed to install the necessary renewable energy technologies for one single business is prohibitive. This PhD considers a new approach to the problem by focusing on the feasibility of not only the UTC but all of the associated businesses through multi-stakeholder engagement i.e. if all businesses were to work in collaboration through sharing data, energy procurement, funding applications then could the business quarter on the whole achieve NZC? Previous residential studies using Solar PV on a community scale have been successful through crowd funding and collaboration. Could the same or a similar approach help this SME market?
The aim of the project is to assess the feasibility of creating a Net Zero Carbon (NZC) business quarter.
The objectives are:
• Develop a NZC action plan with the UTC and associated businesses that make up the business quarter.
• Create a baseline cost, carbon and energy profile for the business quarter.
• Assess all possible short and long term terms options to achieve NZC status.
• Potentially implement solutions and evaluate “real world” results.
• Disseminate the results and findings on a national scale.

This PhD is one of 20 industry-led collaborative R&D projects from the Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory. The aim of the project is for you to work toward a PhD at the University of Liverpool through delivering ‘real – life’ solutions to industry. The Centre brings together the expertise, resources and global contacts of University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore’s University and Lancaster University to create innovative low carbon goods, processes and services developed through collaborative R&D partnerships between local companies in the Liverpool City Region and local universities.
Candidates must demonstrate they have the following essential skills: evidence of your ability to work with multiple private and public sector organisations and stakeholders; exceptional communication skills; knowledge of the energy and carbon challenges facing the Higher Education sector, expertise in large scale data collection, experience of considering renewable energy technologies and analysis and understanding of the practicalities of achieving net zero carbon for business.

Funding Notes

By joining the centre you will receive a £16,000 tax free stipend per year, with your post-graduate tuition fees paid (at UK/EU rate), International Students will only receive fees to the value of the UK/EU rate and will need to make up the difference (£19,000). The Centre is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Please visit for more information on the centre.

Application details:
To apply for this opportunity please email [Email Address Removed] quoting UoL-LCEI-259 in the email subject with:
• 2 page CV
• 2 page expression of interest


The Northern Schools Trust (NST), led by Nigel Ward, has a vision to establish world class, secondary and specialist schools that are centres of excellence for personal development, leadership, teaching and learning. The focus of the Trust is on providing exceptional, life changing opportunities for students from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds, many of whom have experienced exceptional levels of economic and social deprivation. Please visit for more information.
The Liverpool School of Architecture (LSA) is an internationally recognised centre for architectural and built environment research. The LSA performed excellently in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), being the highest ranked department submitted solely as a School of Architecture, a top six place for research intensity and a top ten place for grade point average (as shown in The Times Higher Education magazine).
This research project will be supervised by Dr Stephen Finnegan who is a member of the Environment, Sustainability and Technology in Architecture (ESTA) Research Group.
Please visit for more information on the ESTA group and for the supervisor.

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