ERBE CDT based at UCL Energy Institute is seeking applications for a fully funded PhD Studentship on topic in Applying a flexibility capital framework to drive an inclusive energy transition
This PhD project will be funded under the EPSRC-SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE)
“Flexibility capital” refers to the capacity of different social groups to provide flexibility to energy systems, and thereby benefit from the energy transition. This PhD is a unique opportunity to develop a flexibility capital framework and influence academic and policy debates on flexibility and a just transition.
Funding: The studentship will cover UK course fees and an enhanced tax-free stipend of approx. £19,000 per year for 4 years along with a substantial budget for research, travel, and centre activities.
Fees: ERBE CDT has very limited funding for applicants requiring coverage of overseas fees. We advise all interested applicants to be familiar with the changes to EU and International Eligibility for EPSRC/UKRI funded studentships
Dates: 4 years from September 2021
Decarbonising the UK’s energy system requires an increase in renewable electricity, in particular to meet demand for electric heating and transport. To accommodate this, electricity use will have to become more flexible and adapt to variability in supply and grid constraints. For example, smart electric vehicle (EV) charging could be used to avoid lots of EVs in the same area charging at the same time, or to make use of cheap wind power. Or electric heat pumps could be set to turn down when prices on a time of use electricity tariff are high, saving on running costs and reducing strain on the grid.
Some people, households, companies, or communities are better placed to provide (and benefit from) flexibility than others. This could be for a range of reasons, like access to certain technologies, or having job or family circumstances that allow activities to be completed flexibly. “Flexibility capital” (Powells and Fell, 2019) offers a framework to analyse both the technical potential and the societal factors that underpin the realisation of a more flexible electricity system.
Policymakers and industry want to understand the potential of different technological configurations, market offers, and how flexibility can be reliably unlocked. Advances in digitisation and automation offer the promise of maximising flexibility with minimal inconvenience. There is also widespread recognition that the net zero transition should be as equitable as possible, both for reasons of fairness and to avoid undermining public support. This means that new flexibility solutions will need to be engineered with a broad range of participants and situations in mind. The flexibility capital concept, and its implications for a just transition, has already gained traction in research and regulation. This PhD provides an opportunity to develop further the framework and work with stakeholders to apply the framework and deliver real-word impact.
The aim of this PhD project is to develop the flexibility capital framework and provide practical tools for planning and analysing the growth of demand-side flexibility.
The project will analyse:
- what makes up flexibility capital (e.g. technical, social, and economic resources, geographic location, grid connection / capacity), and how it can be described and/or quantified
- how flexibility capital is distributed throughout the UK spatially and demographically (factoring in characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, disability, and age)
- what combinations of technologies and flexibility solutions are expected to emerge as the UK continues to decarbonise, and how these affect participation and deliver different types of value for actors at different points in the energy system
- how the potential to provide flexibility can be operationalised to the benefit of a wide range of participants, as well as the energy system.
The applicant should have an interest in technical aspects and social dynamics of electricity systems, with strong quantitative skills but an openness to drawing on qualitative data and approaches.
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a relevant subject, is essential. Exceptionally: where applicants have other suitable research or professional experience, they may be admitted without a Master’s degree; or where applicants have a lower second-class UK Honours Bachelor’s degree (2:2) (or equivalent) they must possess a relevant Master’s degree to be admitted.
Applicants must also meet the minimum language requirements of UCL
Applicants should be familiar with the changes to EU and International Eligibility for UKRI funded studentships
How to apply
Please submit a pre-application by email to the UCL ERBE Centre Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Subject Reference: 4-year PhD in Applying a flexibility capital framework to drive an inclusive energy transition.
The pre- application should include the following:
• A covering letter clearly stating why you wish to apply for the project outlining how your interests and experience relate to it and confirm your understanding of of EU and International Eligibility for EPSRC/UKRI funded studentships
• Complete the CDT recruitment EPSRC fees eligibility and EDI questionnaire via the linked Microsoft Forms.
Deadline for applications: Sunday, 20 June 2021 @23:59 (UK time)
Interviews week commencing: TBC
Only shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview.
The interview panel will consist of the project’s academic supervisors at UCL and a representative of the ERBE CDT Academic management. The interview will include a short presentation from the candidate on their ideas of how to approach this PhD project.
Gender Identity and Education for Sustainability in UK Secondary Schools
De Montfort University Doctoral College
DMU is offering a fully-funded 3-year PhD scholarship for this work, commencing on 1st October 2021. The stipend is pegged to the UKRI rate, currently at £15,609 per annum.
Lead Supervisor is Dr Erika Cudworth (email@example.com ).
Education is often seen as the most effective tool societies have in dealing with future challenges such as environmental crises. While education for sustainability has been integrated into school primary curricula and its impact researched, examination of education for sustainability in UK secondary schools has received little attention. The recent Schools Strike for Climate saw secondary school students around the globe engaged in protest around the lack of political action on climate change, but international studies suggest there is an ‘eco-gender gap’, with levels of environmental concern being higher among young women. The examination of this relationship between gender identity and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour during adolescence, however, is under-researched. This project will explore the ‘eco-gender gap’ and consider how this might be addressed through education for sustainability in UK secondary schools.
The proposed aims of this project are:
- To evaluate how gender identity impacts pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour amongst adolescents in the UK;
- To explore how gender identity and intersectional factors interconnect with education for sustainability in the UK secondary education sector;
- To develop a series of secondary school teaching materials designed to address the eco-gender gap.
The successful candidate will have skills in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods and have a robust awareness of the key sustainable development goals, and/or education for sustainability more broadly. They will develop their theoretical framework and research design for the project and will have flexibility in shaping their study, in consultation with the supervisory team. This project will appeal to a candidate with experience in gender studies, geography, education, sociology or a related social science discipline. Experience in the education sector is also desirable.
Possess a UK Honours degree with at least an upper second class (or overseas equivalent), a Masters Degree or an academic or professional qualification plus experience in their sector or industry.
Demonstrate competence in the use of the English language.
How to apply
This is a two-stage application process.
STAGE 1: Please send the following documents to PGRscholarships@dmu.ac.uk :
A completed DMU Scholarship Application Form
A 2 page CV
2 Academic References
Scanned copies of your most relevant academic certificates and transcripts
If applicable – evidence that English Language requirement has been met
Application and Reference forms can be accessed via the DMU Scholarship website.
Deadline: Monday, 21 June 2021
STAGE 2: Shortlisted candidates will be contacted to undergo an interview, successful candidates will be required to submit a full application through the DMU PGR Application Portal.
Deadline for full application: Wednesday, 21 July 2021