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PhD Aligning citizens with clean energy investment and renovation decisions

Country: Netherlands
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Job description

We are hiring 2 doctoral candidates, who will work on the Human System of a larger NWA-ORC project- ALIGN4energy, together with a broad interdisciplinary consortium of universities, and public and private organizations.

The 4-year project ALIGN4Energy, funded by the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO), aims to contribute to deploying clean energy technologies in residential homes rapidly and at scale. The ALIGN4energy consortium provides a total of 11 PhD positions aimed to simultaneously address the citizens, policy, and business perspectives of the residential energy transition.

These 2 PhD positions offered by TU Delft will be hosted at the Department of Management in the Built Environment, at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. These two PhDs will be working on work package 1 on Human System of the ALIGN4energ project.

The energy and the climate crisis reinforced the urgency of energy efficiency in residential buildings in Europe. To meet its climate targets, the Netherlands needs to decarbonize the residential sector.

The complex decision-making process encountered by internal (cognitive biases) and external (transaction costs incurred with other stakeholders) challenges.


PhD 1 will focus on the owner-occupied housing sector and investigates how homeowners’ preferences, barriers, and biases prevent their investments as well as participation in home energy efficiency demand response. The candidate will not only focus on the individual decision making of homeowners but also explore the collective decision-making of homeowners associations (with only owner occupiers or mixed ownership including housing associations) and other stakeholders (i.e., service and clean energy project suppliers) play a role in influencing the individual decisions.

PhD 2 will focus on the social housing and privately rented housing sector and investigates the role of housing associations and private landlords in leading the energy efficiency renovation of their existing housing stocks.

How to activate the tenants in reaching to 70% agreement on the renovation proposal?

How to deal with the split incentives between the landlords and tenants?

What are the financial incentives to be tailored -made (considering cognitive biases & behavioral patterns of the target tenants) and hassles (transaction costs) to be removed or facilitated in the renovation decision and processes?

Both PhDs will take into consideration the institutional, market and behavioral barriers in each context, by exploring the hidden transaction costs incurred in the decision-making of key stakeholders for the clean energy investment and renovation process.

European Peace Ambassador Scholarship 2022 (Fully Funded)


  • who have prior knowledge of energy transition in the built environment
  • have gained a Master’s degree in energy economics, environmental science, behavioral economics or relevant field.
  • candidate who have good communication skills
  • strong background and/or strong interest in quantitative economics/statistical data analysis
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English proven by a minimum score of 100 in TOEFL or IELTS of 7.0 per sub-skill
  • an understanding and communication in Dutch is a strong advantage!
  • the ability to work in a team, take initiative, be result-oriented, organized
  • Independent, self-motivated, eager to learn
  • willingness to work with partners to link real-world challenges to multidisciplinary research questions.
  • the possibility to start employment on 1 September 2022

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School.

Provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

Offers a customizable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants they offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Application procedure

In your application, please indicate your preference of working on which one of the two PhD projects and explain your choice. Please refer to vacancy number TUD02338.

Please note:

  • You can only apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Applications will not be processed if all documents required are not compiled into a single pdf document.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated

Deadline for application is June 20, 2022 (local Dutch time: UTC+2). You can only apply online via the button ‘Apply now’.

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Type of Opportunity Miscellaneous
Deadline20 June,2022
Open toAll



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