What shapes energy choices and the ambition of national climate and energy plans in different countries? The PhD student will analyze the role of socio-economic and political contexts, international actors, and technological characteristics in shaping national energy plans and targets, especially in developing countries, emerging economies using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The researcher will be part of a research group with wide international collaboration (polet.network).
Information about the department, division and the researchThe Department of Space, Earth and Environment contains five divisions, with research and education spanning from global challenges related to sustainability and energy supply to astronomy and space sciences. The department is host to two major infrastructures, Onsala Space Observatory and Chalmers Power Central, and consist of about 250 employees.
The division of Physical Resource Theory conducts research and provides education on solutions to major environmental challenges such as global warming and sustainable land use. Our research is challenge-driven and interdisciplinary building on both technical and social sciences and using a range of quantitative and qualitative methods. The division has around 50 staff members, faculty and PhD-students with diverse expertise, including engineers, natural and social scientists.
Technologies needed to decarbonize the electricity system are already commercially available. Yet while we know how to solve climate change in mathematical models, it’s an open question whether this can be done in the real world given the socio-political and technological constraints in different countries and regions. Researchers within MANIFEST work on this question by exploring the actors and contexts of energy transitions and combining knowledge on the socio-technical, political, and techno-economic mechanisms that shape energy transitions.
The PhD student would contribute to answering this question by researching what shapes the ambition of energy targets and energy choices in developing countries. In particular, the PhD student would focus on the role of socio-economic and political characteristics, different national and international actors, and the technological characteristics using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Ultimately, this research contributes to a better understanding of the bottlenecks and enablers of the rapid and deep change needed to meet the Paris climate target. The PhD position is part of an ERC Starting Grant project (MANIFEST) which analyzes the feasibility of climate mitigation pathways.
As a PhD student your main responsibility is to pursue your own doctoral studies, which includes work on the mechanisms and feasibility of energy transitions but also to undertake doctoral courses. You will research energy choices, plans and targets, particularly in developing and emerging countries to characterise their drivers, level of ambition, and feasibility. The work is embedded in the energy transitions group at Physical Resource Theory.
You are expected to work independently, have the ability to plan and organize your work, to work in close collaboration with other group members and partners, and to be able to communicate scientific results, both orally and in written form, in English. The doctoral program is supposed to lead to the doctoral degree, equivalent to four years of full-time studies, which includes research, coursework, and participation in seminars and conferences. Including teaching obligations, the position is expected to be five years.
Around 20 % of the position includes teaching in relevant courses.
We require a Master’s degree in political science, public policy, innovation studies, economics, or related fields of social science with a proven interest in energy transitions or energy policy. Proven experience of writing in English, excellent academic track record and strong motivation and commitment to scientific inquiry is required. Experience of academic or professional work in developing countries is an advantage.
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.
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The application should be marked with Ref 20210188 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:
CV:(Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV, with publications if applicable
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references, including contact information, that we can contact.
Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus
• A writing sample in English (e.g. a thesis or course assignment).
• A brief research proposal (max 3 pages) related to the position should be included in the application, which is used to evaluate the candidate’s capacity to outline a knowledge gap and identify a way to address it.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.
Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).
Application deadline: May 21st, 2021. The position will remain open until filled. The expected starting date is August 2021
For questions, please contact:
Jessica Jewell, Assistant Professor
Phone: +46 31 7726106