Get paid to study?! PhD studentships in #Manchester

Please share (email, twitter, facebook, word of mouth – #oldschool) with anyone who is looking to do a PhD in Manchester.

The Sustainable Consumption Institute will be offering up to 4 fully-funded PhD studentships to outstanding candidates wishing to commence their doctoral studies in September 2016.

The Sustainable Consumption Institute aims to bring insight and clarity to a key part of the sustainability challenge: the role of consumption. It takes original insights from across the Social Sciences and subjects them to critical empirical scrutiny in order to advance fundamental understandings about processes of consumption and innovation, and to consider their implications for transitions towards more sustainable societies.

The studentships will need to be closely aligned with the research agenda and ongoing activities of the SCI, and so applicants are advised to consult our website and research pages ( for details of existing projects.

Successful candidates will be funded by the SCI, supervised by at least one member of SCI research staff (Boons, Browne, Evans, Geels, MacGregor, McMeekin, Mylan, Southerton, Yates), and located within a host School. The exact location of the studentship will depend on the applicant’s project, their interests, and their supervisor. We anticipate that most candidates will be based in the School of Social Sciences (SoSS), Manchester Business School (MBS) or the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED).

Candidates are invited to write a research proposal for a PhD project that complements and/or extends current SCI research projects. Proposals should be c.1500 words long and include a title, the background to the project, the research design and methodology, and a bibliography.  We are particularly interested in hearing from candidates whose projects address the following topics:

  • Comprehensive analysis of system innovations in food, energy, or transport
  • Comparative research on socio-cultural change, the temporal organization of daily life, and trajectories of consumption
  • Environmental movements and/or consumer activism
  • The dynamics of societal problems  and responses by large incumbent industries
  • The food-energy-water nexus and its relationship to different system boundaries (e.g. households, cities)
  • Alternative modes of food provision and delivery (in particular, eating outside the home)
  • Histories and dynamics of everyday life, city transitions, and sustainability in China (with potential to collaborate with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences or University of Shanghai)
  • The diffusion and appropriation of sustainable innovations (in particular related to meat eating)
  • Comparative political economies of sustainable transition pathways
  • Sustainability and social difference/inequalities (gender, class, race, age, abilities, intersectionality, etcetera)
  • The cultural politics of sustainable food (contested meanings of food quality, rival problem framings, the distribution of responsibilities, etcetera)

Please note that this list is indicative and not exhaustive. Candidates must get in touch with potential supervisors to discuss their ideas in advance of making an application. Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr David Evans (

Studentship details – The studentships comprise an annual stipend of £14,210, payment of fees up to the level charged for UK/EU students (TBC but currently £4,052) and £1,000 for fieldwork and conference expenses. It might be possible to cover the fees for non-UK/EU candidates, but this will only happen in exceptional circumstances. The studentship will be for direct entry onto the three year (+3) PhD programme.  The programme will commence in September 2016. Continuation of the award is subject to satisfactory performance.

Entry Requirements – Applicants must hold a Bachelors degree equivalent to a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours UK degree. They must also have (or expect to gain) a UK Masters degree (or overseas equivalent) at Merit level (with a coursework/examination average of 60% or more AND a dissertation mark of 60% or more, with no mark below 50%) or above in a relevant social science discipline. Preference will be given to candidates whose Masters degree involves a significant element of social science research methods training, and those who performed at distinction level (70% or higher) or equivalent.

How to apply – Applicants should email a full CV together with a covering letter and research proposal. Please note that applying for the SCI PhD studentship is separate process to applying for entry to a PhD programme.  Successful candidates will therefore also be required to fulfill the normal admissions procedures for the school in which they will be based.

Deadline – The deadline for applications is 22nd January, 2016.


[And yes, MCFly editor Marc Hudson is doing a PhD with the SCI. But no, he isn’t getting paid to put this post up.]


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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