The power of co-ops: investigating the potential of community-owned renewable projects for wide socio-ecological change.

Get paid to do a Masters with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University (The Sunday Times' University of the Year 2018) and Energy4All.

1 Year Enterprise-led Funded Masters by Research, Ref. No.105

  • Get paid £15,000 tax-free
  • Have you tuition fees reduced. Your partner company pays £2,000 towards your fees, meaning UK/EU students pay £2,260, and International students pay £15,945.
  • Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation with a cohort of 50 talented graduates working on exciting business-led R&D.
  • The Centre is based at Lancaster University, so you will gain your Masters from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Sunday Times University of the Year 2018.
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

The Project

Community organisations are important for the ongoing decentralisation of energy production, and contribute towards the social change required for achieving sustainability. This research project will investigate the potential for community organisations to engage in bottom-up socio-ecological innovation. It aims to understand the preconditions enabling such innovation, and provide useful advice for Energy4All or for the community organisations under investigation.

During this project you will examine an interesting and specific kind of social organisation supported by the not-for-profit enterprise, Energy4All. Twenty-three community-owned co-operatives and community benefit societies (bencoms) have been set up by Energy4All, all oriented around renewable energy projects. Whilst these individual projects are doing well according to their original remit, the time has come for Energy4all to think more carefully about their longer-term potential in terms of fostering socio-ecological innovation.

This research project would suit a researcher with experience of social science research and, ideally, knowledge about bottom-up socio-ecological innovation.

Enterprise and collaborative partners

This Masters by Research is a collaborative research project between Lancaster University, with supervision by Dr Claire Waterton, Dr Nils Markusson, and Energy4all.

Energy4All demonstrates the power of co-operation in the renewables sector. We work with communities to develop innovative renewable energy projects, we then raise the funds those projects need to go forward, we bring high-quality project managers to support the construction process and finally we work with directors to help them manage the projects over the long-term. Energy4All has grown to become a family of 23 independent renewable-energy co-operatives made up of 13,250 individual members and supporting 30MW of electricity generating capacity.

Apply Here

To apply for this opportunity please email with:

This project is part funded by the European Regional development Fund and is subject to confirmation of funding. For further information about the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, please see our website.

Application deadline

Deadline: Midnight Sunday 22nd July 2018

Start: October 2018