Intersectional approaches to domestic water efficiency in Bristol


An opportunity to apply for a full-time PhD in the Faculty of the Environment and Technology. The studentship will be funded/part-funded by the Faculty of Environment and Technology: Ref 2022-JAN-FET08.

The expected start date of this studentship is January 2022.

The closing date for applications is 14 October 2021.

About the studentship

The key objectives of this PhD project are linked to Bristol Water KPIs around sustainable resource consumption customers in debt. Through a series of trials starting in late 2021, we aim to reduce household water consumption and wastewater production by 20% on 2020 levels by April 2025, eradicate combined resource poverty (as measured by the water industry recognised methodology) by 2025, and reduce household carbon dioxide equivalent production by one tonne per annum.

Additionally, we seek to move towards the above objectives in a way that addresses broader issues of social justice and well-being. Finally, we seek to “reset” relations between water and other utilities and their service communities: less purely transactional relationships and more co-creation of locally and nationally desired futures. This requires more integration amongst utilities and a different way of thinking and working.

In the context of the above, the PhD student will be primarily associated with the organisation, implementation, and reporting on field trials of resource efficiency engagement approaches in different parts of Bristol and the larger “West of England” (WECA) region. Much of the work will involve data management and analysis, especially in programming environments such as R.  Theoretically we are working with the “Individual-Social-Material” (ISM) framework originally developed by the Scottish Executive.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Professor Chad Staddon (


The studentship is available from January 2022 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £15,609 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


Applicants must have a good first degree and ideally will have a Masters in a relevant discipline. The studentship is available both for UK and overseas applicants.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted, use the reference number 2022-JAN-FET08.

Applicants have the opportunity to discuss their studentship with Directors of Studies via a webinar to take place on Wednesday 8 September 2021 from 10:00 to 12:00 BST.  Please contact Karen Duka ( to reserve your place at this webinar. 

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form. 

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is 14 October 2021.

Further information

It is expected that interviews will take place on the weeks commencing 1 and 8 November 2021. If you have not heard from us by 28 October 2021, we thank you for your application but, on this occasion, you have not been successful.

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