Studentship opportunity

Digitalising Sustainable Consumption

This studentship is funded by the ESRC through the Scottish Graduate School of the Social Sciences

University of Glasgow
Accounting, Finance, Business and Management (AFBM)
Mode of study

Full time / Part time

Application deadline
15 March 2019

Project details

Overconsumption by consumers is a principle challenge to sustainability, thus, approaches that can foreground a sustained shift in consumer behaviour are critical. Mindfulness has been receiving attention in research on sustainable consumption to disrupt automatic thinking, enhance awareness and foster prosocial values and behaviours (e.g., Stanszus et al., 2017). There have also been calls for consumers and businesses to be more mindful in their approaches to consumption and in their market offerings (e.g., Sheth et al., 2011). Digital devices, such as, mindfulness apps have emerged as common consumer tools (e.g., Dredge, 2016). Digitalisation offers consumers new ways of ‘managing, calculating, communicating and evaluating environmental and ethical information’ (Fuentes and Sorum, 2018). Digital devices offer assistance toconcerned consumers in terms of advice on what to buy, where to buy, who to boycott and buycott, etc. While such tools have the potential to facilitate more sustainable behaviours, it is unclear exactly how they can achieve this in practice. Further, to date there has been no consideration of digital tools that seek to draw on the dual benefits of mindfulness and sustainability in a clothing consumption context. This research aims to examine the impact of digital devices in aiding consumers to be more sustainable and mindful in their clothing practices. In doing so, we conceptualise the role of digital tools in problematising consumption, and the provision of agency to consumers to approach their own sustainability concerns. This aligns with the vision of our collaborative partner, Save Your Wardrobe London (SYW) a technology startup,who via app technology are encouraging consumers to think more mindfully about their clothing and wardrobe behaviours. The app mixes AI (Artificial Intelligence) with IoT (Internet of Things) to bring a new experience to consumers to help them make the most of their wardrobe and extend the life of garments.

About the institution

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world, and has been named Scottish University of the Year 2018. Glasgow is a place that inspires ambitious people to succeed. A place where inquiring minds can develop their ideas. A place where people make discoveries that change the world. The University of Glasgow includes among its alumni the father of economics Adam Smith, and the Adam Smith Business School is named in his honour. We aim to follow his legacy and create world changing graduates who make a positive impact on culture and society. We help to transform organisations and careers. Our business is creating inspiring leaders, researchers and professionals whose research and relations with industry have real impact, influencing organisations as they develop and grow globally. The School has the triple crown of accreditation and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), and the Glasgow MBA is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA)


Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria: For 1+3
  • A 2:1 degree or equivalent with at least a 25% business and management component.
  • Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of consumption ethics and clothing sustainability debates and/or mindfulness.
For +3
  • A master’s good degree with a business and management component
  • Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of consumption ethics and clothing sustainability debates and/or mindfulness.

Students must meet ESRC eligibility criteria. ESRC eligibility information can be found here.

Award details

The scholarship is available as a +3 or a 1+3 programme depending on prior research training.  This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process.  The programme will commence in September 2019. It includes
  • an annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate (2019/20 rate £15,009 full-time)
  • fees at the standard Home rate
  • students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year

Other information

How to apply

  1. Applicants register on GradHub and fill out EO data (this is a requirement of the application process)
  2. Applicants complete and upload the prescribed list of required documentation to include:
  • Application form
  • Academic transcripts
  • References
  • CV
  • A short statement (max 1,000 words) explaining how you fit with, and can add to, the research project.

The statement should be uploaded as a standalone document with the file named as follows *your name_ShawGlasgowCollaborative_date*

  1. Applicants submit application through GradHub

Selection process

Applications will be ranked by a selection panel and applicants will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by 05th April 2019. Interviews dates are to be confirmed. All scholarship awards are subject to candidates successfully securing admission to a PhD programme within the University of Glasgow. Successful scholarship applicants will be invited to apply for admission to the relevant PhD programme after they are selected for funding.

Supervisor/Contact details

Deirdre Shaw