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2 PhD positions on social tipping dynamics in sustainability transitions

2 PhD positions on social tipping dynamics in sustainability transitions

Would you like to do research that helps accelerate the energy transition? We offer 2 fully funded 4-year PhD positions on the research team of the ERC project FAST: Fostering social tipping dynamics to accelerate sustainability transitions.
Irène Curie Fellowship
Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences
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Reference number

Job description

Social tipping dynamics in energy transitions occur when a small change or intervention has a large effect on emission reductions. Tipping occurs for example when clean technologies such as electric vehicle become cheaper than fossil fuel cars or when more sustainable behaviors such as energy saving or cycling become the norm. The FAST project aims to explain and model social tipping dynamics and interventions in energy transitions. Understanding and mobilizing social tipping dynamics is crucial to accelerate the energy transition.

As a PhD student, you will do empirical research into social tipping dynamics using qualitative and quantitative research approaches, looking into technology-driven solutions as well as socio-economic and behavioral drivers for the energy transition. You will join a young and vibrant multidisciplinary team working on accelerating sustainability transitions and will participate in PhD training and project workshops. You will be part of a larger group of PhD students that work on similar topics (have a look at the NEON project and the TIS website for an impression).

Job requirements

We look for highly motivated candidates that

  • Hold (or are close to obtaining) a very good Master’s degree in the social sciences ( Innovation Sciences, Transition studies, Sustainable Energy Technologies, quantitative and computational social sciences, Sociology (social network analysis).
  • Have expertise in qualitative or quantitative research methods.
  • Are fluent in spoken and written English.
  • Have excellent scientific writing and planning skills. 
  • Have programming skills, or experience with simulation modelling or are willing to learn.

Conditions of employment

  • The successful candidates will be offered a full-time PhD position, initially for one year. Upon good performance, the contract will be extended for three more years.
  • Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary ranges between €2.541 in the first year and €3.247 in the fourth year of employment per month for full-time employment.
  • The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

The positions will be embedded in the TIS group (Technology, Innovation and Society) of the department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences and the Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems (EIRES). 

The PhD students will be supervised by prof. Floor Alkemade. The TU/e mission is to educate students and advance knowledge in science and technology for the benefit of humanity. We are a young university at the center of one of the most powerful technology hubs in the world; Brainport Eindhoven.  Inclusive transitions towards sustainability is a key research theme of our department.

Information and application

For further information about the research project, please contact prof. Floor Alkemade (f.alkemade[at] 

Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment.
You can also contact our HR advisor Hanneke Huijs-Palmen, (j.b.huijs.palmen[at]
Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.

Candidates should submit their applications through the TU/e application platform.
The application must include the following documents in English (please note that a maximum of 5 documents of 2 MB each can be uploaded):

  1. Cover letter (1-page max) which includes motivation for your interest in the position, and an explanation of why your profile would be a good fit for the proposed project.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) including name and contact information of two references.
  3. List of courses, with grades, in Master and Bachelor programs.
  4. Results of a recent English language test, or other evidence of your English language capabilities.
  5. A pdf copy of your Master thesis (if available). 

Deadline for application is 1 May 2023, but we will close the vacancy as soon as suitable candidates are found.  The envisioned starting date is September 2023.