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PhD position: Innovation strategies and policy approaches to support the
transition to a clean energy system
100%, Zurich, fixed-term
Within the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 847585, ETH Zurich is
offering a 36-month PhD position for an early-stage researcher (ESR) in
the area of sustainable energy systems.
RESPONSE (GA No. 847585) «RESPONSE - to society and policy needs
through plant, food and energy sciences» H2020-MSCA-COFUND-2018
ESR 28 Innovation strategies and policy approaches to support the
transition to a clean energy systems
A coordinated effort is needed between the energy policy and energy technology
domains to transform energy systems towards decarbonisation. Given the
multiple policy objectives involved in this process and the complex nature of
the energy system, appropriately designed policy mixes are expected to be more
effective in addressing energy challenges compared to individual policy
instruments. However, we currently lack methods that can design effective
policy mixes, while also reflecting their effects on the energy system in
terms of both system design and operation.
Therefore, for this project, we are looking for a talented doctoral candidate
to work on developing methods for the co-design of policy mixes and energy
system transformations. Energy system modelling will be the primary method
used in the project and the student will investigate how individual energy
technologies and sectors, policies, and their interactions can be best
represented in a modelling environment. Finally, the developed method will be
applied to a series of case studies corresponding to specific energy
A planned secondment of three months at the RWE Renewables GmbH in Essen
(Germany) is part of this project. During this secondment, the student will
have the opportunity to gain practical work experience and apply the developed
methods to a market relevant for RWE Renewables. To achieve this, the student
will be working closely with the project partner RWE Renewables during the
entire project duration.
Anticipated outcomes of this project include a flexible method for the co-
design of policy mixes and energy system transformations, as well as
quantitative evidence on the effectiveness of policy mixes, especially when
compared to individual policy instruments. The findings will be communicated
in several academic papers and practitioner articles, and shared via social
media (e.g., through blog posts).
We are offering an interesting position at the interface of science and
policy. While working in an international, interdisciplinary and innovative
research environment at ETH Zurich, the ESR will be jointly supervised by
Prof. Volker Hoffmann and Dr. Georgios Mavromatidis from the Group for
Sustainability and Technology (SusTec, www. sustec.ethz.ch) at ETH Zurich,
and by RWE Renewables GmbH.
The complete 36 months will be under a 100% working contract.
The PhD salary follows the regulations of ETH Zurich and will be according to
EU regulations for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage Researchers. The monthly
gross salary will not be lower than CHF 3920.
The successful candidate will be matriculated and will have a working contract
at ETH Zurich. He/she will work in Switzerland. The secondment will take place
in Essen (Germany).
Expected starting date of the working contract : 01.01.2022
We are looking for a proactive and highly motivated candidate with a
background in engineering, energy science, energy economics, physics, or
similar, and a strong interest in energy technology, policy, and economics. In
addition, you should have very good analytical skills, and demonstrable
experience with quantitative modelling (energy system modelling and
optimisation are an asset) and programming (Python, R, MATLAB, or similar).
Professional writing and communication skills are also essential.
Eligibility : Early stage researcher in the first 4 years (full-time
equivalent) of their research careers, including the period of research
training, starting at the date of obtaining the degree which would formally
entitle them to embark on a doctorate either in the country in which the
degree was obtained or in the country in which the initial training activities
At the time of recruitment (December 1, 2021) by the host organisation,
researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work,
studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years
immediately before the reference date. Compulsory national service and/or
short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
Language requirement : Proficient oral and written English skills are
expected. German is a plus, but not necessary.
Main Research Field : Energy science (interdisciplinary with a focus on
energy technology and policy)
Sub Research Field : Energy system modelling
RESPONSE is open to applicants of any nationality.
ETH Zurich is one of the world's leading universities specialising in science
and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge
fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over
30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place
that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires
excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over
the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of
today and tomorrow.
Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich Get connected
For submitting your online application , join the RESPONSE doctoral
programme and apply for this specific position (ESR 28) and join the PhD
Program Science and Policy. The application should contain the following
a single letter outlining your motivation
a comprehensive tabular CV
transcripts of records
The deadline for applications is November 15, 2021. Please note that
applications will be screened weekly, and the position can be filled earlier
than November 15. Therefore, earlier applications are highly encouraged.
For questions and further information on the position, please contact Dr.
Georgios Mavromatidis (email@example.com), no applications.
Each ESR will be part of the RESPONSE Doctoral Programme (DP):
«RESPONSE - to society and policy needs through plant, food and energy
sciences» is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and
innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 847585.
RESPONSE DP builds on the academic expertise of three world-leading
institutions - ETH Zurich, University of Zurich and University of Basel. The
successful candidate will be integrated in the research network and
infrastructure of the internationally renowned competence center Energy
All RESPONSE ESRs will follow the PSC PhD Program Science and Policy that is
unique in its kind. Through the curriculum of this program, ESRs will be
trained in the communication of scientific evidence to policymakers and the
public; the involvement of different stakeholder groups as well as in policy
development and endorsement in Europe and at global scale.
For project, programme and application details :
https: // www. plantsciences.uzh.ch/en/research/fellowships/response.html
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND)
“This program receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research
and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No
In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We
promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and
learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and
students are respected. Visit ourEqual Opportunities and Diversity website to
find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to
grow and flourish.