PhD Scholarship Position in Technology Management / Innovation Studies

A new opening PhD position in social sciences is available at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The funding allows successful candidate to work for five years. This position is closed on January 02, 2019.

The Department of Technology Management and Economics (TME) broadly researches the interaction between technology development, industrial systems, society, people and the environment. The research can be divided into three main research areas, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain & Operations Management and Sustainability & Society Studies. The department is organized in six divisions for research and teaching and one support function and it hosts four research centres and the Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship. Our research is linked to several of Chalmers’ Areas of Advance.


We are looking to recruit a PhD student within the broad theoretical fields of innovation and transition studies, with a focus on the role of intermediaries in the diffusion of solar PV in Sweden. More specifically, the project involves studying the strategies of established electricity retailers in relation to solar electricity.

Information about the division and the project

The position is placed at the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA) at the Department of Technology Management and Economics (TME). ESA conducts systems-oriented interdisciplinary research to find more sustainable technology solutions and to find ways to transform technology systems to better meet the environmental and resource constraints society faces. Our work requires cross-disciplinary efforts, which is reflected in the makeup of our research group, but we are unified by a common systems-based approach. More information about the department and the division can be found at TME’s web page:

The PhD position is part of a research project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, which focuses on the role of established electricity retailers in the diffusion of solar power in Sweden, with a particular focus on if/how they have adapted their business models to take on the role as solar PV intermediaries and how their business models toward solar PV compare with the business models of more newly established specialized solar PV entrepreneurs.

The main role of the PhD student in this project is to map the solar strategies of the 30 largest electricity retailers in Sweden, with a particular focus on how they help their customers become prosumers, and to do a detailed study of the business models of about 10 retailers in order to identify pros and cons of different models in comparison with those of specialized solar PV entrepreneurs. The PhD student is also expected to communicate results from the project to the industry and other relevant stakeholders in Sweden. The direction of further theoretical and empirical studies will be decided in dialogue between the main supervisor and the PhD student. The PhD project also entails course work, independent literature studies and the writing of a number of scientific articles based on the research results (to be included in the thesis).

Major responsibilities

The main responsibility of a PhD student is to pursue doctoral studies in relation to a specific research topic. This includes two main components: doctoral courses and independent research (under supervision). The latter includes literature studies, research design and planning, empirical studies and communication of results in writing and orally at seminars and conferences. For this position, communication with the industry, people at the Swedish Energy Agency and other stakeholders will also be an important part of the work. The exact focus and content of the studies will be decided in interaction with the examiner/main supervisor. The PhD student is expected to contribute to writing a number of scientific articles, based on the results of the research, which will be included in the thesis.

The position also includes teaching at the undergraduate or master’s level or performing other departmental duties corresponding to a maximum of 20 percent of the working hours.

Full-time temporary employment.The position is limited to a maximum of five years.


(1) A university degree at advanced (Master’s) level in a relevant field of study, comprising at least four years of study (240 ECTS credits), whereof at least 60 ECTS credits at advanced (Master’s) level (or equivalent). Examples of relevant fields of study include (but are not restricted to) Industrial engineering and management, Innovation studies and Transition studies. (2) A completed independent degree project (thesis) at advanced (Master’s) level, representing at least one term of study (30 ECTS credits). An educational profile that combines engineering/science and social science, e.g. innovation or business administration, is a valuable (but not required) qualification.

Documented skills in applying social science research methods, especially qualitative methods, is a necessary requirement. Large emphasis when selecting a candidate will also be put on ability to write academic texts.

- knowledge about relevant innovation/transition and business model frameworks

- experience in applying such frameworks to analyse sectors, industries or companies

- experience in project management (including management of own degree project or similar)

We believe that you are highly motivated, personally mature and both able and willing to assume responsibility for and pursue the task at hand. You are good at communicating with others and are able to handle complex information and problems, breaking down and analysing problems as well as synthesizing information from several sources. You like to take the broader perspective and tend to consider the long-term consequences of decisions and actions, but are also able to make proper judgements and set appropriate priorities when needed.

You need to be fluent in English (written and verbal) as well as fluent in Swedish (at least reading and speaking) (to enable document studies, interviews and oral and written communication with stakeholders).

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180663 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.

Previous research fields and main research results.

Future goals and research focus.Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.

Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 2 January, 2019

Anna Bergek, professor and intended supervisor/examiner


Phone: +46-31-772 6962

Magdalena Svanstrm, unit manager ESA


Phone: +46-31-772 30 01


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