PhD in Incorporation of behavioural aspects in energy system modelling (1.0 FTE)

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PhD in Incorporation of behavioural aspects in energy system modelling (1.0 FTE)

PhD in Incorporation of behavioural aspects in energy system modelling (1.0 FTE)

Job description
Today, society is facing a multitude of challenges to come to a sustainable society. Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges and accelerating the energy transition, as well as a circular economy is one of the key responses prioritized in many countries.
Behaviour and decision making of different societal actors (companies, consumers) in terms of consumption, investments, etc. is one of the most complex factors in the energy transition. Actor groups are often heterogenous and a one size fits all solution is usually far from optimal. At the same time, understanding behaviour and decisions is very important to know what incentives are effective and how to steer and stimulate the energy transition into preferred directions 
This project will cover both a social science component to what extent behavioural aspects can reasonably be parameterized and a modelling component on how such parameterization can be incorporated in energy system modelling that are targeting simulation of transition pathways over time. Big data analytics can play a role to investigate how parameterization of behavioural aspects can be validated and with what level of (un)certainty. This work will build on available modelling tools and capabilities (e.g. existing Energy System Models and simulation modelling techniques) and will be supported from both social sciences side as well as by system analysis and modelling expertise. This will allow to connect the gained insights to other parallel projects within the programme that focuses on modelling the energy and climate transition. The PhD-project is part of the programme KCET, which aims to generate integrated insights for the energy transition between TNO, Utrecht University, and other partners. You will closely collaborate with other PhD researchers in this programme and staff from the participating institutions.

The ideal candidate has a background and proven interest in energy modelling, behavioural sciences (social science, psychology), as well as state of the art data analysis methods. The position is part of a multidisciplinary project and programme, so affinity with or interest in working in an interdisciplinary environment is important.


You will be offered a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2,541 in the first year and €3,247 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. 
In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions , including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University .

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.
You will be employed at Utrecht University and carry out the research at TNO, UU and TU Delft.

Additional information
For more information about this position, please contact Prof. dr. Ernst Worrell (Professor Energy, materials & environment), via or Prof. dr. André Faaij, via .

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.
To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the 'apply' button.

The application deadline is
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