Postgraduate research opportunities SCDT (Strathclyde Centre for Doctoral Training) in Social Dimensions of Plastics: Communications, Behaviours & Social Change


Key facts

  • Opens: Thursday 17 November 2022
  • Deadline: Friday 16 December 2022
  • Number of places: 3
  • Duration: 3.5 years
  • Funding: Home fee, Equipment costs, Stipend


Technical solutions alone cannot solve the plastics crisis, public engagement and behaviour plays a key role. Influencing consumer behaviour is becoming a priority in global environmental policy as well as for business and industry who are seeking to bring about sustained changes and shape pro-environmental behaviours. We aim to train the next generation of interdisciplinary plastics pollution researchers and build a transformational hub of research capacity.
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You should have, or be expected to obtain, a first-class honours or 2:1 undergraduate degree and a master’s degree with distinction/merit in a relevant discipline of Communications, Media, Sociology, Journalism, Psychology, Behaviour Change.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

Successful applicant must be available to commence study on 1 March 2023

Further information

The creation of a SCDT dedicated to plastics research through the lens of social science and humanities is innovative and high profile. We anticipate that it will attract significant attention across industry and academic sectors, as well as media and public attention, thus engaging the research community in the UK as well as EU and overseas. Waste, circular economy and sustainability challenges lie at the heart of UKRI Challenge Led initiatives and require interdisciplinary approaches. Our partners include NERC, FSG Packaging, Wastebuster and we encourage applications from students with a background in Communications, Psychology, Journalism, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Environment Science. Within our broad theme of ‘Social Dimensions of Plastics’ we are open to a diversity of topics and methodologies. We are especially interested in supervising PhDs on: Gamification, behaviour change and reusables; Entertainment-Education and plastic pollution in children’s programming; Media and Microplastics; Plastics and the Pandemic.

You will be supported by world leading academics in Communications and Behaviour Change and have access to a wide range of international partner organisations which will allow for unique opportunities for secondments and real-world case study experience. We are seeking students with an entrepreneurial mind set who are receptive to working across traditional disciplinary boundaries


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Funding details

Tuition Fee at Home Rate & UKRI Stipend Rate

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Professor Lesley Henderson

Professor Of Science Communication
Journalism, Media and Communication

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Professor Paul Flowers


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Go to PhD Journalism, Media & Communication  scroll down to ‘apply’ and select “Apply Now” between October 2022 – September 2023” – your start date will be 1 March 2023

In the Funding section of the application form, please write SCDT Plastics Scholarship

Preferred Supervisors select: Prof Lesley Henderson

Documents to be uploaded to your application include:

  • 1000-word count research statement which outlines your background, suitability and fit with the project & future development aspirations
  • 2-page CV, including your academic achievements & any professional experience relevant to this project
  • Academic degrees and transcripts to date
  • IELTS Academic Certificate within the past 2 years with an overall band score of 6.5 minimum and no individual score of less than 5.5, or equivalent if English is not your first language

Applicants selected for Interview will be notified by 21 December 2022

Interviews will be held week commencing 16 January 2023

Successful applicant must be available to start 1 March 2023.

Number of places: 3

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Journalism, Media and Communication

Programme: Journalism, Media and Communication

Start date: Oct 2022 - Sep 2023

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Contact us

For informal enquiries: (Communications, Media, Sociology, Journalism) (Psychology, Behaviour change)