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University College London - Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

The purpose of UCL STEaPP is to explore, experiment with, and improve the ways scientific and engineering expertise and knowledge are engaged with public decision-making and policy processes across all levels, sectors and cultures of our now globally interdependent societies.

UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) is offering several opportunities for doctoral study, including three EPSRC PhD Studentships.

STEaPP’s research bridges between Science, Technology and Engineering (STE) and Social Sciences, and investigates and experiments with the ways knowledge shapes public decision-making. STEaPP focuses on knowledge systems and science–policy interfaces that underpin decision-making at the local, national and international scale. STEaPP applies principles of ‘impact-oriented research’ and ‘co-production’ with academic, policy and industry partners.

UCL STEaPP’s Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) is centered on fostering the development of world-class interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners concerned with the role of Science, Technology and Engineering (STE) knowledge in decision-making. STEaPP’s DTP is comprised of academic (Doctor of Philosophy – PhD) and policy-oriented/professional orientated (Doctor of Public Administration – DPA) career tracks. The DTP uses a modular doctorate model, with students completing 240 credits for programme completion. Doctoral students will also be trained in specific cross-disciplinary skillsets, and also in how to design and execute their research initiatives so that they are relevant and usable for external partners.

PhD programme

The PhD is a supervised research degree in which candidates carry out independent research on a topic developed by them and two UCL supervisors (one in STEaPP and another from another UCL BEAMS department).

A PhD thesis will be an original piece of work. The DTP uses a modular doctorate model, with students completing 240 credits for programme completion.

DPA programme

The DPA is a supervised research degree in which candidates carry out independent research under the guidance of two UCL supervisors (one in STEaPP and another from another UCL BEAMS department) and a policy practitioner from outside of UCL. We aim in particular for governmental researchers who can do their doctoral research while continuing their professional work.

A DPA thesis will be an applied piece of work incorporating an account of research done during the programme and its use and application to a real-world engagement experience carried out in an institution external to UCL. All DPA students are expected to be available for dedicated study (part of the taught component) in London without significant professional workloads for term 1 (from 26 September until 16 December 2016). There is a provision for distance learning for the remainder of the taught component.

STEaPP research topics

STEaPP welcomes expressions of interest from potential research students in any areas related to our current research, as listed below. Also applications for 2016 EPSRC Studentships can be on any of the research topics covered within STEaPP. STEaPP research focuses on the intersection of a set of focal societal Challenges (e.g. sustainability) and a growing set of Practices that enable the mobilisation of expertise across disciplines, challenges, and scales of governance scales (e.g. science advice). Further details can be found here.

Challenges:

  • Sustainability
  • Urbanisation
  • Development
  • Digital and cyber governance
  • Humanitarian and crisis management

Practices:

  • Science advice
  • Science diplomacy
  • Impact
  • Risk
  • Innovation
  • Engineering policy
  • Modelling for policy
  • Foresight & games
  • Socio-technical analysis

Fees and Funding

Full-time tuition fees for both programmes in 2016/17 are £4,770 for UK/EU students, and £22,180 for overseas applicants.

For PhD study, the department is able to offer three full-time (4 year) EPSRC Studentships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy for the coming year. No studentships are available for DPA study.

To be eligible for an EPSRC Studentship, you must have settled status in the UK and have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the Studentship. The EPSRC studentship award covers tuition and a stipend of £21,420 per annum. All studentships are awarded on the basis of merit.

Thinking of applying?

Interested applicants are advised to make initial informal enquiries via email to Prof Arthur Petersen, Director of Doctoral Studies ([email protected])

More information can be found here.

As a part of their application, candidates are expected to include a two-page research proposal in their personal statement.

There is a rolling application deadline for applications, but for the admissions decisions that will be made in March 2016, the application deadline is 1 February 2016 (also deadline for studentship applications).


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