Information about the research
There is an urgent need to understand the feasibility of energy transitions in the real-world. Energy transitions are long-term structural changes in energy systems which are driven and constrained by techno-economic, socio-technical and political factors and are needed to support economic growth and provide universal access to modern energy while avoiding the risks of dangerous climate change. The feasibility of such transitions depends on multiple factors and is not sufficiently understood. Research in this area is strongly interdisciplinary, bridging energy systems analysis, energy economics, sociology and history of technology, political science and international relations.

The PhD student would contribute to research on feasibility of energy transitions compatible with climate targets and other sustainability goals. The main focus will be on socio-political and economic aspects of feasibility. Topics within this research include feasibility of phasing out carbon-intensive sectors such as coal power and feasibility of expanding low-carbon sectors such as renewable electricity. Other sectors may also be included. The research is specifically focused on cross-national differences in feasibility of energy transitions as well as on its temporal dimension and therefore implies comparative and longitudinal analysis. It also engages with the current thinking on long-term energy transition pathways and scenarios such as the ones synthesized by the IPCC. A particular question is what is the feasibility of such scenarios given the empirical knowledge about energy transitions in various real-world contexts.

Major responsibilities
As a PhD student your main responsibility is to pursue your own doctoral studies, which includes work on feasibility of energy transitions but also to undertake doctoral courses. 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.

Position summary
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

We require a master’s degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in economics, engineering, mathematics, environmental science, or related fields of natural and social science with a proven interest in energy or technology studies. You should have an excellent academic track record and strong motivation and commitment to scientific inquiry. The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English.

The expected starting date is June-September 2020. If possible, applicants should have discussed their project with the prospective supervisor.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our offer to you
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20200076 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.
• List at least two references (including name and contact information) that we can contact for recommendations.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous research fields and main research results
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• A writing sample in English (e.g. a thesis or course assignment) 
• A brief research proposal (2-4 pages)
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. 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: 15 March, 2020. The position will remain open until filled.

For questions, please contact:
Assistant Professor Jessica Jewell, Physical Resource Theory
Phone: +46 31-7726106

Information about the department
The 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 division of Physical Resource Theory carries out research and education on potential solutions to major environmental challenges such as global warming and sustainable use of land and other resources. At our division we focus on research in the field of technical and socio-economic systems addressing the challenges involved in the transition into a sustainable and low carbon society for a growing population, where a range of different quantitative and qualitative methods can be applied on our research topics. The ambition is to build challenge-driven scientific excellence by crossing traditional boundaries and increase the level of multi-disciplinarity in research. The division has around 50 staff members, faculty and PhD-students with diverse expertise, including engineers, natural and social scientists. We also offer courses in areas related to our research.

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our eight Areas of Advance; Building Futures, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!