Socio-economic analysis of soilless cultivation for rapid bioenergy feedstock production

In this project, we will develop an innovative UK-based Computable General Equilibrium model to quantify the socio-economic impacts of a soilless cultivation for rapid bioenergy feedstock production.

Start date

1 October 2022


3 years

Application deadline

Funding source

University of Surrey

Funding information

  • Full tuition fee waiver p.a.
  • Stipend at UKRI rates p.a. (currently at £15,609)
  • Research Training Support Grant of £3,000 to cover the funded period.



Reaching Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions requires extensive changes across the UK economy, where energy innovation is playing a vital role. This project is about a rapid alternative cultivation system for dedicated bioenergy feedstocks. This innovation will bring socio-economic benefits on different scales and under different scenarios. We will understand the profitability of this technology with consideration of life-time revenues and costs. We will quantify the socio-economic benefits of this technology in the UK through an innovative UK-based Computable General Equilibrium model. The expected indicators are GDP, job creation, social welfare, GHG reduction.

We are looking for committed and enthusiastic applicants with knowledge of socio-economic system and biomass feedstock production. Coding experience in MATLAB or GAMS and research experience with Input-Output Analysis or Computable General Equilibrium model is desirable.   

The successful applicant will be supervised by Dr Lirong Liu and will be based at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability. We have a vibrant, interdisciplinary research community tackling the biggest issues faced by society globally and host high profile guest lectures from government and industry. You will receive comprehensive research training and opportunities to participate in conferences, workshops, and seminars to develop professional skills and research network.

A July start date is also possible.

Related links

Centre for Environment and Sustainability

Eligibility criteria

Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good masters degree (distinction normally required).

This studentship is for UK students, EU students, and international students.

IELTS requirements: If English is not your first language, you will be required to have an IELTS Academic of 6.5 or above (or equivalent), with no sub-test score below 6.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Environment and Sustainability PhD programme page on the "Apply" tab. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.

Please prepare to include your CV, degree certificates and transcripts, and two reference contacts. Please upload a cover letter detailing your suitability to the role under the research proposal section. Applications without cover letters will not be considered.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Lirong Liu
04 AA 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689271

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