PhD Candidate in Flexibility, Stability and Controllability of Distribution Grids with a Large Degree of Renewable Energy Sources

Updated: 25 days ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: Continuously


  • English


The Department of Electric Power Engineering (IEL) has a vacancy for a

PhD Candidate in Flexibility, Stability and Controllability of Distribution Grids with a Large Degree of Renewable Energy Sources
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About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.  

There is an increasing demand, both from new power producers and new consumers, to be allowed grid connection at various voltage levels.  Challenges arise when large consumers or increasing amounts of renewable energy sources are integrated in distribution grids. There will be bottlenecks in periods with high production and low loads, and similarly with increasing demand there will be bottlenecks in periods with low production and high load. But there are also possibilities for better utilization of the existing grids by utilizing flexible resources. The aim of this PhD-study is to investigate the use of flexibility to achieve a stable and sustainable grid in such periods as an alternative to reinforcements of the grid. Further, to investigate possibilities for distribution grids and distributed resources to offer system services and flexibility to the transmission grid.  Overall, investigating how flexibility can be implemented and at the same time achieve a stable and reliable distribution grid as the amount of renewable sources increases is an important issue. The main goal is to be able to utilise the existing grid for more integration of renewables and avoid costly and area demanding reinforcements of the grid with.  

The main supervisor of the PhD candidate will be Associate Prof. Ian Norheim, and the co-supervisor will be Professor Kjetil Uhlen. In addition, co-supervisors from co-operating partners may be appointed. The main place of work is in Gjøvik. The PhD Candidate will be included in the research group Power System Operation and Analysis - PSOA at the Department of Electrical Power Engineering.

The position reports to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position
  • Participate in general activities of the Electrical Power Engineering group in Gjøvik and at the Department of Electrical Power Engineering
  • The PhD candidate will use simulation software to develop models that illustrate challenges due to high integration of renewable sources in distribution grids and to investigate how flexibility/controllability can technically be implemented in such grids
  • Participate in international activities such as conference attendance and research stay at research institutions abroad

Required selection criteria
  • You must have a master's degree within Electric Power Engineering
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. In some cases relevant practice in research and Academia might be considered as a substitute to have a average grade equal to B or better compared with NTNU’s grading scale.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program (
  • Good written and oral English language skills. Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of an approved test. The following tests can be used: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

The appointment is to be made in accordance with  Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria
  • Professionally relevant background in electric power systems,  or control engineering
  • Skills in mathematical modelling, computer programming and simulation are an advantage. 
  • Relevant (non-)scientific publications, e.g. in popular sciences, showing the ability to communicate fluently.
  • Written and oral Norwegians skills are an advantage. If you are not from a Scandinavian speaking country, you may provide documentation of your skills (e.g. Norskprøven, Bergenstest).

Personal characteristics
  • Inquisitive and self-motivated
  • Creativity and innovation in research
  • Scientific mindset
  • Ability to work across traditional disciplines and easily get in touch with other researchers
  • Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer
  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 per annum, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The employment contract is for three years; however, there is a possibility for extension up to four years if selected for assistantship.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Electric Power Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. 

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants , and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU.

After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English or Norwegian. 

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include: 

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes personal motivation and relevance with respect to the requirements of this advertisement.
  • A draft research proposal (1-2 pages) for the PhD study, where you present your own ideas for the PhD-work and how it can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project. 
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) which includes information about the candidate’s prior education, work experience, academic merits and any scientific publications.
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates (both Bachelor and Master).
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study programme and grading system.
  • The required documentation of English language proficiency.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references.

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here . If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality.  

The city of Gjøvik has a population of 30 000 and is a town known for its rich music and cultural life. The beautiful nature surrounding the city is ideal for an active outdoor life! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation . You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Ian Norheim, telephone +47/41106677, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Bodil Vuttudal Wold, e-mail:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 15.01.2023.

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.


Department of Electric Power Engineering

The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

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