Postgraduate research opportunities

Margin to Mainstream: Using Engagement to change entrenched consumption practices around food waste

A three-year full-time Marketing PhD scholarship for candidates who wish to explore the role of consumer engagement in affecting institutional change around food sustainability. Joint supervision with University of Adelaide and opportunity for semester in Australia.

Number of places

one place


Home fee, Stipend


20 December 2019


20 March 2020


36 months


Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:


  • An excellent first degree (1st class Honours) or Master’s degree (with the expected completion date no later than September 2020), preferably in Business or other relevant Social Science;
  • Experience and skills related to statistical data analysis are desirable and background in qualitative research methods will be preferred;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • A willingness to engage both with rigorous academic work and with realising the impact of research findings beyond the confines of academia;
  • Candidates who are not native English speakers will be required to provide evidence for their English skills (such as by IELTS or similar tests that are approved by UKVI, or a degree completed in an English speaking country).

Project Details

Despite increasing awareness of climate change, sustainable consumption behaviours remain a marginal activity, with only 10% of consumers acting on pro-environmental attitudes. This project focuses on one area of unsustainable consumption practices - food waste. Calls to reduce food waste in order to address global food insecurity and the climate crisis are growing, with estimates that, in the UK, approximately 8 million tonnes of food a year ends up in landfill.

To understand the role of societal actors in affecting institutional change around food waste this project will use research on engagement. This is a highly interactive, networked concept whose focus is on how individual’s engagement behaviours affect others’ perceptions, emotions and behaviours, creating wider, systemic, effects. This project seeks insight into how engaged actors, operating proactively in innovation at a systemic level, can affect broader change, thus encouraging firms, and other market actors, to be more responsive to long term, complex societal challenges.

The project will utilise multiple case study research identifying evidence of harnessing engagement to effect change.

The project also forms part of a new relationship between Strathclyde Business School and the Adelaide Business School, University of Adelaide. This project will have a joint supervision arrangement with a co-supervisor in Adelaide and the successful candidate will have the opportunity to spend 6-12 months in Adelaide during the studentship.

Funding Details

Home/EU fee plus annual stipend at the RCUK rate (£15,009 in 2019/2020).


Dr Juliette Wilson, Department of Marketing, University of Strathclyde

Dr Matthew Alexander, Department of Marketing, University of Strathclyde

Professor Jodie Conduit, Department of Marketing and Management, University of Adelaide

How to apply

Applicatants must submit a formal application here and upload all required documents to Strathcloud (instructions below). 

All applications should include:

  • cover letter indicating the candidate's relevant skills/experience and how they can contribute to this research
  • CV
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language – IELTS minimum overall band score of 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5)
  • two references (please refer to guidance on references here)

When sending the above documents please use the following file-naming convention: fullname_typeofdocument

  • Johnsmith_coverletter
  • Johnsmith_CV
  • Johnsmith_transcript1
  • Johnsmith_transcript2
  • Johnsmith_certificate1
  • Johnsmith_certificate2
  • Johnsmith_IELTS
  • Johnsmith_reference1
  • Johnsmith_reference2

Apply now by uploading your documents to Strathcloud.