Researcher in Technology, Transitions and System Innovation

Updated: 24 days ago

UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP) is a leading international research and advisory institution on energy, climate and sustainable development. It is an independent organization within the Department for Technology, Management and Economics at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

As a collaborating center of UN Environment (UNEP), UDP works with a large range of international institutions, national governments, and research institutions, to assist developing countries in their efforts to move towards low carbon and climate resilient sustainable development. UDP has a staff of approximately 70 professionals from 20 different countries with backgrounds covering economics, science, geography, energy and environment planning. UDP currently implements project activities in more than 60 developing countries.    

About the Technology – Transitions and System Innovation
The newly established Technology - Transitions and System Innovation section is working on identifying and assessing barriers and enablers for climate technology transfer and diffusion. We support the national government´s needs in technology deployment and facilitate market based innovation, private sector engagement, and local development with an overall emphasis on creating enabling frameworks for technology transfer and market creation across developing country contexts.

In each of these areas, the section is engaged in project implementation, research, capacity building, and provision of technical support, combined with methodology development. In addition, the section provides policy advice and engages in knowledge dissemination.

Currently, we are expanding our portfolio of activities and are seeking to recruit a
researcher with a focus on sustainable energy, technology transfer and inclusive development to join a team of 16 colleagues.

The successful candidate will primarily contribute to expanding and implementing our work in the analysis of the market mechanisms and engaging with local value chains in developing countries. The main tasks include project management, conceptualizing, planning, conducting stakeholder interviews, academic and project-based research and analysis, and coordinating with a wide range of stakeholders, supporting strategic partnerships in developing countries.

Key tasks and responsibilities
The successful candidate has already obtained experience with project management and has a strong methodological background and proven experience in adapting and applying various research methods and tools in a developing country context, relevant to sustainability transitions and technological innovation systems.

The successful candidate is expected to:  

  • Design and conduct research that contributes to UDPs strategic work in the area of business models and markets
  • Lead implementation of projects, as a project manager, and liaise with project partners at various levels;
  • Generate new ideas and stimulate innovative approaches to addressing challenges in the uptake of renewable energy technologies and market creation in a developing country context; 
  • Support the development of practical guidelines and tools and dissemination of publications; 
  • Contribute to strengthen the section and UDP's work with qualitative research methods, processes, and tools;
  • Initiate new strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, such as development agencies, and the private sector, and contribute to the development of UDP's work in private sector engagement; 
  • Initiate, contribute to, and/or lead resource mobilization activities, including project concept development and preparation of project proposals; 
  • Writing and editing academic and peer-reviewed articles. Contribute to high-impact publications, including briefs and reports 
  • Support and ensure the technical rigor of complex analytical and advisory services; 
  • Cultivate and maintain effective networks and partnerships with country partners, and partner agencies; 
  • Represent UNEP DTU Partnership and the TTSI section at expert meetings, regional consultations, workshops, and seminars.

Selection Criteria
We are looking for a highly motivated and experienced team player who possesses strong knowledge and expertise in the climate change and development area and who meets the following criteria:   

  • A MSc in Geography, economics, global development or other relevant field;
  • A PhD degree in innovation studies, sustainability transitions, international development studies or other relevant field; 
  • Relevant experience in the areas of renewable energy, energy access, private sector models, technology transfer and diffusion, and in engaging with scientific advice, and dissemination in an international context; 
  • Demonstrated excellent writing, communication, and presentation skills in English; 
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research methods and tools; 
  • Relevant fieldwork experience of working with developing countries (preferably Africa);
  • Prior experience (minimum 7 years) of working in developing country contexts, and in the areas of renewable energy markets, policies, impact evaluation etc. 
  • Prior experience with developing project proposals, grant writing, securing funds competitively, and developing new project ideas; 
  • Experience with liaising, networking and building collaborative relationships with a wide range of stakeholders; 
  • Experience of implementing projects in co-operation with donor agencies, research institutes, international experts, and developing country institutions;
  • Experience with teamwork and an ability to produce high-quality results and outputs under strict deadlines, with minimal supervision; 
  • Prior experience of working with multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams will be an advantage.

The working language at UDP is English. Working proficiency in an additional international language is an asset.

In the assessment of the candidates, consideration will be given to 

  • Research experience
  • Research vision and potential
  • Societal impact
  • Documented innovation activities, including commercialization and collaboration with industry
  • International experience
  • Internal and external collaboration
  • Communication skills

We offer
UDP offers an international setting with room for professional and personal development. We employ senior researchers and advisors, researchers, PhD students and research assistants, with a possibility to work across institutional sections. Staff members have a high degree of freedom and responsibility in organizing their work, they play different roles in different projects, and project teams vary from one project to another.

Terms of employment

UDP is part of the Department of Technology, Management and Economics at the Technical University of Denmark and employees are university staff. The successful candidate will be employed in a full-time position according to the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations. The place of work is the UN City in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The position as a researcher is a permanent entry-level position. After a maximum of 4 years, a researcher can be promoted to a senior researcher position after assessment. More information can be found here: Career paths at DTU .

We apply a dialogue-based Scandinavian management style and we offer a family friendly work place with a documented positive work environment where there is room for a good work-life balance for our staff.

Further information
For further information please contact Sara Trærup, Head of Section for Technology - Transitions and System Innovation, phone: +45 4533 5277, email: [email protected] .  

Further information is also available at the UDP website, .

How to Apply
Please submit your online application no later than 31January 2020 (23.59 local time)To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV with full personal data and contact details
  • Research statement, with a focus on the “Assessment” bullets points listed above
  • Documentation of previous research, as related to the “Assessment” bullet points listed above
  • Indication of three references
  • List of publications
  • H-index, and ORCID (see e.g. )
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion, or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Management – Department of Technology, Management and Economics has around 340 employees. More than 20% of our employees are from abroad and 38 different nationalities are represented across the department. DTU Management conducts high-level research and teaching on sustainability, transport, innovation and management science. Our goal is to create knowledge on the societal aspects of technology – including the interaction between technology on the one hand and sustainability and economic growth on the other. The department offers teaching from introductory to advanced courses/projects at BSc, MSc and PhD level.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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