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BL Lammi: Circular economy transitions in society and businesses

Faculty: Business and Law / Science and Engineering

Supervisors: Dr Minna Lammi; Prof Emanuele Giovannetti; Dr Davide Natalini

Location: Cambridge

The interview for this project is expected to take place on Tuesday 16 April.

This project is also open to international applicants.

Apply online by 3 March 2024

In this PhD project, you will have an opportunity to explore the complexity and the future of the circular economy transitions in society and businesses.

The aim of the project is to understand the scenery of circular economy discussion, especially building an understanding of hopes, dreams and narratives policymakers and companies are imagining about circular economy.

These narratives can be powerful assets in our culture and shape how we build our sustainable futures. The results of the study will ideally help to co-produce shared visions with academia, policy and practitioners of what a future circular economy could look like.

You will be given support to follow your own interests when it comes to choosing cases and discussions. The project will:

  • Critically analyse political and economic discussions about different aspects of circular economy, focusing on the local and the UK situation but also considering European discussions.
  • Organise “envisioning the future” workshops (about the method see, e.g. Ziegler, 1991) with policymakers, businesses and citizen-consumers to actively participate in this societal imagination process. These workshops would also bring new empirical findings to the discussions and foster future envisioning in society.
  • Disseminate results actively to feed the public discussion about the circular economy and its different aspects, including social and political aspects and strengthen citizen-consumers’ role in the transition.
  • Use qualitative text analysis methods to analyse discussions and participatory methods in the stakeholder engagement process.

This work will contribute to:

  • The research body that is looking at ideas shaping our understanding of markets and imagining futures. These ideas, dreams and narratives are practices that will actively shape our economies and societies.
  • Understanding how our societies are building a culture towards a sustainable future and how different actors contribute to this.
  • Promoting new creative thinking and imagination for our sustainable, circular future.

You will be part of a research group studying sustainable transformations in society and businesses. Your supervisory team is multidisciplinary, with a background in circular economy research, economic analyses and developing models and policies in sustainability transformations.

The supervisory group will connect you to two faculties – Business and Law and Science and Engineering – as well as a research institute, the Global Sustainability Institute, and a vibrant community of postgraduate researchers.

We welcome candidates with backgrounds in all relevant academic disciplines. Given the focus of the project, applicants from those holding Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in social sciences (e.g. sociology, political economy, environmental politics or similar) and an interest in sustainability in society and business would be particularly valued.

Experience in implementing co-production and qualitative methods and an undergraduate level of knowledge in statistics and data analysis is desirable.

If you would like to discuss this research project, please contact Minna Lammi: [email protected]

Apply online by 3 March 2024

Funding notes

The successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship which covers the tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. For 2023/4 this was £18,622 per year. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the scholarship terms and conditions. Please note that the University asserts the right to claim any intellectual property generated by research it funds.

Download the full terms and conditions.