Policy Evaluation via user innovated methods

Cranfield School of Management

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Policy Evaluation via user innovated methods – PhD Studentship

Application Deadline: 30 June 2016
Start Date: 3 Oct 2016
Eligibility:  UK/EU
Duration of award: 4 years
Professor Liz Varga – Professor of Complex Infrastructure Systems

Sponsored by Cranfield University this studentship will provide a bursary of  approximately £14,000 (tax free) plus fees for four years

This is a PhD studentship linked to the UK’s Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN), a new multi-disciplinary research centre funded by the ESRC and NERC in collaboration with Defra, DECC, the Environment Agency and the Food Standards Agency. The Centre aims to enable more effective policy-making through enhancing the development and application of policy evaluation approaches that can address complexity across the Energy Environment Food nexus; and the capacity of policy-makers, evaluation practitioners and researchers to understand and use these methods.

As a doctoral student you will contribute to CECAN objectives by exploring the effectiveness of user innovation and active participation in the use and shaping of methods for policy evaluation in complex systems. User innovation in policy evaluation might include producing, legitimating, intermediating, lobbying, participating, even funding,… building on von Hippel’s notion of user innovation, i.e. moving innovation towards active participation.  The methods you may investigate include:systems modelling (e.g. Systems Dynamics), agent-based modelling, QCA, as well as hybrid methods.  The purpose is to improve the understanding and management of policy evaluation in overlapping/nexus systems of water, energy,environment, and food.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree in afield relevant to complexity science or computational analysis such as computer science, engineering, applied mathematics, psychology, and a master’s degree which has taken you towards water, energy, environment and/or food sectors.  Experience in these sectors particularly in the effects of policy instruments will be desirable. Your skills in data analysis, modelling and simulation will make you an ideal candidate.  You will join a group of academics and students at Cranfield’s Complex Systems Research Centre (CSRC),involved in a range of complexity science research projects focused on investigating and explaining infrastructure systems (energy, water, waste,transport and telecoms), related sectors such as food, supply chain, logistics,etc.  These projects are multi-institution, inter-disciplinary and ambitious. The CSRC is closely connected to academics and students within Cranfield’s School of Management as well as its other schools, especially School of Water, Energy and Environment. Cranfield aspires to deliver outstanding transformational research and is supported by a Research and Innovation Office.

How to apply:

For further information please contact:

Prof. Liz Varga,E: liz.varga@cranfield.ac.ukT: (0)1234 754802

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form

For further information contact us today:

School of Management
T: 44 (0)1234 751122


Complex systems

Methods research

Policy evaluation



School of Management


CSRC – Complex Systems Research Centre



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