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Energy Justice PhD Scholarship

Social Policy PhD Fellowship Opportunity

Energy Justice: addressing transport & residential energy deprivation

The decarbonisation of the Energy System will play a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate the impacts of Climate Change. The technical and societal challenges inherent in decarbonisation are set to be enduring challenges of the mid-21st century and ones that will require a whole of society approach, encompassing academia, industry, government, and citizens.

NexSys is a newly established All Island SFI Strategic Partnership Programme focussed upon the transition to a net zero carbon energy system. It is a unique partnership bringing together a multidisciplinary research team, industry, and policy makers to tackle fundamental research questions to be addressed as part of the transition to net Zero. Hosted by UCD Energy Institute, NexSys brings together academics from nine institutions across the Island of Ireland (UCD, TCD, DCU, ESRI, Maynooth University, UCC, NUI Galway, Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast) to work together to meet the unprecedented scale and complexity of the challenges associated with the energy transition.

The PhD candidate will work on a NexSys Work Package entitled ‘Energy Justice: addressing transport & residential energy deprivation’. A just transition requires poverty-proofing next generation energy systems to address residential & transport energy deprivation. Current measures of poverty in Ireland fail to capture both residential & transport energy deprivation so the extent of vulnerability in these sectors is unknown. The carbon intensity of household energy use has not been located within a multiple deprivation framework so the impact of strategies which increase fossil fuel costs are also unknown. Rising costs may detract from the ability to pay for other essential goods. They may also exacerbate social exclusion &/ inequalities. Building on existing poverty, deprivation & energy research, the project will involve designing a new multidimensional poverty framework to include both residential & transport energy and assessing energy deprivation in Ireland along with its impacts on other forms of deprivation. It will adopt an energy justice framework to address social exclusion & inequalities. The scientific objectives are to reduce energy poverty by highlighting social groups who experience or are at risk of energy poverty; estimate the likely effects of decarbonisation strategies on these groups; identify possible redress mechanisms and contribute to residential and transport energy poverty strategies. The project will involve both qualitative and quantitative research, but expertise in quantitative data analysis is essential. We welcome applications from candidates from a range of Social Science backgrounds including Sociology, Economics, Social Policy, Public Policy, and Public Administration.


Closing date for applications: 5pm on Friday April 22nd.

For more information please see the .pdf here

Contact the UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8198 | E: sp-sw-sj@ucd.ie |