School of Earth and Environment

Paul Upham Dr Paul Upham

Visiting Researcher

Email address:

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


I am a University Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Integrated Energy Research and Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds. I have been Visiting Professor in Governance of Energy Systems and Climate Change at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki and a member of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (University of Manchester). I work on energy RD&D governance, particularly public opinion, drawing on a variety of environmental social science literatures. I have taught and supervised at all levels at the University of Manchester and Leeds and have published over 50 peer-reviewed papers in a variety of policy domains, since completing a PhD in sustainability assessment in late 1999.


BSc (Hons) Psychology

MSc Environmental Resource Assessment

PhD Sustainability Assessment


I am a Management Committee member for COST Action IS1309 (Innovations In Climate Governance: Sources, Patterns & Effects (INOGOV).

Research Interests

  • Public and civil society engagement in - and perceptions of - energy technology and policy.
  • Policy and governance implicatons of the above, specifically in relation to socio-technical transitions theory and notions of agency therein.
  • Applied domains in which I have worked include: carbon capture and storage, bioenergy & biofuels, aviation, carbon labelling, energy and emission scenarios for regions and cities.

Current writing and research collaborations include:

FIPTrans: a Tekes (Finnish innovation agency)-funded project on sustainability transitions in transport, with the Finnish Environment Institute and Aalto; Leeds has lead on public opinion analysis -

AD-Pyro: a multi-partner EPSRC project on a novel waste to energy technology, with Leeds and the Les Levidow Open University leading on innovation system analysis -

Hyacinth: a Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking project, with Leeds collaborating with Christian Oltra at Ciemat on public opinion analysis -

Public perceptions of fracking: led by Lorraine Whitmarsh at Cardiff University Dept of Psychology -

Values and the role of grassroots organisations in the sharing economy: with Chris Martin at the Open University Business School -

Entrepreneurship and low growth economics: with Rita Klapper at Manchester Enterprise Centre -

Participatory energy scenario design: drawing on work in 14 cities compiled by Sebastian Carney of Carbon Captured Ltd -

Teaching Interests

In SRI I lead PhD training on SOEE5492M Research Philosophy and Design in the Environmental Social Sciences. I teach and supervise students in the courses: SOEE5020M Research Project; SOEE2310 Tools & Techniques for Business; SOEE1390 Introduction to Business, Environment & CSR; and SOEE3630 Strategic Energy Issues.

Currently I co-supervise two PhD students:

Gauthier Guerin, who is working on co-operatives from a sustainability transitions perspective -

Rebecca Rhead who is inductively investigating the structure of environmental concern, using a DEFRA opinion survey dataset -

Project details

Project title

Please see above.


In addition to my current PhDs, I supervise a range of Masters and undergraduate projects in environmental social science. If you are interested in my supervising you, please contact me to discuss.


(£ values are local income for specific parts of projects on which I am Co-I/PI/supervisor, not for whole consortia)

2015: EPSRC EP/N001745/1 Consortium for modelling and analysis of decentralised energy storage (C-Madens), Co-I. (c. £75,000 for social science component).

2015: ESRC White Rose DTC PhD, Immogen Rattle, The politics of shale gas policy support in the UK: a multi-level study (£55,000)

2015: FP7 Fuel Cell Joint Undertaking. Substituting for a partner on the HYACINTH project on public perceptions of hydrogen (c. £50,000). Led by CNH2: the Spanish National Center for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Experimentation.

2014: ESRC White Rose DTC PhD, Gauthier Guerin, socio-technical transitions and grassroots organisations (£55,000)

2014: Policy for the effective realisation of energy storage in grid and transport applications (Co-I). White Rose Collaboration Fund, £10,500.

2013: Increasing energy yield from the integration of anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis, EP/K036793/1, Co-I. (£75,695)

2012: Internal EPSRC grant on nutrient recycling, led by A. Ross, University of Leeds, £30,000.

2011: Future innovation and technology policy for sustainable system level transitions: the case of transport, Tekes (Finnish innovation funding agency), £206k.

2011: Sustainability of biomass imports, EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Account, University of Manchester, Co-I, £12,445,

2010: ESRC +3 PhD, Rebecca Rhead, "An examination of the Influences of Environmental Behaviour Exhibited in the UK", obtained by Mark Elliot, Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester.

2010: Secondment as Visiting Professor in Governance of Energy Systems and Climate Change, SYKE, the Finnish Environment Institute: £62,000

2009: Supergen PhD: "Assessing the socio-economic impacts of biofuel supply chains: a case study approach", with UCL.

2009: Self-funded PhD: "A network approach to the failure of major renewable energy projects".

2009: EPSRC Thermal Management of Industrial Processes, c.£30,000.

2009: EC FP7 NearCO2: investigation of European public perceptions of CCS, £111,135.

2009: Supergen Biomass and Bioenergy: scoping of marine biomass potential, £65,269, Co-I.

2008: MBS Alumni PhD: Investigation of the GHG emissions reduction potential of behaviour change in the UK personal land based transport sector, £50,000

2008: Sustainable Consumption Institute: public perceptions of carbon labelling, £70,000, Co-I.

2007: Supergen PhD: "Public perceptions of biofuel", Supergen Biomass and Bioenergy Consortium, £49,000.

2007: EPSRC Supergen Biomass and Bioenergy Consortium renewal, Systems Theme, £434,678, Co-I.

2007: EPSRC Supergen UKSHEC, Cross-Technology Innovation Dynamics and Scenarios, £133,827, Co-I.

2006: UKERC PhD: "Emissions Offset Scenarios for UK Air Transport in a Carbon Constrained Future", UK Energy Research Centre, £55,000 (with Dr. Daniel Brockington).

2005: Supergen PhD: "Mapping the risk landscape: understanding public and stakeholder perceptions of bio, wave and tidal energy", Tyndall Centre and Supergen, £55,000.

2003: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, "Contraction and Convergence: UK Carbon Emissions and the Implications for UK Air Traffic", £51,992, Co-I.

Project outline

Please see above.