[ES_JOBS_NET] Research position (PhD) at ETH Zurich: risks in energy transition in Switzerland

Adler Carolina carolina.adler at env.ethz.ch
Wed Aug 20 13:04:31 MDT 2014

Please distribute the following job ad to your subscribers, thank you!

The Human-Environment Systems group (HES) at ETH Zürich is looking for a

PhD student to examine trade-offs in switching from nuclear to renewable electricity in Switzerland.

This 3-year project will examine new risks stemming from natural hazards and political uncertainty that will affect the Swiss energy transition. We will consider scenarios that focus on domestic electricity supply and on imports from North-western Europe and the Mediterranean. The goal is to find out how stakeholders appraise these risks and what political coalitions may emerge for or against specific renewable electricity sources.

The project has five components, and you will be tasked with three or four of these components, depending on your background, interests and skills:
1  Modelling of energy supply from intermittent renewables
2  Spatial analysis of natural hazards (storms, earthquakes, floods) using GIS
3  Discourse analysis of two Swiss decisions on electricity supply in German and French
4  Survey of Swiss voters in German and French
5  Analysis of stakeholder perspectives using Q-methodology

We offer a friendly and intellectually challenging environment, with members from diverse backgrounds working with a broad mix of methods and tools. In the Human-Environment Systems (HES) group we conduct problem-driven environmental research. Currently we focus on creating a sustainable energy system, and reducing people's vulnerability to climate and other natural hazards.

You will be based in central Zürich, Switzerland. The work will require limited travel, mostly within Switzerland but occasionally within Europe. You will take part in seminars and conferences at ETH and elsewhere, and do some undergraduate teaching. The position comes with the usual salary, working conditions and limited administrative duties expected of a PhD student funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

The ideal candidate is a pleasant colleague, fluent in English, German and French, with an interdisciplinary scientific background. You can use most or all of the following methods and tools: basic statistics, programming in Python, spatial analysis using GIS, discourse analysis, written surveys, and structured interviews. You hold a master’s degree in a relevant science, such as but not limited to: human or physical geography, psychology, or environmental studies. Openness to a wide range of scientific methods and the ability to communicate with natural and social scientists are an asset.

Basic understanding of written German and French, or willingness and ability to quickly learn it, is a hard requirement. Depending on your past course transcripts, the doctoral office at ETHZ may require you pass one or more entrance examinations within the first year.

For further information about the position, the project, the tasks involved, or the HES group, please contact Dr. Oscar van Vliet at oscar.vanvliet at usys.ethz.ch<mailto:oscar.vanvliet at usys.ethz.ch> or look at the HES website (www.hes.ethz.ch<http://www.hes.ethz.ch>).

To apply, please go to the ETH job portal (www.jobs.ethz.ch<http://www.jobs.ethz.ch>) and submit your letter of motivation, a CV of two pages or less, and contact details for two academics willing to recommend you for this position. The project should start on the 1st of October 2014, so we encourage you to submit as soon as possible.

Also see https://pub.refline.ch/845721/3377/++publications++/1/index.html

ETH Zurich
Dr. Carolina E. Adler
Institute for Environmental Decisions
CHN H73.1 | Universitätstrasse 22
8092 Zurich | SWITZERLAND
P: +41 44 632 73 74 | E:  carolina.adler at env.ethz.ch<mailto:carolina.adler at env.ethz.ch> | W: http://www.envphil.ethz.ch/people/adlerc<http://www.envphil.ethz.ch/>

Recent publications:
Adler, C.E., & Hirsch Hadorn, G. (2014, in press). The IPCC and treatment of uncertainties: topics and sources of dissensus. WIREs Climate Change. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wcc.297 OPEN ACCESS.

Lynch, A.H., Adler, C.E. & Howard, N.C. (2014). Policy Diffusion in Arid Basin Water Management: A Q-method Approach. Regional Environmental Change, 14(4): 1601-1613. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10113-014-0602-3.


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