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  PhD position on the drivers of low-carbon energy transition at the University of Geneva, Switzerland

   Faculty of Science

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  Prof E Trutnevyte  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project


Renewable Energy Systems group, led by Prof. Evelina Trutnevyte, at the University of Geneva is looking to fill a PhD position on investigating the drivers that shape the low-carbon energy transition. Located at the Faculty of Science and at the interfaculty Institute for Environmental Sciences, Renewable Energy Systems group has three strategic research themes. First, it uses mathematical modeling and technology assessment tools in order to inform transition to renewable energy systems at all spatial scales, from neighborhoods and cities to countries and continents. Second, the group works with multi-disciplinary methods for improving quantitative long-range energy foresight for decision making under deep uncertainty. Third, the group searches for system-level socio-technical energy solutions that are techno-economically feasible, environmentally desirable, as well as acceptable and realistically implementable in society. The scientific work in the group regularly involves interactions with practitioners outside academia, including policy makers, stakeholders, and the wider public.

The successful PhD candidate will work in the Swiss National Science foundation project ACCURACY “Accuracy of long-range energy projections”. The overall aim will be to understand how policy, changes in socio-economic and political context, and unexpected events have shaped the energy transition in the European countries in the last three decades. The empirical work will consist of creating a historical database of relevant drivers and evaluating their impact on the energy transition by means of comparative country analysis. The analysis shall result in recommendations for most effective ways to deliver the European low-carbon energy transition by 2050.

The successful candidate will share the vision of multi-disciplinary work at science-society interface that the Renewable Energy Systems group is conducting. The group’s website and publications are examples of such work.

In return, the Renewable Energy Systems group provides a stimulating and innovative research environment to work on some of today’s most pressing societal challenges – energy and climate change mitigation. The city of Geneva takes pioneering action in promoting renewable energy as well as hosts multiple international organizations that foster global transition. The Renewable Energy Systems group offers excellent conditions for PhD candidates, including a competitive salary as well as funds for travel to conferences and further education. The city of Geneva consistently ranks among the most attractive cities worldwide to live.

Application process and requirements


In order to qualify for the positions, the candidates are required to have:

·      Completed or nearly completed Master’s degree;

·      Proven knowledge of energy policy, economics, and socio-technical transitions;

·      Knowledge of quantitative methods in social sciences, e.g. multivariate statistical analysis, econometrics;

·      Excellent English skills in understanding, speaking, and writing;

·      French or German skills are an advantage;

·      Readiness to move to Geneva (there is no possibility for home office).

Please send your application to [Email Address Removed]. The applications shall include:

·      Motivation letter in English;

·      CV;

·      Recommendation letters or work certificates of two referees; the letters can be submitted by the candidate directly or can be sent by the referees to the email address above;

·      Sample document of academic writing in English, e.g. peer-reviewed publication as first author, Master thesis, semester thesis;

·      Scanned copy of the Master’s degree diploma with grades. In the case of nearly completed Master’s degree, the latest transcript of grades should be submitted;

·      If the size of the email exceeds 10 MB, only the motivation letter and CV shall be included in the email as well as a link for downloading the rest of the documents, e.g. Dropbox.

The first deadline of applications will close on Sunday, 4 December 2022. Further applications may be accepted. The starting date will be mutually agreed on. The successful candidates from outside Switzerland and European Union should count with additional 4-6 months for receiving their residence permit. For questions, please send an email to [Email Address Removed].

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 About the Project