PhD Position Analysis of Socio-technical Tipping Points in Integrated Modelling for Climate Policy

PhD Position Analysis of Socio-technical Tipping Points in Integrated Modelling for Climate Policy

Published Deadline Location
10 May 18 Jun Delft

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Design climate governance interventions accounting for non-linear socio-technical processes and tipping point dynamics to facilitate the transition to a carbon neutral society.

Job description

Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) shape the current discussion on the global response to climate change by supporting policymakers with their long-term projections of natural-human systems evolution. Although ever-improving, these models still overlook important reinforcement feedback loops of socio-technical processes relevant to climate policies. Some of these loops are responsible for socio-technical lock-ins, and others for an accelerated transition to new states of the economy. With the global ambition of becoming carbon neutral in a few decades and the looming impacts of climate change, it is essential to recognize how these non-linear processes could quickly amplify or dampen the impact of different climate mitigation actions. You will develop a conceptual and computational framework for a novel IAM that captures socio-technical tipping points at the macro-regional scale, redefining the quest for the most feasible, equitable, effective, and disruptive near-term climate mitigation policies.

You will be part of the Policy Analysis section of the Multi-Actor Systems department at TU Delft. We have a strong track record in multi-disciplinary research on complex systems for sustainability. You will find plenty of expertise on different methodological aspects of model-based policy making, including simulation, optimization, machine learning, data-driven and uncertainty-oriented techniques. You will also be part of the Climate Action Programme, specifically of the Climate Governance theme, with facilitated access to a network of scholars actively working at the forefront of climate change mitigation, adaptation and governance at multiple scales and disciplinary angles. Professor Giacomo Marangoni will be your mentor.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for someone who has:

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field, e.g. Economics, Environmental Science, Computer Science.
  • Demonstrable affinity and strong interest in the field of computational modelling, sustainability or climate change.
  • Mastery of at least one programming language for scientific purposes, e.g. Python.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both in written and oral.
  • A curiosity-driven mindset and a passion for doing research.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

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 Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. 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.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

The Faculty of TPM provides an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security. TPM does this with its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy. We combine insights from both engineering and social sciences as well as the humanities. TPM develops robust models and designs, is internationally oriented and has an extensive network of knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03914


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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