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School of Communications

Energy Sustainability@DCU - 3 Year PhD

Public Engagement with Cleantech Innovation Scholarship in the School of Communications, Dublin City University

Contact: pat.brereton@dcu.ie

Dublin City University (DCU)is a leader in clean technology and innovation in Ireland. The university provides a strong alliance of industry, academia, design, NGOs and local communities working towards energy efficiency and sustainability goals. Energy Sustainability@DCU is a new university-designated research initiative (UDRI) that combines cleantech, social and community enterprise with public/media engagement in society. This multidisciplinary research initiative is a unique collaboration between the physical sciences and the social sciences and humanities.

Energy Sustainability@DCU aims to pull together DCU’s energy research and innovation. It will also produce a protocol for anticipatory technology assessment, a foresight analysis of emerging sciences and technologies for environmental, ethical and other social dimensions in a mediated and publicly transparent process.

This protocol will be of potential interest to government departments, state agencies, high-technology companies, higher education institutions, research institutes, environmental NGOs, and other civil society organisations, any of whom may have an interest in engaging in science and technology foresight with a social perspective. A scientifically- engaged public is essential if all stakeholders are to participate meaningfully in decision-making processes for clean technologies contributing to An tSli Ghlas- The Green Way, north Dublin’s green innovation hub.

In this highly interdisciplinary research position, the successful candidate will:

  • Map out the ‘macro’ level of sustainable behaviour and practice, drawing from ecological/environmental discourses, and from any of climate change science, future cleantech policy, risk communication, science studies/science communication. The focus will be on social media, blogs and traditional media and fictive ecological texts that form the ‘future imaginary’ for emerging clean /green technologies for future products/solutions.
  • Organise and coordinate focus group sessions for public stakeholders on the ‘micro’ level , informed by sustainable practice theories, and to inform research, design and innovation processes in start-ups/product development in Energy Sustainability@DCU and along the innovation pathway of An tSli Glas- The Green Way
  • Bridge the gaps between local action, behavioural/consumption practice and product design on the ‘meso’ level via strategic university innovation networks and social media channels that increase social sustainability- including management of a central web resource for Energy Sustainability@DCU- as well as environmental and economic sustainability of cleantech products
  • Conduct the research in the School of Communications, DCU (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences), with a strong link to the School of Electronic Engineering , and the Energy Design Lab in the National Centre for Plasma Science Technology/Rince Institute(Faculty of Engineering and Computing). The Supervision Committee will be drawn from both Faculties. High research output is expected of the researcher in a range of environmental policy and science studies publications

Essential requirements for candidates:

  • Proven desire to achieve in postgraduate research that connects the social and natural sciences
  • Strong project management and administration skills
  • Excellent theoretical grounding in science communication or science and technology studies
  • Proven ability in creating synergies: organising public engagement events, motivating individuals and organisations to collaborate, achieving targets
  • Prominent social media user

An advantage, but not essential:

  • Background in emerging technology, as practising scientists and /or policy/regulation of hi-tech sector
  • Background from within either of: innovation studies, consumption studies, behavioural sciences, science studies, science communication, science policy, public engagement with science and technology
  • Web design skills

Please submit a 1-2 page expression of interest with accompanying CV to pat.brereton@dcu.ie. The initial closing date is Friday August 5th 2011. Interviews for this scholarship are expected to take place in August. These dates are dependent on the emergence of a suitable candidate.