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ESRC CASE Studentship on ‘Social housing challenges in the low-carbon transformation towards Net Zero’


Department of Environment, Education and Development

Manchester United Kingdom Climate Science Ecotoxicology Epidemiology Geography

About the Project

Applications are invited for a three-year, fully-funded ESRC CASE PhD award at the University of Manchester’s Department of Geography, in collaboration with the One Manchester housing association. We are seeking applications from prospective PhD candidates with outstanding research and public engagement skills, starting from the 2021/22 academic year. The ESRC studentship covers the full payment of academic fees (at the UKRI Home rate), an annual maintenance stipend of at least £15,295, an annual £2000 supplement from One Manchester to support research expenses, as well as access to a Research Training Support Grant to reimburse conference attendance, training costs and fieldwork.

CASE studentships involve the undertaking of a PhD in collaboration with a partner from outside of the Higher Education sector. A such, they provide the opportunity to pursue PhD research in both an academic and a professional setting, leading to a thesis with extensive research and practical impacts.

The studentship is a collaborative project between the University of Manchester (Professor Stefan Bouzarovski, Dr Rob Bellamy), the University of Lancaster (Dr Alexandra Gormally) and One Manchester (Anton Schultz, Victoria Young, Liz Prestbury). One Manchester is Manchester’s largest provider of housing and community services, and the student will work closely with their frontline staff involved in assisting residents across Greater Manchester.

The studentship aims to examine the changing patterns of energy use and low-carbon technology deployment in the social housing sector, within the context of the UK’s drive to achieve net zero carbon emissions until 2050. It asks several interconnected research questions focusing on:

  • the legal and policy measures that condition the drive towards net zero in social housing;
  • the socio-cultural and demographic factors that influence the take up of low-carbon energy technology;
  • the manner in which the introduction and experience of low-carbon energy use among social housing residents is shaped by everyday lived experience, community support, as well as relations of trust, co-operation and political participation.

Applicants must hold a Bachelors degree equivalent to a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours UK degree. They must also have (or expect to gain) a Masters degree (or overseas equivalent) at minimum Merit level. The masters needs to be ESRC recognised or contain a substantial research methods (qualitative and quantitative) training component. In the absence of methods training within the Masters, the candidate will need to demonstrate extensive research experience.

We are seeking applicants with strong public engagement and communication skills, including the capacity to listen to, and work with, people in a variety of social and housing circumstances. The successful candidate will also be expected to hold knowledge of relevant academic debates in Geography, and associated disciplines as they apply to the research topic.

Enquiries about the vacancy should be directed to Professor Stefan Bouzarovski () and Dr Rob Bellamy ().

Candidates will need to apply no later than 5pm on Monday the 29 March 2021 by emailing  (subject line: CASE DTC) the following documents:

  • A full CV detailing relevant academic and practical experience, including two named referees (one of whom should be the candidate’s most recent academic tutor/supervisor);
  • A copy of the candidate’s first degree and Masters degree transcripts (or anticipated grade if Masters is ongoing);
  • A letter of application (not exceeding 600 words) outlining the candidate’s suitability for the CASE studentship, and how they would anticipate approaching the research.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place remotely.

The successful candidate will also be required to submit a full application for a PhD in Geography at the University of Manchester.


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