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Fully funded three year ESRC funded PhD studentship: What happens when a household gets a new car?

Fully funded three year ESRC funded PhD studentship "The dynamics of household low carbon vehicle ownership and use"
School of Geosciences, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Aberdeen supervised by Professor Jillian Anable and Dr Caitlin Cottrill

Application deadline: Monday March 23rd, 2015


This fully funded (for EU citizens only) three year ESRC studentship will focus on what happens to mobility patterns and energy demand in the home once a low carbon or alternatively fuelled vehicle is acquired. Research and policy related to the uptake of low carbon vehicles has tended to focus on the consumer adoption process with much less attention paid to the dynamic interaction between the new technology and patterns of use. This project will address this gap by:

  • applying a socio-technical perspective to the household adoption of low carbon vehicles
  • undertaking a longitudinal statistical and/or ethnographic study with households as they acquire and assimilate an ultra-low carbon vehicle as a first, additional or substitute car
  • examining changes in mobility-related energy demand linked to changes in travel patterns of any household members
  • examining and explaining changes in domestic energy demand related to vehicle charging and any knock-on impacts on energy literacy and energy use behaviour.

This studentship will be linked to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) ( ), which is the largest inter-disciplinary energy investment of the UK Research Councils’ Energy Programme. The primary objective of UKERC Phase 3 is to explore the UK energy transition in an uncertain world, and the synergies and trade-offs between the key drivers for this transition. The studentship will be funded by ESRC through the Scottish Graduate School of Sciences (SGSSS through the accredited pathway for Environment, Climate Change and Energy.

Eligibility for funding

We are only able to accept applications from EU citizens, resident in the EU. Funding eligibility is according to esrc criteria (i.e. fees and living expenses for UK students; fees only for other EU students). The studentship will cover tuition fees and for UK residents will also provide a maintenance grant of ~£13,590 per year for 3 years.

Applicants must hold a first class or upper second class honours degree from a UK university, or the overseas equivalent, or a Master’s degree with commendation or distinction. Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.

We are open to high quality proposals from people with a strong background in any area of the social sciences. Methodologies could include micro or macro-level statistical methods as well as in depth qualitative work. The strongest candidates will have a proven aptitude for combining quantitative and qualitative methodological and analytical approaches.

For further information on eligibility see:

How to make an application:

Applicants in the first instance are encouraged to contact Professor Jillian Anable by email ( or phone: 01227 273795.

Applications should be made through the University of Aberdeen website at at and

Closing date for online applications - 23 March 2015 As this is a funded studentship, it is expected that there will be a subsequent competitive process with interviews held in late March 2015.

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