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ESRC Collaborative Studentship - Digitalising Sustainable Consumption

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 15, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Overconsumption by consumers is a principle challenge to sustainability, thus, approaches that can foreground a sustained shift in consumer behaviour are critical. Mindfulness has been receiving attention in research on sustainable consumption to disrupt automatic thinking, enhance awareness and foster prosocial values and behaviours (e.g., Stanszus et al., 2017). There have also been calls for consumers and businesses to be more mindful in their approaches to consumption and in their market offerings (e.g., Sheth et al., 2011). Digital devices, such as, mindfulness apps have emerged as common consumer tools (e.g., Dredge, 2016). Digitalisation offers consumers new ways of ‘managing, calculating, communicating and evaluating environmental and ethical information’ (Fuentes and Sorum, 2018). Digital devices offer assistance toconcerned consumers in terms of advice on what to buy, where to buy, who to boycott and buycott, etc. While such tools have the potential to facilitate more sustainable behaviours, it is unclear exactly how they can achieve this in practice.

Further, to date there has been no consideration of digital tools that seek to draw on the dual benefits of mindfulness and sustainability in a clothing consumption context. This research aims to examine the impact of digital devices in aiding consumers to be more sustainable and mindful in their clothing practices. In doing so, we conceptualise the role of digital tools in problematising consumption, and the provision of agency to consumers to approach their own sustainability concerns. This aligns with the vision of our collaborative partner, Save Your Wardrobe London (SYW) a technology startup,who via app technology are encouraging consumers to think more mindfully about their clothing and wardrobe behaviours. The app mixes AI (Artificial Intelligence) with IoT (Internet of Things) to bring a new experience to consumers to help them make the most of their wardrobe and extend the life of garments.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

For 1+3
- A 2.1 Honours degree or non-UK equivalent with at least a 25% business and management component.
- Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of consumption ethics and clothing sustainability debates and/or mindfulness.

For +3
- A good Masters degree with a business and management component
- Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of consumption ethics and clothing sustainability debates and/or mindfulness.

Full details on eligibility and how to apply are available via the University of Glasgow website.

Funding Notes

The scholarship is available as a three year ‘+3 ‘(PhD only) or a four year ‘1+3’ (research masters plus PhD) programme, depending on level of prior qualifications and research training. This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process. The programme will commence in October 2019. It includes
- an annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate (2018/19 rate £14,777 full-time)
- fees at the standard Home rate
- students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), usually up to a maximum of £750 per year.

Related Subjects

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