Job opportunity: Research Associate (Part-time), Sociology

‘Low Carbon Innovation in China – Prospects, Politics & Practice’ aims to investigate different models of innovation and their role in low-carbon transitions in the key socio-technical and (geo-)political context of a rising China.

Salary:   £25,504 to £29,541 (pro rata)
Closing Date:   Monday 23 September 2013
Interview Date:   October 10th, 2013
Reference:  A779

This involves working on an ESRC funded project which is a collaboration between Lancaster University's Centre for Mobilities Research (John Urry and David Tyfield), Sussex University’s STEPS Centre, SOAS, and Chinese partners at Tsinghua University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The project will examine the actual practices of users who are expected by policy or corporate strategy to shift to low-carbon technologies. This should elicit a more informative picture about what, how and why particular low-carbon innovations are succeeding or failing, and insert a social science, rather than economic, paradigm into conceiving a low-carbon future.  The project will look at three areas – solar energy, urban transport and agri-food- and compare government-led, high-tech innovation approaches with emergent, lower-tech approaches.

You will be expected to design, conduct, analyse and write-up interview and focus group-based research regarding low-carbon transitions in China, in collaboration with both UK and China-based colleagues, focusing specifically in this post on issues of urban mobility (electric vehicles and electric two-wheelers).

You will also be expected to possess:

  • A thorough working knowledge and understanding of the field of mobility research and socio-technical transitions and of conducting research in these fields.
  • Experience of successfully working in research-intensive projects with strict schedules.
  • A strong research record including potential to publish in top-quality, peer-reviewed international conference and journals.
  • A PhD (or about to complete) in a relevant social science discipline.
  • Outstanding communication and presentation skills, including the ability to present technical information in an accurate, convincing and engaging way.
  • Experience of working collaboratively within a team and providing appropriate guidance for colleagues.

This is a challenging role that offers significant growth potential for the right candidate.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Dr David Tyfield Tel:  +44 (0)1524 594187   Email:


For general information about CeMoRe and Lancaster University’s Sociology Department, please visit:

The post is fixed term for 30 months with a part-time contract at 0.6 FTE.