EPSRC PhD Studentship Digital fabrication and sustainability

This studentship is jointly funded by EPSRC and the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex. Applicants are sought for a three-year, fully funded PhD scholarship at SPRU, in the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex.

The successful candidate will broadly carry out research, examining critically the role of digital fabrication technologies (e.g. 3D printing) and/or community-based digital fabrication workshops (e.g. hackerspaces). We are particularly interested in proposals that address social issues of sustainability, inclusion and/or innovation in relation to these emerging technologies and spaces.

The PhD will involve close collaboration (and supervision) with SPRU researchers Adrian Smith and Sabine Hielscher at SPRU, and their work on grassroots digital fabrication in makerspaces. There will be opportunities to contribute to these research activities.

This is an excellent opportunity to undertake an innovative PhD research that cuts across different areas within SPRU and across the boundaries of innovation studies, social science, and design. We seek high quality proposals for imaginative and critical research into the topic of digital fabrication and sustainability. Proposals should follow SPRU guidelines. A description of the PhD proposal must clearly specify the issues of concern, the questions to be addressed, and situate the research within relevant theoretical approaches using appropriate methodologies.

Applicants are invited from candidates with a post-graduate qualification and a good first degree in relevant disciplines such as innovation studies, science & technology studies (STS), design, sociology, and human geography. Candidates should be able to demonstrate experience and a strong interest in the proposed areas of study, competence in applying qualitative and mixed methods, and have a creative view to conducting research. Excellent teamwork and oral/written communication skills will also be essential.   

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The project will be supervised by Dr Adrian Smith (A.G.Smith@sussex.ac.uk) and Dr Sabine Hielscher (S.Hielscher@sussex.ac.uk)

Award amount

The three year studentship offers a full home student fee waiver (currently £3,900 pa), plus stipend at EPSRC rate (currently £13,726 pa) and a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £1,650pa.


Due to RCUK restrictions only UK and EU residents are eligible to apply. UK residents are eligible for full awards, including fees and maintenance. EU residents are eligible for awards covering fees only, but EU students who have studied in the UK for the previous three years may be eligible for a full award. For a precise statement of eligibility, please consult this EPSRC web page: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx  

How to Apply

Applications should be made to the University of Sussex via the online application system, via the ‘Apply’ button below.

Deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 28 February 2014

The successful applicant will be expected to start their doctoral studies at the University of Sussex in September 2014.

Contact details

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Adrian Smith (A.G.Smith@sussex.ac.uk)

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