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Psycho(patho)logical predictors of (automotive related) pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The supervisory team are currently involved in research providing crucial data to inform the upcoming implementation of Clean Air Zones in the UK. CAZs aim to significantly reduce the use of older vehicles, and equally encourage UK residents to upgrade to, and use, more environmentally friendly forms of transport including new hybrid vehicles.
To this end, we are currently funded to conduct basic research on understanding the psychological processes underlying support and opposition to the CAZ. This will focus on qualitative data (e.g., following interviews) and cursory experiments.

To continue and advance this line of research, we propose to embed a PhD student into the team, who would greatly benefit from participation in doctoral training in the Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (AAPS). The student will complete a PhD, though publications, starting with an in-depth review of the relationships between normal and psychopathological (i.e., abnormal) psychological traits, environmental attitudes, and pro-environmental behaviours (Article 1). For example, building on some of our ongoing work (Taylor…Shah, under review), this will follow a line of theoretical enquiry on the links between autism, mental health conditions, and pro-environmental (automotive) behaviours.

Based on the review of the literature, partly using data collected as part of the CAZs implementation, the student will complete a series of empirical studies (Articles 2-5) to assess the various psycho(patho)logical predictors of pro-environmental behaviours, accounting for climate change beliefs and environmental attitudes, with a focus on understanding any potential barriers to engaging in pro-environmental behaviours.

Overall, the proposed work will feed into existing CAZ projects, and thereby governmental policy, but also generate new findings that will be important for understanding and changing, both attitudes and behaviours, towards the use of more environmentally friendly vehicles and public transport.

This project is offered within the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (AAPS CDT). The centre aims to create a diverse and stimulating environment where you can deepen your knowledge in your discipline through your PhD whilst giving breath to your skills through collaborations.

Prospective students will be applying for the integrated PhD programme run by AAPS CDT which includes a one-year MRes (full time) followed by a PhD programme. The MRes course will be conducted as a cohort with a focus on technology, team-working and research skills. On successful completion of the MRes, you will progress to a PhD programme which can be conducted on a full-time or part-time basis.

AAPS-CDT is determined to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members. The whole CDT community will come together at specific events during the calendar year, most notably the induction events, workshops and guest lectures. All new students joining the CDT will be assigned both an academic personal tutor and a student mentor. Each student will be assigned a minimum of 2 academic supervisors at the point of starting their PhD.

Funding is available for four-years (full time equivalent) for Home/EU students.

See our website to apply or for more details (

Funding Notes

AAPS CDT studentships are available on a competition basis for UK and EU students for up to 4 years. Funding will cover UK/EU tuition fees as well as providing maintenance at the UKRI doctoral stipend rate (£15,009 per annum for 2019/20) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum.

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