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Towards Net Zero Carbon: Researching and Innovating for Citizen and Business Stakes


   Faculty of Business and Law

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  Dr David Arkell, Dr Chris Foulds  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

ARU’s Global Sustainability Institute and the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) are progressing ideas to form a new way of enabling existing technologies and know-how to accelerate sustainable solutions for our economy. Taking a Transitions Management (TM) approach within a Participatory Action Research (PAR) Frame, the challenge is to develop new ways to substantially (and equally) engage private, public, third sector and citizens’ needs into policies, plans and actions in different contexts in Essex. Transitions Management is an approach to managing change which aims to build consensus. The PAR frame will allow for cumulative and collective learning to feed into the process and outcomes set up in Essex. Intellectually we believe this is an exciting new development of socio-technical transition theory and practice, combined with a systems perspective that brings meaningful outcomes along the pathway of 2 devoted PhD researchers.

The focus will be on Essex County Council’s Net Zero Innovation Network. The doctoral researchers will coordinate and facilitate a TM / PAR programme that will inform the scoping and planning of medium to longer-term business and profit gains alongside sustainability innovation on the ground. New partnerships of active practitioner researchers from all sectors are needed to break bonds with previously limited policies, practices and at best incomplete or disparate decisions or actions. The difference will be the ARU TM-PAR framework approach that brings out and works through problems or issues and achieve multi-stakeholder solutions. For example, the innovative solar energy applications and sustainable housing growth in Essex could provide a focus for targeted democratic outputs across smart energy, smart supply chains, knowledge transfer, homes and other infrastructure assets, jobs and skills and in a context of post-Brexit / post-Covid new green growth. It is understood that the projects involved with the NZIN work will be emergent and support the themes from the Essex Climate Commission work, within which ARU already plays a part. The themes to be explored will at the outset be broad, to be refined into workable action research projects. The themes will be enhancing sustainable Transport, built environment, energy and waste, and land use and green infrastructure.

This PhD builds on the research and innovation concerning SME and organizational engagement in sustainability in the faculty of Business and Law and will work alongside a PhD in the Global Sustainability institute. FBL action researchers are also involved in a range of R&I projects covering important aspects of the green economy engaging SMEs and industry in such domains as circular economy, social justice, skills and jobs development, new energy business models/incentives for SMEs and residents and related digitisation of work (e.g. Digitalisation of Management - ARU).  Additionally, a benefits realisation methodology has been successfully implemented across a range of organizational culture change scenarios – from the police to manufacturing industries (e.g. GrowIn4, see: Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme). 

A supervisory team and reference group from Essex CC and ARU will bring added value, transdisciplinary insight and direction.  It is envisaged that Essex County Council will join the PhD supervisory teams as industry/government professionals. 

Candidate requirements

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a 2:1 Bachelors Degree in a cognate discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant subject is desirable.

Applicants must be prepared to study from January 2022 on a full-time basis, attending at our Cambridge campus, subject to UK Government Covid-19 movement restrictions.

This Scholarship is open to Home fee paying applicants only.

How to apply

Applications are made through our applicant portal: https://e-vision.anglia.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=R0047FCHE01D&code2=0017

You will also need the following documents available electronically to upload them to the application portal (we can accept files in pdf, jpeg or Word format):

·      Certificates and transcripts from your Bachelors and Masters degrees (if applicable)

·      Your personal statement explaining your suitability for the project

·      Passport and visa or EU Settlement Scheme share code (if applicable)

·      Your CV.


Funding Notes

This successful applicant for this project will receive a studentship award which covers UK tuition fees and provides an annual stipend of £15,609 for three years (UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend). The studentships are match funded by Anglia Ruskin University and Essex County Council. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the studentship Terms and conditions available here: https://aru.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research/phd-studentships.
For full details on the entry requirements and application process for this project please visit https://aru.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research/phd-studentships
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