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 Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MRFS) and Brandweer Zone Antwerpen – the Antwerp Fire and Rescue Service. We are seeking applications from prospective PhD candidates with outstanding research and public engagement skills, starting from the 2023/24 academic year. The ESRC studentship covers the full payment of academic fees (at the UKRI Home rate), an annual maintenance stipend of at least £17,668 (2022/23; rates for 2023/24 are subject to confirmation), access to specialist skills training, free accommodation facilities in Antwerp, 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 Gareth Clay), the University of Liverpool (Dr Morag Rose), Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (Mark Thomas) and Brandweer Zone Antwerpen. The two fire and rescue services involved in the project are heavily involved in fire prevention and community engagement, and the student will work closely with their frontline staff involved in assisting residents across Merseyside and Antwerp.
This studentship examines the interlocking social and technological aspects of fire safety as they relate to existing energy injustices in the housing stock. It asks four interconnected research questions:
· Which places and groups are at an elevated risk of fire as a result of domestic energy vulnerability and deprivation?
· What are the everyday household practices that lead to increased fire risks among those who are affected by energy poverty?
· Which policy conditions allows fire safety-related energy poverty to remain undetected and unsupported in relevant regulatory and decision-making pathways?
· How do existing risks and vulnerabilities and the fire-energy poverty interface map onto the institutional and organisational capacities of relevant policy actors, particularly the fire service?
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 candidate is also expected to have excellent qualitative research skills, including knowledge of systematic literature reviews, stakeholder interviews and qualitative data analysis. Basic quantitative skills are desirable but not essential. The successful candidate will need 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 ([Email Address Removed]) and Dr Gareth Clay ([Email Address Removed]).
Candidates will need to apply no later than midnight (GMT) on Monday the 20th of February 2023 by emailing [Email Address Removed] the following documents, while using ‘Energy poverty CASE’ as the email subject:
· 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.