Postgraduate Research Opportunity: The Economics and Strategy in Delivering Decommissioning Projects

University of Leeds

Funded PhD project: UK and EU
Value: Funding covers the cost of fees at £4,250 and provides a maintenance paid at standard Research Council rates (£14,777 for the 2018/19 academic year). Funding duration is 3.5 years. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.
Number of awards: 1
Deadline: Ongoing
Supervisors: Contact Dr Giorgio Locatelli to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

The 2017 forecast is that future clean-up across the UK will cost around £119 billion spread across the next 120 years or so. However, forecasts for work that will be carried over the next century are inevitably uncertain: the future is impossible to predict. This PhD builds on the grant NNL/UA/002 sponsored by the NDA which funded a full-time PhD to work on benchmarking nuclear decommissioning projects. Stemming from the consideration that Nuclear Decommissioning Projects and Programmes (NDPs) are becoming more and more economically and socially relevant, this work investigated the NDPs characteristics that mostly impact on the NDPs performance from the project management perspective. From the adaptation of a to-down benchmarking approach, using the cross-case methodology and applying statistics on EU NDPs, these project characteristics have been collected and systematically categorized. However, in-depth investigation of the single characteristics is now needed. In particular, management-related characteristics that emerged from the study and that require further analysis are: 
  • The investigation of the barriers of taking a programme-based, country-wide approach to decommissioning nuclear facilities
  • The study of the organisational and social challenges of the transition between operations and decommissioning 
  • Interfaces between the “decommissioning organizations” and the “waste management organization” 
  • The possible contracting agreements and their impact on the project performance

Moreover, the same methodology that complement cross-case study and statistical analysis that was developed and applied to NDPs can be tailored to waste management projects. 

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent, and/or a Master's degree in a relevant engineering, management or economics related discipline.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Infrastructure end-of-life: managing decommissioning, dismantling and waste management projects' as well as Dr Giorgio Locatelli as your proposed supervisor. In the funding section please state 'EPSRC CTD' as your sponsor. 

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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Northern England