ESRC Multidisciplinary Studentships Sustainable Communities: Energy Economics and Environmental Sociology

Centre for Environmental Strategy, Department of Sociology, Surrey Energy Economics Centre, School of Economics

The University of Surrey is pleased to announce funding for two multidisciplinary postgraduate research studentships for four years with enhancement to the standard stipend of £2,000 per year (or in exceptional cases for five years to cover a one year MSc followed by a four year PhD). The two studentships will start in October 2013 and are in the general areas of:

  • Economic modelling of household/community energy consumption and efficiency
  • Sociology of household/community energy consumption

As these are multidisciplinary studentships, students will be registered and fully engaged in their core discipline of economics or sociology as well as any relevant engineering disciplines. In the first year of the programme, the successful candidate will take discipline specific postgraduate modules as well as relevant modules in other disciplines. The exact modules to be taken will depend upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidates and will be decided following discussion with supervisors as will the exact scope of the two research projects. The following gives an indication of the type of research areas that might be proposed, although applicants should not feel constrained by these:

Economic modelling

  • econometric analysis of household/community energy demand and/or energy efficiency;
  • economic analysis of decentralised or community-scale heat or electricity supply options; and
  • Economic analysis of community-scale demand management, as part of future smart grid development. 


  • Social roles, relationships and energy consumption practices within and across households;
  • Sourcing of information and decision making on renewable energy and energy efficiency measures;
  • Take-up of Green Deal and related pro-environmental household incentives by class and locality; and
  • Agent based modelling of shifts in energy consumption practices.

Applicants for four years funding should normally hold a first or upper-second class Bachelor’s degree and an MSc at distinction level in an appropriate discipline. [Applicants for five years funding should normally hold a first class Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline.] Due to funding restrictions for a full award students must have a relevant connection with UK (usually established by residence). If a student fulfils the academic requirement but has a relevant connection with an EU country other than the UK they may be eligible for an award of fees only (i.e. no maintenance grant to the student). Please see student eligibility ( for further details and contact the university postgraduate admissions office for advice.

For further information concerning the scope of the Economic Modelling scholarship, please contact: Lester C Hunt via email at

For further information concerning the scope of the Sociology scholarship, please contact: Kate Burningham via email at

To apply please send:

  • a cover letter
  • your CV, and
  • an outline of your research proposal

to: via the Apply button below.

Marilyn Ellis, Centre Manager
Centre for Environmental Strategy (D3)
University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH 

Deadline for applications is: 9 am, Monday 15th July

Anticipated interview date: Monday 29th July 2013

Applicants will be informed by: Friday 2 August of the outcome of their applications.

For further details about the scholarship funding, please contact the South East DTC Manager via email at or by telephone on 01483 682794/3518. 

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