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PhD Project: Improving User Accessibility for Waste Recycling Behaviour via a Symbol Matching System. (PhD Psychology)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, April 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Summary of Cluster

Plastic has changed the way we live, but the time has come to address the way in which it is used and disposed of. We urgently need new ways of thinking about the problems of plastic use.

The so-called “Circular Economy” represents an alternative, more sustainable model to the traditional linear economy. A linear model follows the path of make, use and dispose. In a circular economy however, we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of their service life.

The University of Hull (UoH) has been awarded an £1.1M institutional award from the UKRI for a Creative Circular Economy Approaches to Eliminating Plastics Waste project entitled ‘Evolving a Circular Plastics Economy’. This project will enable us to drive forward exiting innovative cross-disciplinary research and is intended to very rapidly catalyse new ideas across the research landscape.

As part of this project, UoH is also funding a Circular Economy PhD cluster, where the successful students will become part of one of the largest interdisciplinary groups holistically researching reducing plastics waste in the UK, with over 24 academics working together in our Plastics Collaboratory.


The Project

Current approach for waste classification and disposal relies on a complex cognitive differentiation of waste type (e.g., paper-based, recyclable plastics, non-recyclable plastics, general wastes) that is challenging to most users, particularly children. The colour-coding of disposal options is also problematic for individuals with colour-blindness. This PhD research is aimed at creating a new system that is more accessible for individuals to dispose waste through the use of icon/symbol matching between the type of waste and the disposal options. The project aims to investigate the efficacy of this new approach in terms of its design and presentation (e.g., shape and visual location of symbols) as well as its impact on user accessibility across different age groups with a particular focus on its efficacy to promote waste recycling behaviours among children.

Applicants

Applicants for all projects should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in Psychology and a BPS accredited Masters level qualification in Health Psychology, together with relevant research experience. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

Funding Notes

Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,777 in 2018/19) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 15th May 2019 at the latest.

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