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Message posted on 09/01/2019

PhD position on user engagement with renewable energy

Dear colleagues,

Apologies for cross-posting.

Please see below for a PhD opportunity focusing on user engagement theories in
local and integrated energy projects. I would be grateful if you could
circulate to your networks. We strongly encourage prospective applicants to
get in touch before applying.

Many thanks.

User engagement with renewable energy: what works in theory and what is done
in practice?
Supervisors: Dr Rosie Robison and Dr Mel Rohse, Global Sustainability
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
Advisors: Dr Corinna Abesser and Mrs Hazel Napier, British Geological
Survey, UK
Start date: September 2019, fully funded (annual stipend + fee waiver +
additional study expenses) for 3 years
Deadline: 3 March 2019

This PhD will explore how, and how effectively, different user engagement
theories are being applied in local and integrated renewable energy projects.
It will use a range of case studies to investigate how user engagement is
implemented by energy scientists in the context of a low-carbon energy
transition, and make recommendations for future projects, particularly in
terms of bringing social user engagement understandings to technical project

The design and delivery of new energy systems for a low-carbon economy depend
on end-user engagement with new technologies. Whilst a growing body of energy
social science explores technology use and acceptance, little work has been
done on how energy project leads may actively utilise this research to inform
and qualitatively engage with end users, and how effective their efforts are.
Practical applications also remain dominated by theories of behaviour change
narrowly emphasising individuals' behaviours.

This innovative PhD will focus on questions surrounding, for example (but not
limited to) 1/ what user engagement theories are mobilised by technical
project leads, 2/ how they are then used in specific socio-economic contexts,
including social aspects of engagement and communication with end users, and
3/ how effective they are.

This is a collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS), the UK's
main authority on geoscience. BGS will support access to relevant energy
projects, including a wide energy-focused stakeholder base. Additional study
expenses will be provided by BGS. Findings will also feed into the 'User
engagement, preferences and behaviours' work package of the EPSRC EnergyREV
consortium, funded under the Industrial Strategy
'Prospering from the energy revolution' theme.
The successful candidate will likely have experience of qualitative research
methods and hold a relevant social science Masters, or have equivalent

Further details:

- This PhD opportunity is part of ARU's wider Vice Chancellor PhD
studentship programme. More details can be found
here, including on the application process.

- Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Rosie
Robison ( to
discuss the PhD opportunity further.

- The annual stipend will track UKRI levels across the three years,
which was set at 14,777/year for 2018-2019 and is to be confirmed for

- Only EU/UK nationals are eligible to apply.

Dr Melanie Rohse
Research Fellow | Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) | Anglia Ruskin
University, East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 1223

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