Dr Jack Nicholls
BA, MSc, MReS
Civic Engagement ManagerBusiness and Civic Engagement
Senior Research AssociateSchool of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
My research centres on the democratisation of the low carbon transition, with a particular focus on deliberative politics, tracing public opinion discourses and exploring alternative socio-economic organisational structures. I also work as an academic supervisor for civic university student research initiatives.
I became interested in interdisciplinary environmental research while an undergraduate studying Politics at Leeds University. After graduating I started out as a policy analyst at a Bristol based renewable energy consultancy researching and lobbying the government on the introduction of financial subsidies to support the deployment of wind energy. After a brief spell working at an environmental publishing company, I took an MSc in Environmental Technologies at Imperial College London. I stayed on at Imperial working for the UK Energy Research Centre at Imperial, analysing the economic impacts of ‘green jobs’, while also working on behalf of, the now extinct, DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) to support the recently formed International Renewable Energy Agency.
I returned to my home town of Bristol to undertake my PhD studies and defended my thesis, Owning the sun: energy democracy and public participation in solar farm developments in England, in September 2020.
While studying for my PhD I pursued a range of research and public engagement projects, including co-creating the South West Research Cooperative as part of the SWDTP in 2014. The Co-op funded student-led research initiatives with a diverse range of charities and VCSEs from across the West Country. I also continued to follow my interest in the UN Climate Change Conferences, running a mock UN COP with A level students in the run up to COP 21 in Paris. I went on to attend the real COP in Paris working as a commissioning editor for Stakeholder Forum.
Towards the latter phase of my PhD I started working as a Research Associate in the School of Policy Studies – on behalf of the Professional Liaison Network – coordinating research partnerships with external organisations working on the civic university agenda. I continue this work with several organisations, including: Bristol City Council, Quartet Community Foundation, Creative Youth Network, Wellspring Settlement and Locality.
Discipline-hopping workshops: Co-producing new inter-disciplinary research in global environmental challenges
DescriptionThrough collaborative workshops and individual interviews, the project explores the co-production as a methodology for interdisciplinary research focused on the theme Global Environmental Challenges.
Managing organisational unit
01/04/2022 to 31/07/2022
DescriptionThe primary aim is to evaluate the new Community Resilience Fund (CRF). Following on from the Citizen’s Assembly experiment in direct forms of democracy, the CRF will apply deliberative democratic…
01/04/2022 to 31/05/2023
DescriptionWhile there is a good understanding of the technological solutions required to decarbonise cities, there is less expertise and knowhow to address the complex interconnected societal issues to create a…
01/04/2022 to 31/03/2023
DescriptionThe basis of the collaborative research project, Many Neighbourhoods, One
City (MNOC), is that knowledge from the ‘many neighbourhoods’ should be instrumental in informing the ‘One City’. Whilst many decisions have…
01/01/2021 to 30/09/2022
DescriptionWellspring Settlement (formerly Barton Hill Settlement and Wellspring Healthy Living Centre) is a community anchor and social enterprise based in the Barton Hill area of Bristol. The Settlement provides a…
Managing organisational unitUniversity of Bristol Law School
01/09/2020 to 30/09/2022
- Chapter in a book
- E-pub ahead of print
Bold leadership, radical action
- Other report
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews