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Policies and Politics: an investigation of how anaerobic digestion processes comply with current environmental policies

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, February 28, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project will involve work on environmental policies and investigation of how anaerobic digestion processes comply with current environmental policies; what changes in policies will be needed to make these processes feasible to fit in with environmental priorities, and the conditions under which the technology can be reconciled with both economic and sustainability objectives. In addition there will be study of the levels and type of regulations and incentives that are or could be most practicably available; and how public and private institutions are and can be induced to engage in sustainable use of anaerobic digestion technologies.
A fruitful path maybe to link up with theory of transitions management. That is examining the possibilities for achieving sustainable transitions management of the technologies in terms of governance systems. This involves actors, regulatory systems and incentives. The theory may be developed by investigating issues faced by broadly similar technologies in different European countries, that is countries with broadly the same conditions of ecological modernisation. There could be study of how development and use of anaerobic digestion technology has been advanced, or retarded, by differing governance arrangements and networks of actors in different countries. This could be investigated with regard to different types and markets for the technologies. Such countries could include Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. Hence linguistic ability could be a factor in choosing the right candidate.
This will involve study of how different variants of the technologies have been given lesser or more severe degrees of regulatory indulgence, and also the types of incentives or disincentives created by governments to influence the development of the technologies. The attitudes and priorities of both industrial groups and environmental groups will be investigated as part of this project. This will also be compared with perceptions of economic performance and potential or actual conflicts with environmental policy priorities.


Formal applications can be completed online:

• Apply for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Politics and International Relations
• State the name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Leverhulme CDT in Sustainable Production of Chemicals and Materials’ as the Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

Funding Notes

Leverhulme Doctoral Scholars will receive maintenance costs at Research Council rates and tuition fees at the rate for UK/EU students. In 2017-18 the maintenance grant for full-time students was £14,533 per annum. International applicants who can pay the difference between the Home and International Fees would also be welcome to apply.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit.

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