Research Fellow in Social Innovation in Energy Transitions

University of Sussex Business School

Research Fellow in Social Innovation in Energy Transitions 

School/department: University of Sussex Business School, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)

Hours: Full time or part time considered up to a maximum of 1 FTE. Full time for 13 months or part time for a longer duration. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need).

Contract: Fixed term contract until 31 July 2021 (13 months from start date), or longer if part time.

Reference: 3712

Salary: Starting at £33,797 to £40,322 per annum, pro rata if part time.

Placed on: 5 May 2020

Closing date:  5 June 2020. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.

Expected interview date: w/c 15 June 2020

Expected start date: 1 July 2020 or ASAP

Job description

The Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School is seeking to appoint a Research Fellow to join the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme funded project on “Social Innovation in Energy Transitions” (SONNET), connected also with the Sussex Energy Group, interacting with a dynamic and inspiring community of energy researchers.

The SONNET project brings diverse groups together to make sense of how social innovation can bring about a more sustainable energy system in Europe. The Research Fellow will work closely with the Principal Investigator Sabine Hielscher to develop an understanding of social innovation in energy through qualitative data collection activities, transdisciplinary work, and literature on energy social science and social innovation research.

The main duties of the Research Fellow will be to undertake qualitative data collection, and subsequent data analysis, in the UK, using in-depth interviews, document reviews and participant observation with subjects in civil society, local government and other policy-makers. They will also collaborate in transdisciplinary research with the city lab in Bristol. The Research Fellow will interpret the findings by conducting thematic analyses of the qualitative data, and produce co-authored journal articles, conference presentations, blog posts and working papers.

Essential criteria for the post are:

• A PhD in a relevant social scientific area (e.g. energy social science research or other relevant social science research).
• Experience of conducting qualitative research work: document reviews, participant observation, workshops, and in-depth interviews.
• Appreciation and understanding of carrying out transdisciplinary research work.
• Experience of collecting, analysing and reporting on qualitative data.
• Knowledge of the social science energy literature.
• Excellent writing skills
• Willingness to travel frequently in the UK (subject to any travel restrictions that may still be in place due to Covid-19)

Please contact Dr Sabine Hielscher, for informal enquiries.

How to apply

Download our academic post application form [DOC 301.50KB] and personal details and equal opportunities form [DOC 162.50KB] and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email (don't use a web-based upload/weblink service) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.