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Help evaluate the actual performance of building progress of the UK’s first eco-town, the NW Bicester Exemplar development, against the aspirations set for the eco-town as an endorsed One Planet Community.

The Low Carbon Building (LCB) Research Group of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) and School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University are pleased to offer a three-year full-time PhD Studentship starting in May 2015. The studentship is funded by Oxford Brookes University to mark its 150th Anniversary, Bioregional, Cherwell District Council and A2Dominon, under the umbrella of the Eco-Bicester Living Lab (EBLL). EBLL is a unique cross-sector and cross-disciplinary initiative established by OISD and Bioregional, in which novel ideas related to sustainability are tested in the urban realm with the explicit goal of learning for continuous feedback and improvement.

The successful applicant will receive an annual bursary of £11,000 for three years and the tuition fees will be paid by the University. The successful candidate will be based within the LCB Group, under the supervision of Professor Rajat Gupta (Director of OISD and LCB Group) and BioRegional.

Topic of research: Evaluating the actual performance of the NW Bicester Exemplar development against the aspirations set for an eco-town and one planet community

The first phase of NW Bicester eco-town development known as the Exemplar is currently on site and involves construction of 393 highly energy-efficient homes, creating UK’s first true zero-carbon community. The doctoral research study will be designed to address the overarching question: How effective is an exemplar development in meeting the design expectations of an eco-town and aspirations of a one planet community?

The underlying approach will be case-study based, adopting mixed-methods, drawing from building performance evaluation (BPE) techniques and carbon foot-printing methods, combining empirical quantitative data collection (physical monitoring, carbon and ecological footprint analysis) with qualitative methods (questionnaire survey and interviews).

As a successful applicant, you will join an internationally leading research group and will be expected to contribute to the wider research activities of the LCB Group and Eco-Bicester Living lab.

Eligibility: Applications are invited from Home/EU/International students. We are looking to recruit a candidate of the highest quality and who is capable of submitting a Ph.D. thesis within 3 years. Applicants are expected to have completed a relevant Masters degree prior to the Studentship start date. The Studentship holder may also be required to complete supplementary research methods training in their first year of study. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate strong research capabilities and be fluent in spoken and written English.

The selection criteria will focus on academic excellence, suitability of research experience and skills, subject knowledge and references.

Deadline: The closing date for applications is 17:00 on Monday 16 March 2015
Interview date:
Interviews will be held in the week commencing 30 March 2015
Start date: 5 May 2015
How to apply: If you would like to apply you should request an application pack from Ms Zane Kalnina, tdestudentships@brookes.ac.uk quoting ‘Eco-Bicester Living Lab PhD studentship’ in the subject line.