PhD position in Energy and Climate Politics

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 17 Nov 2021

PhD position in Energy and Climate Politics

The Energy and Technology Policy group at ETH Zurich, led by Tobias Schmidt, investigates questions related to the governance of energy transitions. The group is part of ETH Zurich’s Department of Humanities, Social and Political Science and the Institute of Science, Technology and Policy. Our interdisciplinary team with backgrounds in engineering, economics and political science offers an entrepreneurial research atmosphere at continental Europe’s leading research university.

Job description

We are looking for a PhD student in energy and climate politics. You will contribute to ongoing work on energy and climate policy, with a focus on the political processes behind policy output and design. To do so, the candidate will build on policy process and policy design theories, and use a mixed methods approach, including expert interviews, qualitative assessment of policy documents, and quantitative methods such as automated text analysis. One area of work includes analysing the politics of climate-related COVID-19 recovery packages in various countries. The position is for up to three years. The salary is in accordance with the Swiss National Science Foundation PhD regulation.

Candidates will have the opportunity to contribute to the group’s research agenda and are encouraged to co-advise master’s students. The group collaborates with national and international academic and policy institutions (e.g., UC Berkeley, MIT, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research). Our offices are centrally located in Zurich. The starting date is negotiable, a start in December 2021 would however be preferred. Your PhD is expected to be completed within 3 years.

Your profile

Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in public policy/political science, or in a related field. Openness to working in an interdisciplinary environment with economists and engineers is a requirement. Interdisciplinary candidates are welcome. A focus on energy, climate, or innovation/technology policy would be a strong asset. You should be dedicated to scientifically rigorous work that at the same time is relevant for policymakers. Experience with mixed methods research design is welcome; skills in quantitative methods are an asset. Your working style is team-oriented and you have strong communication skills. You are highly proficient in English; further language skills, e.g. German or French, are an additional asset.

ETH Zurich

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.


We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation
  • CV
  • a research statement giving an overview of your research interests and plans (1-2 pages)
  • contact information of two references (no letters needed at this point)
  • your graded university diplomas or transcripts

Application deadline Nov 12, 2021.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Additional information about the Energy and Technology Policy Group can be found on our website . For further information, please contact Dr. Nicolas Schmid, email: (no application documents).

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 our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website  to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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