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Geothermal PhD Opportunities – Media & Public Acceptance, Psychological & Social Factors

Snapshot of Plymouth University website
Alexander Richter 1 Aug 2017

Plymouth University in the UK has announced two PhD studentship opportunities, one in media and public acceptance, the other in psychological and social factors in the context of developing deep geothermal projects.

Plymouth University in the UK has announced two openings for PhD positions.

Media Framing & Public Acceptance of Deep Geothermal Energy – 3 year PhD studentship, start on October 1 2017

This project examines media framing of geothermal energy and subsurface drilling and its impact on securing social licence to operate, with a particular focus on digital and social media. With little known about the influence of media representations on people’s levels of knowledge and their perceptions of geothermal energy, this PhD offers an exciting opportunity to track the leading narratives around this emerging technology. The candidate will be able to shape the PhD studies but research questions are likely to include how risks and benefits are framed through text and imagery, and how different audiences interpret this. The study will use eye-tracking technology to identify how messages are ‘read’ by receivers, and open up new approaches for understanding the application of persuasion within current energy debates.

We are looking for a highly motivated, hard working person who is both collaborative and open-minded in their approach. The candidate should have strong qualitative skills and knowledge of a range of research methods as well as a broad understanding and/or interest in the energy field. The position would suit a social science graduate who wishes to apply their training to a real-world challenge. Natural sciences graduates who can demonstrate an interest in the social dimension and who would be able to pick up communication theories and research skills quickly are also encouraged to apply.

Psychological and social factors in new types of energy generation: The case of deep geothermal – 3 year PhD studentship, start on October 1 2017

This PhD project will explore the nexus between the social and behavioural sciences and geosciences through a focus on public perceptions of, and attitudes to, deep geothermal energy. The candidate will be able to shape the PhD studies but research questions are likely to include people’s risk and benefit perceptions of different energy technologies and the wider psychological and social influences, including local and social identity, connectedness to nature, environmental attitudes etc.

The PhD will draw on theories of risk perception and behaviour change, integrating social and cognitive psychology approaches with a strong interdisciplinary perspective, and explore novel ways of communicating, potentially using social media and apps. You will be working with Professor Iain Stewart (Earth science) and Dr Sabine Pahl (psychology), who both have a strong track record of interdisciplinary collaborative research funded by ESRC, NERC, Defra and EU.

We are looking for a highly motivated, hard working person who is both collaborative and open-minded in their approach. The candidate should have good quantitative skills and knowledge of relevant social and cognitive research and a range of research methods as well as a broad understanding and/or interest in the energy field. The position would suit a psychology or other social science graduate who wishes to apply their training to a real-world challenge. Natural sciences graduates who can demonstrate an interest in the social dimension and who would be able to pick up behavioural theories and research skills quickly are also encouraged to apply.

For further details, such as eligibility see links provided above.

Attention deadline for both positions is August 28, 2017