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Research Associate in Driving zero-carbon transitions and productivity growth
Oxford Road, Manchester

Job reference: HUM-016749

Location: Oxford Road, Manchester

Closing date (DD/MM/YYYY): 27/05/2021

Salary: £32,816 to £40,322 per annum (depending on experience)

Employment type: Fixed Term

Faculty/Organisation: Humanities

Division: Manchester Institute of Innovation Research

Hours Per Week: full time

Contract Duration: starting 1 September 2021 until 31 August 2022

School / Directorate: Alliance Manchester Business School

Applications are invited for a research associate in the field of innovation studies. You will be based in the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the University of Manchester, where you will join a vibrant team of social science researchers working on innovation, low-carbon transitions and productivity.

The research for the 2-year post aims to investigate the effects of zero-carbon transitions on UK productivity in the near and longer term, and how policies and institutional frameworks can maximise the benefits and minimise the risks. The productivity effects of zero-carbon transitions are not fixed and pre-determined, but endogenous and dependent on interactions between actor choices and techno-economic developments (e.g. in price and performance).

The project particularly aims to understand how these interactions may drive low-carbon innovations across tipping points, helping them move from an early niche phase (when costs seem high and productivity effects limited) to an accelerated diffusion phase (when costs decrease and productivity effects become more positive). The RA post will help: a) further develop the conceptual framework, b) investigate low-carbon innovations that have recently crossed tipping points, such as onshore wind, offshore wind, solar-PV, electric vehicles, c) develop suggestions for UK policymakers. Depending on time and skills, the RA may also play a role in the simulation sub-project, which will analyse transition dynamics and productivity effects of offshore wind, electric vehicles, heat pumps, Carbon Capture and Storage, and hydrogen.

You will hold a PhD or equivalent in innovation studies or related field, preferably with a socio-economic and productivity orientation. You should have demonstrable experience in qualitative case study methods and have a strong publication record in internationally peer-reviewed journals. You should have empirical knowledge of some of the empirical areas, and be familiar with the literature on socio-technical transitions, diffusion, endogenous innovation, and productivity.

The closing date for applications will be as per the online advertisement with interviews planned soon after. The post would start as soon as possible after interviews.

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status.  All appointments are made on merit.

Blended working arrangements may be considered      

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Professor Frank Geels


General enquiries:


Technical support:

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.


The closing date for this job has now passed.