Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE CDT) PhDs at Loughborough, UCL and MaREI (ROI) PhD

Entry requirements
4 years
Start date
October 2019
Application deadline
Open ended
Reference number
UK / EU fee
International fee


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more


The new EPSRC CDT in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE) brings together established energy research centres at Loughborough University (LU) and University College London (UCL) together with the ROI-based MaREI Research Centre. Loughborough and UCL will train at least 50 PhD students through a programme of energy demand research in a whole energy system context, while MaREI will train at least 18 PhD students. 

The energy system is undergoing a major transition. Low carbon energy sources have an increasing role to play, accommodating them requires new flexibility in the system, and the relationship between energy supply and demand is no longer one-way.

This interaction of people, buildings and energy systems will transform the relationship between supply and demand. Our domestic and non-domestic buildings will no longer be passive consumers of heat and power; instead, our homes and businesses will participate actively in a flexible, integrated, low-carbon supply and demand system that includes buying, selling and storing heat and power. To implement this vision, we need people with a deep understanding of building physics, low-zero carbon technologies and the socio-technical context, to lead and drive change in government, industry, NGOs and academia. 

We build on a decade of experience of high-quality doctoral training to provide a bespoke new PhD programme, including: opportunities to work with leading researchers, projects integrated with industry and a comprehensive skills and development programme. We are centred firmly within the UK’s energy research landscape and so all PhDs will have the opportunity to undertake significant, impactful research.

Project detail

Our new, integrated 4-year programme is co-created with partners in industry and government, and our students. It is research-focused from the start but incorporates interdisciplinary taught courses and skills training. This structure ensures that students build up a firm foundation of skills and knowledge they can immediately apply in their research.

The taught modules cover energy policy and society, energy data and analysis, building modelling, physics of the built environment and socio-technical theory and methods. You will also learn research skills such as research ethics, academic writing and research project management, as well as wider skills such as leadership, innovation and engaging with policy makers. You will have the opportunity to interact in person and through an online hub with fellow students in the other institutions. Teaching will be delivered by specialists across the Centre.

You will undertake your PhD at either Loughborough, UCL or MaREI in one of three themes: 

  1. Flexibility and resilience: the interaction between buildings and the whole supply system, through new generation and storage technology, enabled by smart control systems and new business models.
  2. Technology and system performance: demand reduction and decarbonisation of the built environment through design, construction methods, technological innovation, monitoring and regulation.
  3. Comfort, health and well-being: buildings and energy systems that create productive work environments and affordable, clean, safe homes.

Funding information

We are looking for self funded students or are in receipt of an independent scholarships or who are fully industry-funded; this must be indicated clearly on your application.

Why you should choose us

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applications are invited from UK graduates with a good first degree (1st or 2:1) in one of the following areas: physics, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, natural sciences, materials science, data analytics, computer science, statistics, psychology, social science, architecture or other building and energy-related disciplines.

Applicants with other relevant qualifications or extensive relevant industry experience who can show evidence of a scientific and engineering research capability may also apply.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Fees and funding

UK / EU fee

Full-time degree per annum

International fee

Full-time degree per annum

Starting your studies in the 2018/19 academic year?

If your start date is October 2018, January 2019, or April 2019 your tuition fees for this academic year will be at the 2018/19 rates.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

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How to apply

To apply to UCL click here, for further information about studentships at UCL please email:

To apply to Loughborough click here, when prompted select programme name, Civil and Building Engineering (Built Environment) and quote advert reference ERBE19. For further information about studentships at Loughborough University, please 

Applicants interested in studying at MaREI should contact:, For further information regarding the ERBE programme click here 

Recruitment is handled separately by UCL and Loughborough. We do not accept applications outside of the main recruitment phases or by CV only. Follow us on Twitter: @ERBECDT to be the first to know about Scholarships and news of the Centre.

Apply now