4 years full time, 6 years part time
Starts in September 2017

Science and Technology Policy Studies

From science and technology capability building in developing countries to policy and regulation in energy and high technology industries to rethinking sustainable development – our current research projects fall under three main headings:

  • Governance and Sustainability
  • Innovation in Firms and Industries
  • National and International Science and Technology Systems.

At SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit, you’ll work with internationally recognised experts employing an issue-focused interdisciplinary approach to innovation and industrial policy.


You can choose to work on your research full time or part time. For details about part-time study, contact us at

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.

  • An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
  • A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.

How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex


Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.

  • Faculty profiles

    Dr Allam Ahmed
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: Africa, Change Management Strategy, ICT in Education, Information and Knowledge Management, Innovation for sustainability, Innovation Management, International business, International Development, Knowledge generation - Co-Creation, Knowledge Management (Design), Marketing, Media and international development, Middle Eastern and African Studies, Science and technology policy, Strategic management, sudan, Sustainable development, Technology

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    Dr Saurabh Arora
    Senior Lecturer in Technology and Innovation for Development

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    Dr Robert Byrne

    Research interests: climate policy, Developing Countries, Development studies, energy policy, Innovation for sustainability, Low carbon development, Renewables, Socio-technical transitions, Strategic niche management

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    Dr Rose Cairns
    Research Fellow

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    Dr Roberto Camerani
    Research Fellow

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    Prof Joanna Chataway
    Professor of Science and Technology Policy

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    Dr Tommaso Ciarli
    Senior Research Fellow

    Research interests: complex adaptive systems, Conflict and violence, Development Economics, ecological economics, Economics of innovation, Entrepreneurship, Globalisation of production/agriculture, Scientometrics, Structural change and economic growth, Technological Change

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    Dr Rachael Durrant
    Research Assistant

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    Dr Adrian Ely
    Senior Lecturer in SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

    Research interests: Agro-ecological agriculture, biotechnology, Chinese science & innovation policy, Food Security, Innovation for sustainability, Research and innovation governance

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    Prof Tim Foxon
    Professor of Sustainability Transitions

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    Dr Rumy Hasan
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: Critique of multiculturalism and multifaithism, East Asia, Eastern Europe, Political economy of Russia, The conflict in the Middle East and its impact on the West (including ‘dual identities’)

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    Dr Sabine Hielscher
    Research Fellow

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    Dr Michael Hopkins
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: biotechnology, diagnostics, Financing Innovation, Healthcare, Hidden Innovation, Innovation Systems, Intellectual Property, Managing Change, pharmaceuticals, Regulation of Technology, Science and technology policy, Science And Technology Studies, Scientometrics, Technology Strategy

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    Dr Florian Kern
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: Climate change, Energy, Innovation policy issues, Political economy, Politics, Science and technology policy, Sustainability transitions

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    Dr Paula Kivimaa
    Senior Research Fellow

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    Prof Gordon Mackerron
    Professor Of Science And Technology Policy

    Research interests: Nuclear power

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    Prof Fiona Marshall
    Professor of Environment & Development

    Research interests: Ecosystem Services, Environment And Health, Food safety, Food Security, Innovation for sustainability, interdisciplinary research, International Development, Natural Resource Management, Peri-urban sustainability, Plant responses to environment, Science and technology policy, Urbanisation

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    Prof Ben Martin
    Professor of Science & Technology Policy Studies

    Research interests: benefits of publicly funded research, creativity and research, evolution of universities, innnovation studies, research assessment, research collaboration, research impact assessment, research integrity, science policy, technology foresight, University-industry links

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    Dr Alberto Marzucchi
    Lecturer in Economics of Innovation

    Research interests: Barriers to innovation, environmental innovation, Firm growth, Geography and Innovation, Industry dynamics, Innovation Policy, Open Innovation

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    Prof Mariana Mazzucato

    Research interests: Economic Policy, Economics of innovation, Finance and innovation, Firm growth, Growth Policy, History of Economic Thought, Industrial organisation, Innovation Policy

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    Dr Caitriona McLeish
    Senior Research Fellow

    Research interests: arms control, biological weapons, Biosecurity, CBRN terrorism, chemical weapons, disarmament, dual use, International Law, International security, international treaties and governance regimes, proliferation, WMD

