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Lived experiences of ‘accelerated’ energy transitions: A UK and Norwegian comparison

Project Description

This project is supported by colleagues in GSI

There have been increasing calls for urgent, widespread, and deep transformations to the ways that societies use and produce energy. Indeed, significant year-on-year emissions reductions of 10%/annum may be needed to meet existing Paris Agreement climate change targets – which is completely at odds with how policy has been instead prioritising incremental changes.

Relatedly, there has been much debate amongst Transitions Studies scholars on ‘how fast’ energy transitions can actually be in reality. Even if ‘accelerated transitions’ are needed, are they actually possible? These debates have been grounded in theoretical arguments and/or cherry-picking from a small number of empirical studies – essentially, there have been very few truly experimental programmes pushing ‘accelerated transitions’, and even fewer that have been systematically studied.

This project aims to investigate the lived experiences of citizens involved in highly ambitious and experimental low-carbon energy programmes. In particular, there will be a focus on where there is a lot happening all at once (across e.g. home life, work life, mobility, etc.) and within a short period of time. Aside from the unintended consequences and/or successes of accelerated transitions, there will also be insights on matters of inclusion, demography and justice – ultimately, who is impacted (and how) when such programmes are rolled out?

A comparative approach will compare experiences of citizens involved in contrasting Norwegian and UK case studies. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with stakeholders participating in the programmes, in addition to participant observation (where the researcher spends extended periods working within the programmes).

The project will be associated with Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) new £10m 8-year Norwegian Centre for Energy Transition Strategies (NTRANS). NTRANS will provide the PhD student with further (international) support structures to draw upon, as well as a solid basis for doing internationally relevant high-impact research.

To discuss the research project, please contact Dr. Chris Foulds at

Candidate requirements

Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a cognate discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant subject is desirable.


You can apply via our landing page http://www.anglia.ac.uk/studentships. We will review all applications after the submission deadline of 9 February. Applications missing the project reference number will be rejected as will applications for multiple studentships.

If you have any queries relating to the application process or the terms and conditions of the studentships, please contact Becky Kraszewski on 01245 684920, or email .

Documentation required

You will also need the following documents available electronically to upload them to the application portal (we can accept files in pdf, jpeg or Word format):

1) Certificates and transcripts from your Bachelor and Masters degrees, (if applicable)
2) Your personal statement explaining your suitability for the project
3) Passport and visa (if applicable)
4) English Language qualifications (if applicable)
5) Curriculum Vitae

Funding Notes

The successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s studentship awards which covers Home/EU tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the studentship Terms and conditions.

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