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Optimising behaviour change initiatives for food waste prevention


Project Description

Project details:

Annually, an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food for human consumption is wasted worldwide, or one third of total food production. This equates to US$1 trillion in economic costs, US$700 billion in environmental costs and US$900 billion in social costs, along with 3.5Gt CO2-e of greenhouse gas emissions per annum.

Motivating people to reduce food waste is acknowledged as being very difficult. However, behavioural interventions have the potential to reduce food waste. Successful examples include providing people with information regarding the effect of food waste and “feedback interventions” –where participants are given feedback on their neighbourhood’s food waste recycling rate compared with others. Most of the work, however, has focused on reducing food waste going to landfill and improving recycling, rather than preventing food waste.

In this project, we wish to explore the use of feedback, as well as the use of feelings such as those arising from anticipated regret, “self-affirmation”, or others to lead to behaviour change in food waste practices among households. The project will use behavioural economics, applied econometrics, and experimental economics methods to explore "what works" and for whom to reduce food waste among households.

This project will be supervised by Professor Alberto Longo and Professor George Hutchinson of Queen’s University School of Biological Sciences.

Applications MUST be submitted through https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php.

Specific skills/experience required by applicants:

Undergraduate degree in economics or related discipline, expertise in applied econometrics, familiarity with econometrics software such as STATA, SAS, Limdep, R.

All applicants must meet the academic entry requirements: https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-research/biological-sciences-phd.html#entry

Funding Notes

Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Before applying, it is strongly recommended that you read the full information on eligibility criteria available from DfE: View Website.

Please note in particular that not all successful applicants may be eligible to receive a full studentship (i.e. fees and stipend) - please read in detail the Residency and Citizenship requirements in the document linked to above.

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Social Work and Social Policy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 26.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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