Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Socio-Economics of Microgrid Systems, School of Geography, Faculty of Environment

Are you a talented and ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Are you interested in sustainable, reliable, and resilient energy supply? Do you have the skills to contribute to the development of self-sustained and resilient energy distribution for developing countries?

You will have a unique opportunity to join an exciting consortium that seeks to address the socio-economic, technical and operational challenges in the development of low-cost, resilient, and reliable Microgrids in developing countries in Africa and South East Asia. The post is part of the recently RCUK funded £1.5m ‘CRESM-HYRES’ project under the umbrella of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.

The socio-economic component of the project will focus on five interacting components: evaluating the potential range of energy uses within a community and matching technologies to both present and future needs; involvement of end user participation in research, design, acceptance and adoption; ensuring long-term sustainability and resilience through creation of the appropriate incentive structures to install and maintain the MGs; ethical dimensions of the project; and capacity building within the partnership between Leeds, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo Brazzaville and Indonesia.

You will have a PhD (or close to completion), or equivalent postdoctoral research experience in socio-economics of developing countries, or a closely allied discipline, with a strong background in community development in developing countries and an interest in renewable energy systems.

What does the role entail? 

As Research Fellow, your main duties will include:

  • Developing research objectives and contributing to setting the direction of the research project, where appropriate preparing proposals for funding in collaboration with the project team
  • Liaising with academics, project supervisors/partners and research students in the project teams across the partner universities in the ‘CRESM-HYRES’ project, in order to carry out, coordinate and manage the planned workpackages;
  • Evaluating present and future energy needs of selected communities using household surveys and key informant interviews;
  • Preparing an economic analysis comparing the range of possible energy options and conducting a stakeholder analysis of end-users, ranging from users with different energy needs in the community, to energy installation and management SMEs, government policy makers and regulators, and investment organisations;
  • Evaluating experience in the Indonesian Iconic Islands programme and review the African Development Bank’s ‘Strategy for The New Deal on Energy for Africa 2016 – 2025’ and transfer best practise to the partnership.
  • Preparing an ethical review for the project and ensure that equitable access to modern clean energy is a central component of project design from the outset.
  • Ensuring that gender dimensions are given specific consideration in design and implementation of the project.
  • Initiating and participant in capacity building components taking place within the existing Royal Society renewable energy capacity building project.
  • Preparing papers with the investigators for publication in leading international journals and independently writing research summaries and reports;
  • Working both independently and also as part of a larger team of researchers, engaging in knowledge-transfer activities where appropriate and feasible;
  • Maintaining your own continuing professional development and contributing to the research culture of the School, where appropriate;
  • Contributing to the training of both undergraduate and postgraduate students, where appropriate, including assisting with the supervision of projects in areas relevant to the project.

These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

Download additional information on this position HERE

Contact information

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:  

Professor Jon Lovett, Principal Investigator

Tel: +44 (0) 113 343 3327


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