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Social Innovation in Low Carbon Transition: Bridging the Gap between Energy Research and Social Sciences


Project Description

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Oxford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students & International Students
Funding amount: £15,009 per annum (with no inflation increase) for three years;
Fieldwork allowance: - £2,500 for 3 years
Hours: Full Time
Fees: Tuition fees up to Home/EU level will be paid by the University
Primary supervisor: Dr Esra Kurul

Short Introductory Paragraph
The School of the Built Environment and the School of Architecture are jointly offering a 3-year full-time PhD Studentship. This inter-disciplinary study cuts across the Smart Construction and Impact Assessment and Low Carbon Building research groups, which are part of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development.

The studentship includes an annual bursary of £15,009 for three years (no annual increase) and fees up to the Home/EU level. Any international student awarded the studentship would need to cover the difference between international and Home/EU fees. Please note, fees increase by 4% annually. The studentship has a start date of 20 January 2020. An April or September 2020 start may also be possible.

Full Project Detail
The key research question is:
* How can the technological and digital literacies of communities be developed/enhanced to set-up and operate renewable energy systems that facilitate the move towards low carbon/smart cities and communities?
* The overarching goal is to contribute to existing knowledge on urban social innovation in the field of energy. Potentially using a mixed-method approach, the research will focus on:
*existing social innovation in the field of energy;
* energy production, storage and consumption-related policies, and top-down and bottom-up renewable energy systems and practices in leading ‘Smart/Low Carbon Cities’;
* the relationships between smart communities and the technological solutions to operating renewable energy systems; and
the opportunities for local communities to become equal partners in co-creating their urban environments.

The key output will be an innovative framework to place prosumers at the heart of effective integration of renewable systems in existing urban environments.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Esra Kurul, Prof Rajat Gupta and Dr. Maurizio Sibilla.

Entry requirements
We are looking for a highly competent and capable candidate to submit his/her PhD thesis within 3 years. Candidates would be expected to have at least an upper second class degree (or equivalent) and/or Masters in a related subject (e.g. sociology, urban geography, architecture, planning, energy studies, environmental studies, engineering, anthropology). They should be able to demonstrate strong interdisciplinary research capabilities, be fluent in spoken and written English.

The selection criteria will focus on academic excellence, suitability of research experience/ skills, and subject knowledge. A demonstrable interest in social innovation would be an advantage.

Contact details
Please contact Dr Kurul () for informal enquiries.

How to apply
For further information on how to apply, please email for an application pack, quoting “Social innovation in low carbon transition” in the subject line.

How good is research at Oxford Brookes University in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.19

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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