PhD Studentship for Broadcast and Streaming Sustainability

Are you interested in understanding and reducing the environmental impact of video streaming? BBC R&D and University of Bristol are searching for a passionate researcher to join their team to pursue an Industrial PhD. This four-year studentship, hosted jointly by the BBC Research and Development Sustainable Engineering team and the Sustainable Computing group at the University of Bristol, offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the net zero transition of the media sector.

Broadcast and Streaming have become a critical part of human life. However, the energy and environmental impacts of these services still face methodological and data challenges. In this International PhD studentship based in UK, there will be opportunities to apply industrial ecology methods and expand their applicability to some complex attrition and allocation scenarios.

Position is funded through an EPSRC- Industrial Case studentship. The candidate will be enrolled at the University of Bristol and work primarily with BBC R&D at one of their UK-based Locations (London/Glasgow/Manchester).  

This position would tackle some of the most pressing questions around the future of Internet-based Media Services, examine the energy consumption across traditional broadcast and streaming and develop real-life sustainability interventions for digital devices, cloud and internet infrastructure.

You will work across our two teams to quantify the energy and carbon footprint of the UK Media sector, with a special focus on the BBC. You'll apply lifecycle assessment approaches based on first-hand knowledge of operating a global media service.

As part of this you will establish the current energy and greenhouse gas footprint from the use of data centres, networks and user devices to deliver television. You will also identify hotspots for climate impact, propose sustainable interventions, and test their efficacy in real-world settings, for example, video encoding in cloud services, CDN cache servers or in applications like BBC iPlayer.

You will build comprehensive sustainability assessment models, undertake extensive data collection, sanitisation, visualisation, and pipeline development, and proposing sustainability interventions.

Comprehensive training will provided. Additional information is provided in the Entry Requirements section.

You will spend the majority of your time physically at the BBC Research and Development, having a dedicated desk space and access to the Sustainable Engineering Research team and also regularly spend time at the University of Bristol for concentrated study periods with weekly or more frequent supervision remote calls.

Ideal Candidate: We are looking for committed individuals with a passion for sustainability and the drive to make a difference. If you have a strong analytical background and are eager to engage with cutting-edge research, apply now to help shape the future of media's role in environmental stewardship. 

Candidate requirements: 

Candidates with interest and/or expertise in Lifecycle Assessments, Power Measurements and/or Energy Systems modelling will be specially enjoy working on this project.

Comfort with Data analytics and/or mathematical modelling will also be a great asset.

Open for all Nationalities. Joining date is flexible and can be negotiated. This position has a much higher stipend than usual UKRI PhD studentship in the UK with dedicated budget for travel, conferences and research expenses.

 Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of a merit at master’s degree level (or international equivalent) in an area related to the topic of digital media and/or quantitative environmental assessments.

Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of readiness to pursue a research degree.

You will need proficiency and/or interest in a programming language such as Python, R. The willingness to work collaboratively with other researchers and external stakeholders is essential.

Depending on your background you will attend the BBC’s inhouse training, University of Bristol’s graduate level courses, training in academic writing, introductory training in media, internet, and entertainment sector as well as advanced training in Lifecycle Assessments and Environmental Impacts.

Supervisors will also ensure trainings for any coding and/or software skills as well public engagement skills if needed and/or desired.

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level: Profile E

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

How to apply:

Prior to submitting an online application, you will need to contact the project supervisor (Dr Dan Schien) to discuss. 

Online applications are made at Please select Computer Science PhD on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form. 


For questions about the research topic, please contact Dr Dan Schien at or Mohit Arora ( 

For questions about eligibility and the application process please contact Engineering Postgraduate Research Admissions

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  • Application deadline: Apr 30, 2024
  • British Broadcasting Corporation / University of Bristol
  • Sustainable Computing group, School of Computer Science
  • Glasgow, London, or Manchester
  • PhD Positions
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