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This is a call for applications for a three year, fully funded PhD studentship for UK and EU students. Funding application deadline: 4pm GMT on Tuesday 30th April 2019
One of the most profound changes to society over the next 20 years will be the replacement of conventional fossil-fuelled vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs) for public and personal transport. The key enabling technology for EVs is the rechargeable battery, which is one of the great success stories of materials science, and continues to be intensively developed and optimised for future EV applications. However, many assumptions framing current materials research for EV batteries are based around the notion that present travel demand will be undisrupted, with new technologies providing the same services as private fossil-fuelled cars, but in less carbon intensive ways. This is problematic. Despite the advances that have been made in battery materials, it is doubtful that EVs will ever match conventional vehicles in terms of vehicle range and ease of refuelling. Additionally, many materials used in current battery technology are either toxic, difficult to recycle, or increasingly scarce. And in any case, the demand for travel is changing, and in some cases private car is declining as new forms of mobility and ways of life emerge.
Specifically focused on new energy materials, battery technologies and electric vehicles, the PhD will follow batteries through the laboratory and into the possible forms of mobility and everyday futures which they might be part of. To achieve this aim, the successful candidate will i) conduct empirical research on how ‘the battery’ exists in the discourse and practices of material scientists that are working on new energy materials; ii) analyse how such assumptions have implications for the development of new materials and battery technologies; and, iii) creatively develop ‘everyday futures’ drawing on resources from the social sciences and design, mobilities research and debates on futures of travel. The ultimate aim is to explore some of the alternative socio-technical lives of future batteries through focussing on futures of travel in different countries, in transformed vehicle ecologies, and in relation to changed end use practices (e.g. online shopping and third space working). Through the Material Social Futures doctoral training centre, there will be many opportunities to engage in dialogue with material scientists (both staff and students), for example, through the MSF training programme, and with a thematically linked PhD in Chemistry on sustainable battery materials.
The position will suit a candidate with a background in Sociology, Anthropology, Material Culture or Science and Technology Studies. Experience of qualitative and ethnographic methods, and an interest in fields such as mobilities, science and technology studies, social practice theory, sociology of the future, and design anthropology are desirable.
Informal enquiries prior to submitting an application are encouraged and can be made directly to Dr Nicola Spurling. Applications should be made via Lancaster University’s online application system.
Social Live of Batteries PhD Studentship further details
APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 2019-20 APPLICATIONS HAS PASSED.
Details of ESRC funding for 2020-21 should be available in December 2019
Lancaster University forms part of the North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) which offers scholarships covering tuition and maintenance for a Masters plus PhD (1+3) or for a PhD alone (+3, +2).
The pathways available within the Sociology Department are:
Due to the competitive nature of this funding, usually only students with a first class UG degree or a distinction in their MA would be successful.
Full details of the studentships and application process are available on the Faculty website
APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 2019-20 APPLICATIONS HAS PASSED.
Details of AHRC funding for 2020-21 should be available in December 2019
Fully funded (fees & maintenance) PhD studentships available for applicants in the Sociology Department planning to study in the Cultural Studies pathway.
Full details of the studentship and application process are available on the Faculty website
For 2020-21 we anticipate being able to offer a number of Faculty Scholarships to outstanding UK, EU and Overseas applicants wishing to study for a Masters Degree followed by a PhD (“1+3”), or for a PhD degree within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Details will be made available in early 2020.
Funds of up to £2,500 per annum are available to postgraduate students. The award is based on academic merit and financial hardship. For details of how to apply, please see the student services website
All registered PhD students are eligible to apply to the Department for research support and research training costs. This may cover, for example, travel and other expenses for research trips to libraries, archives, museums, etc.; expenses related to attending academic conferences where you are giving a paper; or the costs of training in a skill necessary for your research, such as enrolling in a language or other skills course for which no provision exists in the university. Individual requests are usually limited to £250.
Visit the Student Based Services website for details on other funding sources for PhD applicants and registered students.
To submit an application, simply create an account on the My Applications website and then select ‘Create a new application’ from your homepage once you are logged-in.
Using your account on the My Applications website, you are able to submit applications for the programme(s) which you wish to study, upload supporting documentation and provide us with information about referees.
Current Lancaster Students
If you are a current Lancaster student, or you have recently graduated from Lancaster, we can reduce the amount of information that you will need to provide as part of your application. You will need to provide only one reference and will not need to supply your Lancaster degree transcript. We will also pre-fill your personal details, ready for you to check.
Finding a supervisor
While it is not necessary to get in touch with potential supervisors before submitting your application, in some cases it can be useful to email staff whom you would be interested to work with before applying. This could be helpful for you in finding out whether you do share similar interests or theoretical orientations, and whether the member of staff is currently accepting new PhD students. You can get in touch with staff directly through the information on their profile pages.
If you use the My Applications website then you will be advised which documentation you need to upload or send to us. We can automatically contact your referees once you have submitted your application if you ask us to.
The supporting documentation screen will provide you with a list of required documents. These will usually include:
You can apply at any time of the year for PhD study, but we encourage you to start at one of the predefined start dates of October, January or April. In some circumstances, a July start date can be considered.
If you wish to be considered for funding, are applying from overseas or require on-campus accommodation, we recommend you apply as early as possible.
If you would like more information before applying, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or + 44 (0)1524 593148. If you have any queries during the application process, please contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team.
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