This project examines media framing of geothermal energy and subsurface drilling and its impact on securing social licence to operate, with a particular focus on digital and social media. With little known about the influence of media representations on people’s levels of knowledge and their perceptions of geothermal energy, this PhD offers an exciting opportunity to track the leading narratives around this emerging technology. The candidate will be able to shape the PhD studies but research questions are likely to include how risks and benefits are framed through text and imagery, and how different audiences interpret this. The study will use eye-tracking technology to identify how messages are ‘read’ by receivers, and open up new approaches for understanding the application of persuasion within current energy debates.
We are looking for a highly motivated, hard working person who is both collaborative and open-minded in their approach. The candidate should have strong qualitative skills and knowledge of a range of research methods as well as a broad understanding and/or interest in the energy field. The position would suit a social science graduate who wishes to apply their training to a real-world challenge. Natural sciences graduates who can demonstrate an interest in the social dimension and who would be able to pick up communication theories and research skills quickly are also encouraged to apply
Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.
The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,553 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £10,350 per annum).