UKRI Funded doctoral position as part of the EU-funded MSCA Doctoral Network; CoDesign4Transitions


Research Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise
Hybrid – LCC Elephant and Castle/Home
Grade 1
Please see the vacancy link

Fixed Term - 36 months

Full time - 37 hours per week

26 February 2024 23:55

First round: 21/03/2024 - 15/04/2024 / Second round: 18/04/2024 - 30/04/2024

The opportunity

Doctoral Network Job title: Doctoral Candidate 12: Materialising policy options in spaces for experimentation and learning for climate transition as part of the MSCA Doctoral Network; CoDesign4Transitions

Purpose: This doctoral research aims 1) to integrate current theories and frameworks in studies of co-design, transitions design, political science and design for policy; 2) to produce, test and critically assess design artefacts, media and workshops to understand the potential for their deployment and use in local government-citizen engagements in the context of experimentation and learning towards climate transitions (practice research) and 3) to produce a conceptual framework to inform future use of creative design approaches in local government-citizen engagements for experimentation and learning towards climate transitions.

The research expected results include 1) validated creative approaches in the context of climate transitions; 2) framework summarising capabilities for materialising policy options towards experimentation for climate solutions for local government.

Methodology: The doctoral research will involve study of current theories and practices regarding just climate transitions. This will involve in-depth review of current literature and practice, with the objective to integrate knowledge across disciplinary fields. More specifically, this will involve analysing co-design, transitions design, political science and design for policy literature and practices.

Practice research will include design and/or testing related to transitions and futures with residents and local governments. Case study methodology will involve a deep study of a selection of relevant cases (including from secondment organisations), which may be ongoing longitudinal cases, historical or ‘live’ projects. Document analysis, qualitative methods and design may be employed to shed light on whether and how such theories and practices may impact just climate transitions.


· Climate KIC, Copenhagen, Denmark, supported by mentor Dr Carolina Giraldo (3 months);

· London Borough of Camden, London, UK (6 months). This will focus on reviewing the results of the Somers Town Future Neighbourhoods action research supported by mentor Carlos Queremel and to support routes to policy implementation linked to iterative development of the council’s Climate Action Plan, supported by mentor Tom Sharland.

This doctoral position is funded by UK Research and Innovation. Apply here

About you

Candidates applying for an open position must fulfil all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Not have been awarded a doctoral degree. Researchers must not already be in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment. Candidates are required to have a Master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree or extensive professional experience) in a design or political science or related fields.. Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will NOT be considered eligible to apply.
  • Mobility rule. Researchers can be of any nationality and must comply with the following mobility rule: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays and time spent by the researcher as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

  • Employment rule. Researchers applying to positions recruited by the University of the Arts London (UAL) must not be already permanently employed by UAL.

  • English language proficiency*: Applicants must have a demonstrable C1 level of English (both speaking and in writing). Evidence must be provided pre-admissions/enrolment into the program following the guidance and minimum requirements specified by the Hosting University. In the absence of a recognised certificate, candidates should check the rules at the university where they will be enrolled. *Native English speakers are exempt from this requirement.

  • Further, during employment candidates must agree to not receive any other source of income. NB: If you do not meet all conditions, your application will be rejected. For complete eligibility details, including special circumstances and evidence to be submitted, check Annex 2, “Guide for applicants” accessible via the externally managed application portal 

In addition to the above criteria, candidates applying to this position (Doctoral Candidate 12) should have and be able to demonstrate in their application the following:

  • Have a strong design orientation; previous experience with participatory methods and action research, public governance and sustainability or transition concepts will be an advantage. 
  • Have a research-oriented attitude, open-minded, curious, enthusiastic, with a working style that is driven by theory and practice, proactive, analytic, and empathetic. Capable of working independently, and likes to work in a team, good organizational and communication skills
  • Due to the collaborative, multi-stakeholder and transdisciplinary nature of this project, the doctoral candidate should have excellent soft skills to work closely with people from other disciplines and across organizations, as well as communication, facilitation, organizational and project management skills. 

What we offer

To recognise the hard work of our staff and their contributions, we provide a wide range of benefits – please check our careers site/Canvas for further information as conditions and exclusions apply:

▪ at least 31 days of annual leave in addition to bank holidays.
▪ generous defined benefit pension schemes (LGPS/TPS}.
▪ flexible working and family-friendly policies for improved work-life balance.
▪ 2 days of paid volunteering leave for a UK registered charity.
▪ discounts including TOTUM, gyms, nursery and private healthcare insurance.
▪ continuous learning and development opportunities including free UAL Short Courses.
▪ season ticket loan, cycle to work scheme, free counselling via EAP and more! 

We are UAL

University of the Arts London (UAL) offers an extensive range of courses in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts. We are a collegiate University spread across London with six Colleges, four Institutes and five Research Centres.

We’re made up of all types of people, coming together in London, the world’s creative capital. We are designers, artists, performers, thinkers, researchers and makers. Our students, staff and graduates form a global network of creatives, entrepreneurs and leaders. Together, our ideas change the world. Because the world needs creativity.

We are ranked highly across the board. We are ranked first for specialist art and design, second in the world for Art and Design in the 2022 QS World University Rankings (for the fifth year in a row), ranked fifth in sustainability and two of our colleges were rated in the top three fashion schools in the world. 

Our culture

We have become one of the world’s most international Universities, welcoming over 22,000 students and 6,000 staff from 130 countries. And, as a global university, staff and students learn from different cultures and perspectives, which leads to new conversations and innovative work. At our very core, everything we do seeks to challenge the status quo by driving social purpose and standing up for what matters.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds including those who may feel underrepresented in the workforce due to their socioeconomic circumstances such as those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (B.A.M.E.) backgrounds. We aim to be a university where everyone can be themselves and are supported to reach their full potential.

With our commitment to inclusion and diversity, we are proud to be a Race Equality Charter (REC) member to help us reduce barriers that negatively impacts B.A.M.E. staff, a Stonewall Diversity Champion to ensure all LGBTQ+ people are valued at work, a Disability Confident Scheme Committed employer and member of the Business Disability Forum which help us to improve the lives of disabled people in the workplace.

This opportunity is closed to applications.