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PhD Studentship: Enhancing Community Energy Resilience using Renewable Energy in Nepal and Malawi

Loughborough University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 3rd January 2019
Closes: 25th February 2019
Reference: SS-CEROCT19

Application details:

Start date of studentship: 1 October 2019

Interview date: TBC


Primary supervisor: Dr Long Seng To

Secondary supervisor: Dr Richard Blanchard

This is an opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary team with two world-leading research groups at Loughborough University. The Geography and Environment discipline hosts the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) which has led major research programmes on sustainable energy, energy access and modern cooking fuels. The Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) is the largest and leading sustainable energy engineering research centre in the UK, with research activities covering wind power, solar photovoltaics, renewable energy for development, energy in buildings, grid connection and integration and energy storage.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Full Project Detail:

Developing countries are increasingly facing multiple stresses and shocks such as climate change and disasters. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be maintained without building in more resilience. Communities can leverage local technical expertise, resources and informal networks to access energy services using renewable energy. Greater understanding of community energy needs and resilience strategies could improve the design of energy solutions.

This PhD will focus on designing more resilient energy systems using participatory processes with communities in Nepal and/or Malawi. You will also assess the potential for scaling up the solutions within the countries and internationally. You will have an opportunity to conduct fieldwork and work closely with other team members at Mzuzu University, Malawi and Kathmandu University, Nepal.

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Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Applicants with an interdisciplinary background in subjects relating to renewable energy engineering and international development are particularly welcomed. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience working in developing countries will be an advantage.

Funding information:

The 3-year studentship will provide tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a tax-free stipend at the UK Research and Innovation rate. The UKRI stipend value for 2019/20 has not yet been announced but the value for 2018/19 was £14,777. While we welcome applications from non-EU nationals, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. This studentship is funded by the School of Social Science (50%) and the Wolfson School (50%), Loughborough University.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Long Seng To

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 228193

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at  Under programme name, select Geography and Environment.  

Please quote reference number: SS-CEROCT19

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