PhD position “Understanding the Drivers of Policy Change: The Case of Renewable Energy Policy”

Inserat Nr.

Freitag, 6. Januar 2017

ETH Zürich

Region Zurich

gemäss beschreibung


The Energy Politics Group (EPG) within the Department of Humanities, Social, and Political Sciences of ETH Zurich investigates questions related to the governance of technological change in the energy sector. To support our team we invite applications for a

PhD position “Understanding the Drivers of Policy Change: The Case of Renewable Energy Policy”

Policy designs and policy mix dynamics at various governance levels are strongly linked to the innovation and diffusion of new technologies in the energy sector. EPG has received a substantial grant to investigate the co-evolution of policy change and technology change in the energy sector. To support our team in analyzing this co-evolution, we expect the successful candidate to conduct research towards a PhD (i.e. a cumulative PhD thesis) on renewable energy policy dynamics, drivers of policy change and policy effectiveness – all against the backdrop of technological change in the energy sector. Relevant disciplinary fields include: political science, public policy, comparative environmental politics and gover-nance studies, innovation studies with a policy focus. Interdisciplinary candidates are welcome. You should be dedicated to scientifically rigorous work that at the same time is relevant to policy makers and political institutions. A solid knowledge of qualitative and especially quantitative methods is required as is knowledge of policy analysis (esp. approaches to studying policy change) and familiarity with data analysis. Knowledge of energy technologies would be considered a bonus. At EPG, candidates will have the opportunity to contribute the group’s research agenda and are encouraged to co-advise master’s students.

You hold a Master in one of the above mentioned disciplines or a related social science; candidates currently completing their Master’s program can apply if their thesis is already submitted. You have a strong motivation for academic research. Your excellent academic record underlines your potential to publish in top-ranked journals in the fields of public policy/political science, energy/environmental policy, and innovation policy. Your working style is team-oriented and you have strong communication skills. You are highly proficient in English; German is not necessary, but is an additional asset.

We offer an entrepreneurial research atmosphere within a dynamic team at continental Europe’s leading university. EPG is a member of the Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) of ETH and the University of Zurich, a one-of-a-kind cooperation between two leading departments of political science and one of the leading political science research centers in Europe. As a member of ETH’s Energy Science Center and contributor to ETH’s newly founded Institute of Science, Technology, and Policy (ISTP), our group benefits from frequent interactions with leading scholars in other energy- and policy-related fields. Furthermore, we collaborate with other national and international academic and policy institutions (e.g., Stanford, Yale, and UNDP). Your PhD will be conducted in CIS’s doctoral program and is expected to be completed within 3.5 years.

For further information please contact Dr. Sebastian Sewerin (no applications) by email: and/or visit the working group’s website:

Please submit your application online with attention to: ETH Zurich, Olivier Meyrat, Human Resources, 8092 Zurich, adding (1) a letter of motivation, (2) your CV with the contact details of two referees, (3) a scan of your university diplomas and transcripts, (4) a sample paper/chapter from your Master thesis, and (5) a brief research proposal (max 2 pages). The review of applications will start immediately – please send your application as soon as possible. The position will remain open until filled.