PhD studentships in Product Lifetimes, Resource Use and Sustainable Consumption

Applications are invited for up to three fully funded research studentships to be based at Nottingham Trent University in the new £11m UK INDEMAND research centre, a RCUK-funded collaboration with the universities of Cambridge, Bath and Leeds.

In a rapidly expanding research programme Nottingham Trent University is working with designers, engineers, marketers, economists, sociologists and others to explore the challenge of increasing product lifetimes. Our aim is to enhance knowledge and understanding in order to develop credible proposals for change. The programme covers a range of sectors, including buildings, industrial machinery and equipment, vehicles, electrical and electronic goods, furniture, DIY and home improvement goods, and clothing.

We are keen to hear from prospective research students with an interest in this exciting field of research. Your proposal should address one or more of the following topics:

  • Consumer preferences and market demand for premium quality products
  • The relationship between price and quality
  • How and why products depreciate in value over time
  • The growth of ‘discount retailers’ and the affordability of quality
  • Business models and systems of provision for repair and reuse
  • Economic implications of increased product lifetimes
  • Challenging passive product-user relationships through make-it-yourself, up-cycling and repair through networked learning
  • Community based social innovation such as repair cafes
  • Design for upgradability and/or adaptability
  • Trade-offs between durability and recyclability
  • Use and reuse through collaborative consumption.

UK INDEMAND is a £11m national research centre that has been established to deliver a reduction in industrial energy and material use in supplying the UK’s needs. It is a joint initiative of Nottingham Trent University and the universities of Cambridge, Leeds and Bath. The centre will be funded for five years by the Research Councils UK Energy Programme with additional support from industrial partners. It represents a significant commitment by the Research Councils and the UK Government to achieve the substantial energy demand reductions required for a low carbon future.

Funding The studentships will pay UK/EU fees and provide a maintenance stipend linked to the RCUK rate (currently £13,590 per annum) for up to three years.

Applications from non-EU students are welcome, but due to funding restrictions the successful candidate would be responsible for paying the difference between non-EU and UK/EU fees. (Fees for 2013/14 are £11,600 for non-EU students and £3,900 for UK/EU students.)

Entry requirement Successful applicants will have a good first degree in a relevant discipline.

Eligibility Applications can be accepted from UK/EU and also International students. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 560/iBT 94 – 95.

If you wish to be considered for this PhD Scholarship, your fully completed application (including all necessary documentation) should be submitted to Nottingham Trent University Graduate School via email to You should telephone +44 (0)115 848 2108 in the event of any queries.

Closing Date: The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 9 am on Monday 8 July 2013.

Also Read  Funded PhD Studentships: Political. Social and International Studies

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