Postgraduate research opportunities Strathclyde Centre for Doctoral Training: Energy-efficient Indoor Climate Control for Optimised Health

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Key facts

  • Opens: Wednesday 12 April 2023
  • Deadline: Friday 26 May 2023
  • Number of places: Three positions are available.
  • Duration: 3.5 years
  • Funding: Home fee, Stipend

Overview

This exciting 42-month fully-funded project will be part of the Strathclyde Centre for Doctoral Training (SCDT) in ‘Energy-efficient Indoor Climate Control for Optimised Health (EICCOH)’. The aim of this interdisciplinary SCDT is to meet the needs of the fast-growing green construction industry to optimise building performance and deliver net-zero buildings whilst promoting occupant’s health and wellbeing.
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Eligibility

Qualifications / skills required:

  • An upper-second or first class BA / BSc Honours degree or a Master's degree in a relevant area (e.g. Architecture, Engineering, Sustainable Design, Psychology, Computer Science)
  • A strong interest and prior knowledge or experience in topics related to: zero-carbon design, building ventilation, indoor air quality, thermal comfort, human factors related to the built environment, energy-related behaviour, data analytics, building control systems, machine learning, SMART indoor climate control for optimised health, health / environmental psychology, and/or building performance evaluation.
  • Experience in research, preferably in the form of a research project or dissertation
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Have good interpersonal skills and an ability to work independently and as part of a team
THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

This SCDT will provide three fully-funded PhD students with a world-class interdisciplinary research and training programme to bridge the net-zero design and construction skills gap whilst providing specialist skills in human-centric smart building design and digitisation for optimised health and resilience.

The increased risk of overheating, poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and inadequate ventilation in energy-efficient and/or net-zero buildings is now well evidenced, including the increasing gap between design expectations and energy performance, which is highly influenced by human behaviour. This CDT will train future innovators and leaders that can drive the transition to a healthy and energy-efficient built environment. The training will be led by experts in net-zero design, indoor air quality, building resilience, human behaviour and data analytics. Each project will be co-supervised by staff from different disciplines and all projects will involve industry partners and/or clinical advisors, to ensure that the research explored is based on an area of industry/clinical need.

The centre will provide highly-skilled future experts and leaders to tackle the challenges of delivering net-zero buildings that are human-oriented and optimise health. The CDT will deliver emerging multidisciplinary research endeavours by working across the departments of Architecture, Psychology and CIS, to decarbonise the built environment while providing a healthy and comfortable indoor environment.

SCDT students will become part of a growing PGR cohort, benefiting from peer-to-peer learning and an inclusive research culture. Opportunities will be provided to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders (such as clinicians, industry specialists and the public), through internships/placements, personal development and specialist training, networking and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Successful candidates will be trained in writing manuscripts for publication in scientific journals, and strongly supported and encouraged to apply to external funding (such as travel grants), where appropriate. As part of the PhD programme, the candidate will be registered on the PGCert in Researcher Development. This is a 60-credit qualification covering personal effectiveness, governance, organisation, engagement, impact, and intellectual abilities, running in tandem with the PhD programme.

Candidates are expected to proactively take ownership of their project and creatively contribute to shaping it. We are seeking future leaders to develop knowledge and expertise required to address future challenges in the following three areas:

  1. Linking indoor pollutant exposure and climate conditions with physical and psychological health outcomes,
  2. Technological solutions for energy-efficient indoor climate control,
  3. Understanding and analysis of psychological and behavioural factors that affect exposure indoors.
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Funding details

Funding includes the following for 42 months from October 2023:

  • Waiver for tuition fee (home rate)
  • Stipend (tax free, paid monthly)
  • Access to specialist equipment for Building Performance Evaluation (BPE), thermal comfort and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) assessment

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for Home UK applicants. To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status in the UK, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements) in the UK, or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter in the UK

Applicants who do not meet the home tuition rate criteria are still eligible to apply for the scholarships. They would receive the monthly stipend and contribution towards their tuition fee at the home tuition rate, but the difference between the international tuition rate and home tuition rate must be financed by the student or their third-party sponsor.

Please indicate if you are eligible for the home tuition rate and if not, your additional funding source in your cover letter. We also welcome fully self-funded or externally funded applications for additional places. Please indicate this in your cover letter.

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Supervisors

As part of this new initiative, you will have the opportunity to contribute to setting the agenda of the SCDT, to address the challenge of delivering net-zero buildings without compromising health and wellbeing. Membership of this SCDT will enable you to engage with a vibrant community of PhD students, academics and industry specialists, providing the specialist knowledge and skills needed to design and manage healthy, human-centric indoor environments for net-zero buildings.

The centre will build on established excellence in research on ‘healthy, net-zero buildings’, providing access to state-of-the art equipment in building performance and air pollution monitoring, whilst providing opportunities to engage with a significant portfolio of funded projects in this area.

Expected outputs for this studentship would include 3-4* articles in the relevant fields, public engagement and outreach activities, and co-development of future grant applications to support signature research in this area.

Dr Grainne McGill

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow
Architecture

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Dr Waites

Dr William Waites

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow
Computer and Information Sciences

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Dr Alejandro Moreno-Rangel

Lecturer
Architecture

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Dr Toledo

Dr Linda Toledo

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow
Architecture

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Dr Dwight Tse

Senior Lecturer
Psychology

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Apply

Applicants should send the following documents to Alejandro.moreno-rangel@strath.ac.uk with subject “Application for SCDT Scholarship” by Friday 12th May. Please include Dr. Gráinne McGill, (grainne.mcgill@strath.ac.uk).

Earlier applications are highly encouraged. Please upload all the usual expected documentation which is listed on the subject ‘apply’ page:

https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/research/architecture/#apply, and the following information:

  • A cover letter (max 3 pages): This should include: your motivation to pursue a PhD degree; your preference among the three topics listed, and your interest and understanding of the chosen topic. Please also discuss how you meet the eligibility criteria, and the areas in which you would like to grow the research.
  • A research proposal is not required at this stage, but we highly recommend that you demonstrate a critical understanding of the topic in your cover letter.
  • One piece of a substantial writing sample (e.g. an academic article, thesis, dissertation, project report or assignment).

Number of places: Three positions are available.

The three positions each cover different aspects of the SCDT, including:

  1. linking indoor pollutant exposure and climate conditions with physical and psychological health outcomes
  2. technological solutions for energy-efficient indoor climate control
  3. understanding and analysis of psychological and behavioural factors that affect exposure indoors. Please indicate your preferred position

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview, which will take place in June.

To read how we process personal data, applicants can review our 'Privacy Notice for Student Applicants and Potential Applicants' on our Privacy notices' web page.

To read how we process personal data, applicants can review our 'Privacy Notice for Student Applicants and Potential Applicants' on our Privacy notices' web page.

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Contact us

If you would like any further information, please contact Alejandro.moreno-rangel@strath.ac.uk and grainne.mcgill@strath.ac.uk.