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School of Built Environment & Engineering

Studentship in Sustainable Development in the Built Environment

Leeds Sustainability Institute
Studentship: Annual Stipend - £17,000/year
36 month (+ 6 month writing up period) fully funded PhD with stipend – match funded by Citu Developments Ltd through the Industrial Strategy HEIF Uplift Funding program

Working title:

Using environmental and in-use performance data to enhance the sustainability of inner-city communities and infrastructure services.

This fully funded PhD role offers an exciting and rare opportunity to undertake Doctoral research working alongside experts in sustainable urban development in the Leeds Sustainability Institute whilst being embedded within Citu, a dynamic, progressive urban sustainable property developer. Citu create sustainable places that regenerate our cities and help tackle climate change. They are working to deliver the cities of tomorrow and to create something that will outlast our generation, and the next.  This research will focus on the Climate Innovation District (CID) that is being developed by Citu within Leeds City Centre. Citu aim to lead the market in the use of smart technology to provide quality, comfortable and connected urban homes as part of a thriving and healthy city environment. However, large scale urban housing developments often increase pressure on a city’s existing infrastructure services. Leeds is committed to becoming a ’smart’ city where public, private and voluntary sectors co-operate digitally to achieve sustainable city outcomes and increase economic competitiveness. This includes the ability to share and exchange information across a whole-city system.

This PhD will aim to demonstrate how, through the collection and provision of data, large-scale urban housing developments have the potential to enhance their sustainability and to improve the management and delivery of city infrastructure, rather than increasing pressure on a city's existing systems.  

Key competencies:

  • Awarded (or in the final stages of obtaining) a suitable MSc (or equivalent experience). Due to the broad scope of this research, it may suit candidates with a background in any of: physics, mathematics, statistics, computer programming, data analytics, architectural technology or an energy or building science related discipline.
  • An understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Experience in using statistical software packages (e.g. Matlab, R, SPSS etc.).

Desired attributes (preferred but not all essential):

  • A track record of publication.
  • Demonstrable use of energy or environmental data to solve problems
  • Understanding of the building performance gap, building regulations or domestic energy policy

Responsibilities in delivery of the PhD will include:

  • Designing and conducting statistical analysis on data gathered through the CID.
  • Establishing data analysis protocols and advising on data collection techniques to support future analysis.
  • Providing critical appraisal of existing data collection and analysis practices.
  • Communicating project progress and author reports in collaboration with the research team.

How to apply:

Please send the documents and proposal requested below to Research Admissions: researchadmissions@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Applicants are asked to:

  1. Complete the application form and provide a research proposal using the headings below as a guide. Click here to download the research student application form
  2. Submit scanned copies of your degree certificates (e.g. undergraduate and/or Masters degree certificates) and transcripts.
  3. Submit scanned copies of your passport and previous UK visas, if applicable.
  4. Submit copies of your English Language Certificate ( for EU applicants only). Please note that we only accept IELTS: overall 7.0 with no sub-score below 6.5 TOFEL and Pearson. Alternatively, if you have undertaken a degree in the UK within the last 2 years then this can be used for English Language as long as you meet the requirements.
  5. Submit application, proposal and documents before midday on Friday 14th July.
  6. Submit a fully detailed CV.

Contact us:

If you have any further questions or need advice submitting your application, please contact us:

Email: Researchadmissions@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)113 812 5375


We welcome applications from the United Kingdom and the European Union only; all individuals and particularly from women, black and minority ethnic and any other minority candidates as members of these groups are currently under-represented at this level of post.  All appointments will be based on merit.

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