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  Can Household Food Waste be Reduced Using Smart Technologies and Digitally Mediated Interventions?

   Centre for Business in Society

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  Dr Shantanu Mullick, Prof S Dibb, Dr Arjen van Lin  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship within the Centre for Business in Society. Applications from UK/International/EU students are welcome. The PhD student will combine big data and causal econometric techniques to study whether household food waste can be reduced using smart technologies and digitally mediated interventions.

About 1/3rd of all food produced is wasted, which contributes to 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, there is heightened interest among academics and policy makers to find ways to tackle this problem. Yet, studies of interventions to reduce food waste have small sample size and are conducted in controlled settings, which makes it difficult to know whether their findings apply in large scale real-life settings. As such, these studies are not suitable to guide policymakers.

This project will examine interventions to reduce food waste at home, which comprise of 70 percent of all food wasted. Using Motivation, Opportunity and Ability theory as a lens, we will design and test interventions to reduce household food waste. Understanding the effectiveness of interventions is important, since current approaches are restricted to motivating consumers to reduce food waste, but do not provide the opportunities or actions required to do so. The project will be done in collaboration with a company that provides smart refrigerator services, via a mobile app, and have collected detailed data on households’ grocery purchases, the perishable food present in the refrigerator, the expiry dates of food items, as well as food that has been wasted.

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD 

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.


  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

For further details please visit:

Additional items for candidate specification:

The ideal candidate will

  • Have a degree in econometrics, quantitative marketing or quantitative business management or a related field.
  • Have strong analytical skills, demonstrated competence for quantitative modelling and programming with R/Python.
  • Potential and ambition to become a high-level management scholar.
  • Example of candidate’s written work: MSc thesis or professional report, will be appreciated.

How to apply:

To find out more about the project please contact [Email Address Removed]

To apply on line please visit:

Details of all available research opportunities at Coventry University can be found via

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus the following

  • For pre-determined (named) projects an up-to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.


UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements.

Reason for eligibility restriction:

  • Funder requirement
  • Timescale

Duration of study: Full-Time – three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline date: 20th October 2022

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates.

Enquiries may be addressed to: Dr Shantanu Mullick, [Email Address Removed]

Business & Management (5) Economics (10) Food Sciences (15)

Funding Notes

Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU at international rates from Sept 21)
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