Thursday 2 February 2017

Call for Applications: CIED Summer School on Accelerating Innovation to Reduce Energy Demand | 10-12 July 2017 | University of Sussex, UK

CIED Summer School on Accelerating Innovation to Reduce Energy Demand

10-12 July 2017, University of Sussex, Brighton, U.K.

The Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) are pleased to announce we are launching a summer school on Accelerating Innovation to Reduce Energy Demand. The Summer School will be held on 10-12 July 2017 at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. The Summer School will provide doctoral and postdoctoral researchers a unique opportunity to hear from leading thinkers in the fields of innovation and energy demand, to take part in collaborative learning and participatory activities, and to meet other research students and early career researchers from around the world. Applications are invited from highly-motivated doctoral and postdoctoral researchers working on energy demand from the perspective of innovation studies, sociotechnical transitions, science and technology studies, geography and related areas. Numbers are limited, so recruitment will be by refereed selection.

About CIED
CIED is a collaboration between researchers from the Sussex Energy Group at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex; the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford; and the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester. CIED is one of six Research Centres on End Use Energy Demand funded by the Research Councils UK Energy Programme. CIED sits at the forefront of research on the transition to a low carbon economy. We investigate new technologies and new ways of doing things that have the potential to transform the way we use energy and achieve substantial reductions in energy demand. Our research explores how innovations are adopted by people and organisations, how they become more widespread within societies and how different factors shape their impact on energy demand. We seek to use this knowledge to develop practical policy recommendations. Our research programme is: 
  • Interdisciplinary. We draw on ideas from economics, history, innovation studies, sociology and urban geography.
  • Multi-method. We use qualitative and quantitative techniques ranging from historical and contemporary case studies, surveys, modelling and econometric analysis.
  • Practical and relevant. We investigate low-energy innovations relevant to transport, industry, households and non-domestic buildings, and work with stakeholders to better understand their adoption of low-energy innovations.
Accelerating innovation to reduce energy demand 
Improving energy efficiency is widely considered to be the fastest, cheapest and safest means to mitigate climate change. While progress has been made through incremental change to existing heating, lighting, power and transport systems, more radical changes are needed if we are to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Meeting the climate objectives in the UK's Climate Change Act 2009 and the Paris Agreement will require the adoption of more radical innovations, either new 
technologies, new behavioural practices or transitions to new systems. In other words, further progress in demand reduction will depend upon low-energy innovation. Participants, along with researchers and academics from CIED, will explore a variety of concepts and approaches for studying innovation and energy demand from a socio-technical perspective. We will explore three main themes:
Emergence (the mechanisms and processes that provide the conditions for new innovations)
Diffusion (how innovations move from niche to mainstream and the role that economics, infrastructures, business models, social norms, values, expectations and public policies play in this process) 
Governance and policy (the role that governance plays in the innovation process and how policymakers can best promote radical low-carbon innovation).

Summer school goals
The Summer School is an opportunity to meet and collaborate with other research students and early career researchers in the social sciences with an interest in advanced discussions on innovation and energy demand. Leading thinkers will present their latest findings and insights, and you can also present and discuss your own research. Sessions will offer opportunities to discuss and apply different theoretical approaches and methods to specific issues and debates relating to innovation and energy demand. Participants will be encouraged to engage and develop their personal research topics and ideas in interaction with other students and with CIED members. 
Speakers at the Summer School will include: Professor Johan Schot | Professor Frank Geels | Dr Karoline Rogge | Dr Paula Kivimaa | Professor Benjamin Sovacool 

We invite applications from PhD students, researchers and academics from across the social sciences, but with a particular focus on innovation studies and sociotechnical transitions. There are 25 places available. Fees for attendance are £75, which includes accommodation and catering. This is subsidised by the Research Councils UK through CIED. Participants must arrange and pay for their own travel. Participants will be required to do some reading and writing before the Summer School and will be expected to actively engage in workshops and activities when they are here. 

How to apply
Please send a short CV (two pages maximum) and a one page document explaining why you want to attend the Summer School, how it is relevant to your current research and how you hope to benefit from participating in the event. Please email your applications to for applications: 3 March 2017. Confirmation of place: 3 April 2017. Payment deadline: 17 April 2017. If you are successful then we will ask you to confirm your acceptance of your place, and pay the £75 fee online by 17 April 2017. If you do not meet the payment deadline, then your place will be offered to someone else. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at

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