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PhD Studentship: Integrated energy planning for community resilience

Department of Geography

About the Project

Developing countries are increasingly facing multiple stresses and shocks such as climate change and disasters. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be maintained without addressing resilience in energy planning at the community level.

Your will work in partnership with BRE Trust and contribute to the Quantifying Sustainability in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters (QSAND) self-assessment tool which promotes and informs sustainable approaches to relief, recovery and reconstruction. The tool consists of a set of questions and a scoring methodology to guide communities in decision-making to promote sustainability and resilience as they recover, and to identify and assess the suitability of solutions.

This PhD focuses on the energy component of QSAND and examines how it interacts with other components such as shelter and water. The objectives are to:

1. develop a methodology and framework to map the synergies and trade-offs between energy and other critical infrastructures for relief, recovery and reconstruction
2. apply the methodology and framework to case studies of communities in a developing country, involving fieldwork to collect qualitative and quantitative data
3. develop decision support tools to help communities and aid agencies to plan energy solutions in a way that enhances overall resilience.

You will join a vibrant research group on community energy resilience with strong links in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, particularly Malawi and Nepal. As a PhD student in Geography and Environment, you will have an opportunity to interact with researchers working on sustainable energy and energy access, such as from the Modern Energy Cooking Services programme, and to take part in the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) which brings together researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you will work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/supporting-you/research/

Find out more


Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. An interdisciplinary background in subjects relating to sustainability, planning, energy and/or disaster risk reduction are particularly welcomed. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience working in developing countries will be an advantage. You should be able to demonstrate strong skills in quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

Contact details

Name: Dr Long Seng To
Email address:

How to apply

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select “Geography”.

Please quote reference number: SOCSCI-IEPCR20

Funding Notes

This studentship is supported by the EPSRC DTP held by Loughborough University and by the BRE Trust. Starting in October 2020, the studentship is for 3.5 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 p/a plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. To qualify for this full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the UK residency requirement.

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