PhD student position in growth models of new technologies

PhD student position in growth models of new technologies


Why do low-carbon technologies grow in some countries and languish in others? This PhD position analyzes this question as part of a broader research agenda on understanding the feasibility of climate mitigation targets. The PhD research will focus on analyzing the mechanisms shaping the growth of new energy technologies through statistical analysis and computational experiments based on empirical data from different countries. The researcher will be part of a research group with wide international collaboration.

Information about the division and the research
The division of Physical Resource Theory, part of the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, 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. The group on energy transitions seeks to answer 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.

As a PhD student you would contribute to answering this question by investigating growth of low-carbon technologies such as renewables and analyzing how this growth has been shaped by investment, profitability, land availability, policy support and other factors. The research is part of an ERC Starting Grant project (MANFIEST) which focuses on cross-national differences in feasibility of energy transitions as well as on its temporal dimension through 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 the mechanisms and 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.

You will explore the mechanisms and growth models which best describe the development of new technologies. The work also includes analyzing results and writing papers in collaboration with the energy transitions group at Physical Resource Theory. Around 20% of the position includes teaching in relevant courses.

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

The position requires a Master’s degree in economics, engineering, mathematics, environmental science, or related fields of natural and social science with a proven interest in energy or technology studies. You are familiar with programming languages, have proven experience of writing in English, excellent academic track record and a strong motivation and commitment to scientific inquiry.

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

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20200588 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-three references that we can contact, including contact information.

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

Other documents:
• A writing sample in english (e.g. a thesis or course assignment).
• A brief research proposal related to the call (2-4 pages).
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• 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: February 1st, 2021. The position will remain open until filled. The expected starting date is March-May 2021.

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


  • Arbetsplats: Chalmers Tekniska Högskola AB
  • 1 plats
  • 6 månader eller längre
  • Heltid
  • Fast månads- vecko- eller timlön
  • Publicerat: 9 december 2020
  • Ansök senast: 1 februari 2021


412 96 Göteborg 41296 Göteborg


Chalmersplatsen 4
Göteborg, 41296

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