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PhD Studentship: Making Sense of Heating and Cooling in the Home

Loughborough University - Loughborough Design School

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,009 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 19th November 2019
Closes: 10th January 2020
Reference: SDCA2019/VH

Application details:

Start date of studentship: 1 April 2020

Closing date of advert: 10 January 2020

Interview date: To be notified 


Primary supervisor: Dr. Victoria Haines

Secondary supervisor: Dr. Val Mitchell


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you will 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:

There is an urgent need to decarbonise our energy supply and reduce demand to meet the net zero carbon emissions targets for 2050 set by the UK Government. As heating systems change to low carbon technology, we anticipate that people’s relationships and interactions with their heating systems will also change. This PhD research will explore how people make sense of heating and cooling, in the context of their relationship with the home. It will draw on existing experience design and/or co-design-related research to develop a human centred approach to the development of future domestic heating systems that takes into account the complex interplay of factors that shape our understanding of technology in the home and notions of comfort and convenience.

The successful candidate will work alongside the LoT-NET project, a 5-year EPSRC Programme Grant which considers how waste heat streams provided through low temperature heat networks can combine with optimal use of heat pump and storage technologies to meet the heating and cooling needs of UK buildings. They will work alongside world-leading experts in this field and have the opportunity to take part in project activities, such as mini-conferences, as well as other skills development appropriate to individual needs. The student will work in the world-renowned Design School. 

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Loughborough Design School and

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in design, human factors, psychology, HCI or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: User experience design, Qualitative research, Service design or related subject. 

Whilst this PhD is associated with an engineering-led project, we are looking for an individual with experience of human-centred design, including the ability to undertake qualitative research methods within an interdisciplinary project. Applicants must be able to demonstrate, with evidence, this expertise. 

Funding information:

This Loughborough University funded studentship is for a total of 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the international tuition fee only.

Contact details:

Name: Dr. Victoria Haines

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 226915

How to apply: 

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Loughborough Design School. 

Please quote reference number: SDCA2019/VH

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