R190391 - PhD Studentship (3 years) - Economic and Socio-economic feasibility of Bioenergy systems

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Birmingham, ENGLAND
Job Type: Temporary

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Engineering and Applied Science - Studentships
Location:  Aston University Main Campus
Basis:  Temp
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Monday 30 September 2019
Reference:  R190391

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship funded by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the European Bioenergy Research Institute Research Group (https://www2.aston.ac.uk/eas/research/groups/ebri ) at Aston University.  The successful applicant will join an established group working on bioenergy, including leading UK researchers on sustainability with close links to policy stakeholders. 

The position is available to start in either October or April or July, subject to negotiation 

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home/EU fees rate.  Home/EU students will also receive a maintenance allowance of £15,009 in 2019/20 (subject to eligibility).  

Overseas Applicants

Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, currently this is £12,573 in 2019/20.

As part of the application you will be required to confirm that you have applied for, or, secured this additional funding.

Background to the Project

Sustainable bioenergy systems play an important role in the transformation to a low-carbon economy. However, within the context of renewable energy other technologies such as wind and solar are much more cost-effective than bioenergy applications. While this is a valid argument in terms of directly related energy generation cost and energy distribution, none of the other renewable energy technologies can offer the utilisation opportunities in terms of feedstock and energy vector choices or the wider system benefits such as carbon sequestration, waste management, eco-system services, biomaterial/bioproducts as bioenergy does.

This PhD project will focus on the socio-economic assessment of a suite of bioenergy pathways and their interaction within the wider energy sector and other relevant sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, waste management. It will assess the economic and socio-economic feasibility beyond the “cost of ownership” by including the cost of climate change and energy security, environmental and social cost and benefits and consider the relevance of policy and regulatory frameworks.

This work would directly links to the Supergen Bioenergy Hub research activities of the topic group Systems and will synthesise research across the 4 different topic groups (Resources, Pre-treatment/Conversion, Vectors and Systems). 

Person Specification

Background in Economics (including ecological economics, political economy, mathematical economics) but other disciplinary backgrounds will be considered if applicable and where the candidate and prove a good understanding of economics and socio-economics. An interest in and some experience of renewable energy and climate change are essential; while knowledge of bioenergy/biofuels is preferable. The candidate should have strong numerical and analytical skills and experience of using e.g. MatLab, Python, SPSS is desireable.

The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent and a strong disposition towards interdisciplinary study, as successful project completion will require engagement with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. Well-developed writing and communication skills are also important.

We would particularly like to encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter , recognised recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and family atmosphere.

Contact information

For informal enquiries about this project, contact Dr. Mirjam Roeder or Dr Katie Chong by email at m.roeder@aston.ac.uk or k.chong1@aston.ac.uk  

Submitting an application

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here .  

The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal” statement. This should build upon the project background described above to briefly outline the issues the candidate feels it would be appropriate to consider during the research and the relevance of their skills, knowledge, experience and interest to that exploration. A methodology is not required at this stage as that will be developed in the first few months of the project, after appropriate literature review and familiarisation. 

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at seasres@aston.ac.uk  


Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via recruitment@aston.ac.uk


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