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PhD Multidisciplinary- No background


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I hold a bachelors in Mechanical Engg and MSc in Maritime Engg, which had 1/3rd research content(of course in Engineering). However my interest shifted to energy studies after MSc and I'm currently thinking of pursuing PhD in it. The trouble is my research interest would find a place in Social sciences rather than in engineering. So without any research background in social sciences can I hope to convince AdCom to select me based on my academic credentials, SOP and writing sample?

I am working on a writing sample relevant to my research interest.

My proposed PhD topic is in Innovation Studies, basically looking at how innovation and diffusion of technologies is achieved in the society, just that I am focusing on renewable and clean energy technologies.

Any insights?

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I think you are looking for a PhD program like Science, Technology, and Society.

Harvard allows their doctoral students to have a secondary field in STS, including science students. Here's a link: http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/programs_of_study/science_technology_and_society.php

Penn State offers this as a graduate minor that can be added to any PhD field of study: http://www.sts.psu.edu/graduates/minor

MIT has a PhD program in History and Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS). They have applicants from science and engineering backgrounds as well as social science backgrounds: http://web.mit.edu/hasts/admissions/index.html

Rensselaer Polytechic Institute offers an MS/PhD program in Science and Technology Studies: http://www.sts.rpi.edu/pl/graduate-programs-sts

Georgia Tech has a PhD in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science: http://www.hts.gatech.edu/graduate/

And Penn has a PhD program in the History and Sociology of Science: http://hss.sas.upenn.edu/hssc

Most of these programs look as if they accept students from both science and social science backgrounds, as you will eventually need to foster familiarity with both fields in order to master the program.

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