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    Prof Erik Millstone
    Professor in Science & Technology Policy

    Research interests: Food Safety Policy, Obesity prevention policy, Science and Policy-Making, Science and technology policy, Sustainable agriculutral development

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    Prof Paul Nightingale
    Professor Of Strategy

    Research interests: Biosecurity, Biotechnology - Synbio, Change Management Strategy, Data Mining, Economic And Social History, Financial regulation, Industrial Innovation, Innovation policy issues, Security studies, Strategy and entrepreneurship, War and the military-industrial complex

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    Mr Parimal Patel
    Research Fellow

    Research interests: Innovation policy issues

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    Dr Ismael Rafols
    Associate Faculty

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    Dr Matias Ramirez
    Senior Lecturer in Management

    Research interests: Land Use

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    Dr James Revill
    Research Fellow

    Research interests: biological weapons, Biological weapons convention, Biosecurity, Bioterrorism, chemical terrorism, chemical weapons, disarmament, IEDs, Improvised Explosive Devices, International Organization, International security

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    Dr Karoline Rogge
    Lecturer In Energy Policy And Sustainability

    Research interests: climate policy, consistency, credibility, decarbonization, eco-innovation, ecological economics, energy transition, Environmental economics, eu emission trading system, Innovation studies, policy mix, Renewables, sustainability, Sustainability transitions

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    Dr Daniele Rotolo
    Lecturer in Science Technology and Innovation Policy

    Research interests: Academic productivity, Bibliometrics, Emerging technologies, Funding complementarity, Funding data, Network Analysis, Network dynamics, patent analysis, Science and technology policy, Scientometrics, social network analysis

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    Dr Carlos Sato
    Lecturer in Management

    Research interests: Major Projects Studies, Project Management, Technological Change, Technology and Innovation Management

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    Prof Maria Savona
    Professor of Innovation and Evolutionary Economics

    Research interests: Applied Economics, Barriers to innovation, Economics of innovation, Regional and urban economic development, Structural change and economic growth, Structural dynamics, Theory and measurement of innovation in services

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    Prof Johan Schot
    Director of SPRU

    Research interests: Hidden Innovation, History of Science/Medicine/Technology, Strategic management, Sustainability transitions

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    Dr Josh Siepel
    Senior Lecturer in Management

    Research interests: Design Innovation, Economics, Economics of Awards, Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship policy, Financing Innovation, Firm growth, Innovation Creativity and Design, Innovation policy issues, skills and employment, Small Business Policy, SMEs; SME finance; SME public policy

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    Prof Adrian Smith
    Professor of Technology and Society

    Research interests: Grassroots innovation, Innovation studies, Politics of technology, STS, Sustainable development, Technology and society

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    Prof Steven Sorrell
    Professor of Energy Policy

    Research interests: Energy and climate policy, Energy Efficiency, rebound effects, resource depletion

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    Prof Benjamin Sovacool
    Professor of Energy Policy

    Research interests: Climate change adaptation, Climate change mitigation, energy justice, energy policy, energy security, Energy Supply, Sustainability: Environmental

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    Prof Ed Steinmueller
    Professor of Information & Communication Technology Policy

    Research interests: Economics

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    Prof Andrew Stirling
    Professor of Science & Technology Policy

    Research interests: diversity analysis, ecological economics, energy policy, innovation democracy, multicriteria mapping, participatory appraisal, precaution, risk, Science And Technology Studies, science policy, Sustainability transitions, technology assessment, uncertainty

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    Dr Puay Tang
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: academic entrepreneurship, evaluation of publicly funded investments, research impact assessment, University-industry links

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    Prof Joseph Tidd
    Professor of Science & Technology Policy Research

    Research interests: Industrial Innovation, Innovation Management, New Product Development

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    Prof Jim Watson
    Professor of Energy Policy

    Research interests: Energy and climate policy, Innovation Policy

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Entry requirements

Normally a Masters degree in a field related to science and technology policy, or several years of equivalent professional experience.

Note that it is only possible to begin this degree in September.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Scholarships and fees

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters Loan

MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students

Home: £4,195 per year

EU: £4,195 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.