Testimonial of SAGES sponsored study towards a Scottish Graduate
Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
Rachel Howell
SAGES Sponsored PhD
The University of Edinburgh
January 2009 – September 2012
Dr David Reay, Prof Pate Higgins, Dr Simon Allen, The University of Edinburgh; Dr Charles Warren,
University of St Andrews
My thesis on ‘Promoting Lower-Carbon Lifestyles’ was an interdisciplinary social science PhD
combining insights from environmental and social psychology, sociology, and environmental
education. It was great to be given free rein to investigate issues that I thought were important in
response to my reading of the literature. The most useful aspect of being funded by SAGES was the
generous research grant, which I needed in order to provide incentives for people to participate in
my research so as not to obtain a biased sample. The grant also enabled me to attend several good
conferences and seminars.
Since completing my PhD I have held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Aberystwyth University,
and am continuing similar research to that which I did for my PhD (on ‘Human Dimensions of Climate
Change’). I hope later to gain a permanent post as a lecturer in environmental sustainability or
R.A. Howell Using the transtheoretical model of behavioural change to understand the processes
through which climate change films might encourage mitigation action. In press, International
Journal of Sustainable Development.
R.A. Howell (2013) It's not (just) "the environment, stupid!" Values, motivations, and routes to
engagement of people adopting lower-carbon lifestyles. Global Environmental Change, 23(1): 281290.
R.A. Howell (2012) Investigating the long-term impacts of climate change communications on
individuals' attitudes and behavior. Environment and Behavior, doi: 10.1177/0013916512452428.
R.A. Howell (2012) Living with a carbon allowance: the experiences of Carbon Rationing Action
Groups and implications for policy. Energy Policy, 41: 250-258.
R.A. Howell (2011) Lights, camera… action? Altered attitudes and behaviour in response to the
climate change film The Age of Stupid. Global Environmental Change, 21(1):177-187.
R.A. Howell (2009) The Experience of Carbon Rationing Action Groups: Implications for a Personal
Carbon Allowances Policy. UKERC Final Report. Environmental Change Institute, Oxford.
*The SAGES Graduate School is an international graduate school. Although SAGES prize studentships were awarded on a
highly competitive, globally accessible basis, all PhD graduates currently working in SAGES areas who are registered with a
Scottish University are able to become affiliate members of the Graduate School and can participate in SAGES activities.
The same principle will be adopted for the Scottish Graduate Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths.