chickpeas and sausage being scraped off a plate into the bin

Can Household Food Waste be Reduced Using Smart Technologies and Digitally Mediated Interventions?

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees plus additional allowances

Duration: Full-Time – 3-3.5 years fixed term

Application deadline: 14 October 2022

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: January 2023

For further details contact: Dr Shantanu Mullick


The Trailblazer PhD studentships have been devised and developed by leading early-career researchers at Coventry University.

Find out more


Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship within the Centre for Business in Society. Applications from UK/International/EU students are welcome. The PhD student will combine big data and causal econometric techniques to study whether household food waste can be reduced using smart technologies and digitally mediated interventions.


About 1/3rd of all food produced is wasted, which contributes to 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, there is heightened interest among academics and policy makers to find ways to tackle this problem. Yet, studies of interventions to reduce food waste have small sample size and are conducted in controlled settings, which makes it difficult to know whether their findings apply in large scale real-life settings. As such, these studies are not suitable to guide policymakers.

This project will examine interventions to reduce food waste at home, which comprise of 70 percent of all food wasted. Using Motivation, Opportunity and Ability theory as a lens, we will design and test interventions to reduce household food waste. Understanding the effectiveness of interventions is important, since current approaches are restricted to motivating consumers to reduce food waste, but do not provide the opportunities or actions required to do so. The project will be done in collaboration with a company that provides smart refrigerator services, via a mobile app, and have collected detailed data on households’ grocery purchases, the perishable food present in the refrigerator, the expiry dates of food items, as well as food that has been wasted. 


This is a fully-funded studentship, including tuition fees and stipend/bursary.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Entry Requirements

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.


  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English.  The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.
Additional Requirements

The ideal candidate will

  • Have a degree in econometrics, quantitative marketing or quantitative business management or a related field.
  • Have strong analytical skills, demonstrated competence for quantitative modelling and programming with R/Python.
  • Potential and ambition to become a high-level management scholar.
  • Example of candidate’s written work: MSc thesis or professional report, will be appreciated.

How to apply

For pre-determined (named) projects an up-to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

Apply to Coventry University
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021