Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Energy

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The Economic and Social Research Institute

Dublin 2, Ireland

Application Deadline

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) wishes to make a 3-year appointment to their climate and energy modelling team. The research will entail close cooperation with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), which is Ireland’s national energy authority investing in, and delivering, effective and sustainable solutions to help Ireland’s transition to a clean energy future. The post also entails an adjunct position at Trinity College Dublin.

The Institute

The ESRI, founded in 1960, is located in Dublin’s South Docklands area. Its mission is to produce high quality research, relevant to Ireland’s economic and social development, with the aim of contributing to knowledge and informing policymaking and public debate. It has over 110 staff including economists, sociologists and other social scientists, in addition to support and technical staff.

Cliamte and Energy Research at the ESRI

The ESRI has an active climate and energy economics research group. Research projects include the Energy Policy Research Centre (EPRC), a multi-annual research programme funded by contributions from public and private sector stakeholders; and a climate research programme centred around the development and application of the Ireland Environment, Energy and Economy (I3E) model for policy evaluation. Academic collaborations are ongoing with researchers both in Ireland and overseas plus we also enjoy strong collaboration and engagement with industry stakeholders, the energy/climate ministry, and the energy regulator through biannual research steering meetings, as well as bilateral engagements through the year.

Role Description

A key challenge for the design and implementation of public policy is understanding the linkages between macroeconomic drivers within the economy (e.g., growth, employment, taxation) and micro level responses to incentives (e.g., household decisions on transportation, energy efficiency, etc.). Successfully reaching several high-level government policy targets, such as those related to CO2 emissions and energy efficiency, depend on millions of individuals, households, and businesses undertaking a broad range of specific actions. The successful candidate’s research will explore these linkages, collaborating with colleagues working on the ESRI’s macroeconomic models, e.g. I3E and COSMO, and colleagues within the SEAI, which maintain a suite of energy models known as the National Energy Modelling Framework (NEMF). Among the specific projects is researching residential heating, understanding linkages between the macro drivers of the I3E model to SEAI’s residential heat demand modelling. Another aspect is examining the impacts on wider economic development and the distributional aspects of policy instruments intended to incentivise a low carbon transition.

The candidate’s research will have at least two anticipated outlets. First, research papers are expected to be published in leading international, peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences. Second, research and policy recommendations will assist the SEAI in its roles advising Government, homeowners, businesses, and communities on the transition to a low-carbon future. The research team will regularly engage through bilateral meetings with the SEAI and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

Skills, Qualifications and Experience

The successful candidate will have a PhD (completed or nearing completion) in economics or a closely related discipline, and ideally will have their work published in leading international, peer-reviewed journals. The appointee will be expected to take a lead in defining and developing the methods applied in the project and ideally should have experience in developing models independently.

Candidates with the following skills are encouraged to apply:

  • Advanced OR modelling skills and strong computer skills;
  • Flexibility and coordination skills;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with engineering colleagues in TCD and also in industry;
  • Analytical and quantitative modelling skills (e.g., applied modelling, econometrics, etc.);
  • Research interest and knowledge in climate or energy economics;
  • Excellent writing, interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to write policy reports and peer reviewed journal papers
  • Ability to present and communicate research findings to non-technical and technical audiences;
  • Careful attention to detail while maintaining the drive to meet tight deadlines;
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully in teams and on their own initiative;
  • Interest in policy related research, particularly in the area of climate and energy economics.

The successful candidate should have experience in independently developing their research work and have the flexibility and capacity to contribute to other areas of ESRI research. Experience of engaging with research/policy stakeholders is desirable.

Terms & Application Procedure

The role is full-time (37 hours per week - standard working hours are 09.00-17.30, Monday – Thursday and 09.00-17.00, Friday; flexible working hours are supported). Appointments will be on a three-year, fixed-term contract basis and starting salary will be €42,800, which is the first point of the ESRI Administrative Officer (Higher) salary scale. The successful candidate will be based in the ESRI offices in Dublin 2 with the option of a blended working arrangement. The appointee will hold an adjunct position at Trinity College Dublin.

The ESRI is currently conducting selection processes via videoconference (MS Teams or Zoom).

The closing date for applications is 5pm on 15 July 2022. All applications will be acknowledged. The selection process will consist of a preliminary interview and, for candidates successful at that stage, a final interview, presentation and written assessment. Late or incomplete applications will not be processed.

The ESRI is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to accommodating the needs of people with disabilities to enable them to participate in the selection process. Please let us know if you have any particular requirements should you be invited for assessment/interview or that you wish us to take into account when considering your application.


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