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Super-low carbon live music – transforming practice in the live music sector

   Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

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  Prof Carly McLachlan, Dr S Mander, Dr Christopher Jones  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

About the project:

Building on the Tyndall Centre ‘super-low carbon live music roadmap’(see, we are seeking a PhD candidate to expand the knowledge base on delivering emissions reductions in the live music sector. This project is interdisciplinary. It will conduct a social-science informed analysis of existing practices and industry norms and explore the potential of different interventions/approaches to transform these. It will also conduct technical assessments of the energy, carbon and sustainability implications of different options. Therefore, candidates must be able to confidently combine these different elements to provide effective synthesised insight and recommendations. 

Project aim:

The project will identify and evaluate the most effective ways to decarbonise live music and work collaboratively with stakeholders to deliver and evaluate interventions. 

Research objectives:

·        Literature review of relevant theoretical conceptualisations of transforming practice in the music sector.

·        Identification of potential interventions/approaches to support transformation and evaluation of related barriers and challenges – covering technical interventions and wider management/business models/industry norms.

·        Identification of potential partners for collaboration on developing and/or evaluating novel practices.

·        Development of a social-science informed framework to evaluate specific interventions in practice – combining qualitative and quantitative elements, including cost/energy/carbon, wider sustainability, stakeholder preferences, replicability and scalability etc.

·        Stakeholder engagement e.g. interviews and workshops to develop, test and monitor the impact of proposed interventions

·        Recommend interventions relevant to different scales and contexts.

·        Co-develop robust recommendations for the key relevant stakeholders on accelerating and scaling changes to support transformation in the sector. 

The successful candidate will benefit from being part of both the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformation, two world-leading centres for interdisciplinary climate change research. The successful candidate will have access to unrivalled specialist expertise and opportunities to develop transferable skills and enhance their future employability. In addition, the University of Manchester offers an extensive training and development package to support the effective completion of a PhD.

Candidates should have a good first degree in a relevant subject with good written and analytical skills. Evidenced knowledge of the opportunities and challenges for sustainable live music touring is required. Candidates should have educational, project or work experience relating to decarbonisation and/or climate action/interventions/projects. A demonstrable ability to integrate diverse forms of information is essential. Additional University of Manchester entry requirements for PhD research degrees can be found at:

The candidate will ideally start in April 2022 and certainly by June 2022 at the latest due to the conditions of funding. Please send a CV and cover letter to [Email Address Removed] before making a full application through the University of Manchester.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder), carer support funds for conferences, and peer support networks for parents and carers.

All appointments are made on merit.

The University of Manchester and our external partners are fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.  

Funding Notes

This 3.5 year studentship covers tuition fees at the Home fee rate and provides a tax-free stipend at the standard UKRI rate (£15,609 in the 2021/22 academic session) for a PhD starting in September 2021. EU students who hold either Settled or Pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and meet the residency requirement for Home fees are welcome to apply. International fee rate-payers can be considered but will need to source additional funding themselves to cover the difference between the tuition fee rates. Self-funded students interested in a relevant topic are also welcome to contact the supervisory team.

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