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Research Assistant/Associate in the Economics and Policy of Heat Decarbonisation, Energy Policy Research Group (Fixed Term)

We are looking to appoint a Research Associate within the economics and policy subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School. The Research Associate will support a research project funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) called HUMAN (Hydrogen infrastructure Uncertainty MANagement for heat decarbonisation) and contribute to our wider research agenda.

The successful candidate will be based within the Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) at the Business School. Our research team have broad expertise in economics, technology policy and political science. Through our publications and via our Energy Policy Forum (EPF), the group offers rigorous independent research output that informs public and private sector decision making in the energy sector. EPRG is the leading academic energy economics and policy research group in Europe as judged by citations in RePEC. This project will complement other EPRG research into deep decarbonisation in energy-intensive industry, electricity, heat, and transport.

Roughly 85% of UK households rely on natural gas accounting for almost 20% of UK CO2 emissions. Thus, shifting the residential sector away from gas is one of the biggest challenges for the UK in meeting its net-zero target requiring either a system-wide transition to hydrogen or having almost 25 million individual households shift away from gas boilers to electric heat pumps. Shifting away from gas for heating will be essential in many major economies including the United States, Netherlands, and Germany and has been given new salience by energy security concerns after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The goal of the project is to provide the first systematic analysis on the uncertainties in the costs of hydrogen-led decarbonisation of heat and to explore interactions with the power grid to derive resilient and least-regret policies.

Cambridge is responsible for overall coordination of research on markets and regulatory frameworks associated with heat decarbonisation. To support these activities, we will analyse the sources of flexibility in a deeply decarbonised UK energy system and efficient institutional design for hydrogen and conventional gas transmission networks and wholesale commodity markets. Specific tasks include setting up economic models of electricity, gas/hydrogen and/or multivector energy system models (e.g., TIMES). The person should ideally be an expert in microeconomics, very knowledgeable about energy markets and policy (such as policy and regulatory questions around market design for gas and electricity) and be comfortable working in interdisciplinary teams including experts in the mathematics of energy, engineering, geoscience and political science. More information about the project and the role can be found in the Further Particulars.

A PhD in Economics (energy economics, applied economics, etc), Operations Research, Systems Engineering or other relevant discipline (eg public policy) is essential. Strong quantitative research skills, such as experience in designing and carrying out techno-economic or microeconomic modelling is essential. Additional knowledge of hydrogen or other potential heat decarbonisation pathways would be an advantage. Good writing skills and attention to detail are prerequisite for this role.

Our preference is to appoint someone with a PhD in hand, but successful candidates at Research Associate level who have not been awarded their PhD by the appointment date will be under-appointed as a Research Assistant (Grade 5) employed on a salary of £32,348 per annum. Upon award of the PhD the individual will be promoted to Research Associate (Grade 7 - £34,308).

This is a fixed term appointment for two years in the first instance.

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Further information about Cambridge Judge Business School is available from the website:

Please quote reference NS33111 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

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Further information

Apply online