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Full-time PhD Scholarship in Transport

University of Huddersfield - Future Mobility Lab - Huddersfield Business School

Funding amount: Full tuition fee plus a monthly bursary for three years.

Closing date: 5th February 2022/Possible online interview date: 17th February 2022

Start date: 25th April 2022

Funding for: Home/UK and Settled/Pre-settled Status

Supervisor: Dr. Alexandros Nikitas, Reader in Smart Transport - Future Mobility Lab Director

The newly established Future Mobility Lab in Huddersfield Business School is seeking one outstanding new PhD candidate in the area of transport to receive a full PhD scholarship sponsored by Kirklees Council Major Projects. The successful applicant will study ways to help decarbonising transport in Huddersfield, UK.

Topic: Exploring Micromobility, Mobility Hubs and Mobility-as-a-Service initiatives

According to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals agenda, future transport planning must be underpinned by a new brand of sustainable thinking to avoid threatening the future of our climate, eco-systems, cities and livelihoods. Private car-centric planning is widely recognised as underpinning a polluting and energy-wasting mobility paradigm so research enabling the decarbonisation of transport by minimising private car use is more critical than ever.

Huddersfield Business School’s work with Kirklees Council is set to support the planning and delivery of new sustainable mobility initiatives that will ensure crafting a pathway for more liveable futures for Huddersfield.

To formalise and give further traction to this win-win collaboration between the Council and the University, Kirklees Council’s Major Project team via its Transforming Cities initiative budget is funding a mixed-method PhD on modern user-centric transport projects set to support ‘zero greenhouse gas emissions’ goals.

The areas that the PhD will concentrate on refer to the following three transport initiatives:

  1. Micromobility schemes (i.e., bike-sharing, e-bikes and scooter-sharing);
  2. Mobility Hubs (i.e., highly visible, safe and accessible spaces where public, shared and active travel modes are co-located alongside improvements to public realm and new infrastructure facilities like charging stations/sharing stations);
  3. ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) platforms and spatial ranges that draw together and increase the market segment of the above initiatives.

More specifically it will provide a detailed study specification (to be determined with the student) about (1) micromobility and (2) mobility hubs and how these schemes could be linked and eventually evolve to a (3) MaaS scheme for the context of Kirklees. These are all initiatives capable of supporting sustainable travel modal choices alternative to privately-owned cars.

The PhD will study the applicability and feasibility of these concepts for the unique townscape of Huddersfield. This is an enquiry that cannot be answered by vague techno-centric approaches imposing innovation to societies but may be highly associated with the development of an understanding about how the real people want to see these low carbon measures functioning in their everyday lives and address their place-specific needs. This research will thus try to access and benchmark the requirements of the local community for low carbon transport programmes focusing in particular on the establishment, uptake and use of new shared transport options. Quantitative surveys and semi-structured interviews conducted by a PhD researcher and supervised by Dr Alexandros Nikitas will be used to develop this in-depth understanding.

Our project will explain how these transport approaches can be eventually aligned together in a meaningful and timely way that could lead to an evidence-based policy roadmap for introducing low carbon interventions that fit the requirements of the local society. This will help the Council to design a more holistic, responsible, innovative and citizen-friendly mobility agenda.

Eligibility: The scholarship is provided according to the EPSRC eligibility guidance. A student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.

Scholarship package: The scholarship consists of the annual Tuition Fee (£4,500 per year) and a Stipend of £15,609 per year, which is subject to satisfactory annual performance and progression review. There will also be a generous budget for conferences and developmental opportunities.

Requirements:

  • Academic excellence
  • A genuine interest about the topic
  • A first class, 2:1 or equivalent bachelor’s degree in transport or in any area of business and management, computing and engineering, geography, education, mathematics, political science, psychology, social sciences and sociology.
  • A master’s degree or equivalent in similar or related areas to the above.
  • Outstanding analytical, academic writing and English Language skills: IELTS ~ 7.5  with no score below 7.0 or equivalent. Not needed for native speakers.
  • An understanding of transport, urban studies and sustainable mobility.
  • Outstanding quantitative or qualitative data collection and analysis skills, including first class computer skills, knowledge and experience in the use of Microsoft Office and/or other qualitative or statistical packages, such as NVivo, SPSS, STATA.
  • A strong research proposal that fits well with the research project outlined above.
  • Ability and readiness to provide high quality teaching of up to 6 hours per week.
  • Be able to commence their studies in April 2022.

How to apply:

  • Complete an exceptional research proposal on the topic above (maximum of 2,500 words, excluding references and appendices), covering the following sections: (i) project title; (ii) abstract; (iii) project introduction, motivation and problem statement; (iv) project background or context; (v) project theoretical framework; (vi) project empirical literature review and propositions or hypotheses; (vi) project research design or data and research methodology; (vii) project references; and (vii) a 3-year time-table or plan to completion.
  • Complete an application, once this has been completed, please send a PDF version to sbus.research.applications@hud.ac.uk
  • A current detailed CV, identifying any research employment or experience and, where applicable, details of research conference presentations or publications.
  • Transcripts and certificates (copies) of all relevant academic and/or any professional qualifications, including English Language qualifications (e.g., IELTS) if appropriate.

Completed applications, including all relevant documents requested above should be emailed to the PGR Administration team, (e-mail: sbus.research.applications@hud.ac.uk)

For questions and the possibility of an informal chat, please contact Dr Alexandros Nikitas (a.nikitas@hud.ac.uk)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Huddersfield
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £15,609 - please see advert
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 17th November 2021
Closes: 5th February 2022
 
   
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