Short description: 

 

Group: The Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab at the University of Geneva, led by Prof. Tobias Brosch, is looking to fill an open 3-year postdoc position in psychology/consumer behavior in the framework of an interdisciplinary research project financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Located at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, our lab integrates theoretical approaches and methods from psychology, affective sciences, behavioral economics, and neuroscience to investigate determinants of sustainable decision-making (www.unige.ch/fapse/decisionlab). The successful candidate will work in an interdisciplinary team with Dr. Ulf Hahnel from the Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab and Dr. David Parra from the Energy Efficiency Group of the Institute for Environmental Science of the University of Geneva.

 

Project: The research project “Consumer-driven impacts on the grid: Peer effects on the diffusion of technologies and strategies to manage PV electricity and demand” brings together researchers from the University of Geneva, the UC Berkeley, the University College London (UCL), the University of Groningen, and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology as well as practice partners such as the Services Industriels de Genève (SIG), the local utility. The project teams aims to (i) better understand the underpinnings of consumer preferences for PV systems and enabling technologies, e.g., electric vehicles and heat pumps, (ii) predict the diffusion of these technologies as well as their impacts on the grid infrastructure and (iii) infer evidence-based win-win situations for policy and industry. Two postdocs (one with background in psychology and one with background in engineering/physics) will be hired on the project and will work in close collaboration in order to comprehensively assess and integrate consumer preferences into state-of-the-art agent-based modeling (ABM).

 

Analysis of consumer behavior will encompass experimental research aiming to better understand consumer decision-making in the context of renewable energy systems. We will investigate the extent to which preferences, judgments and decisions are influenced by individual differences related to cognitive and affective traits as well as by external factors such as peer influences and market characteristics. In addition to the in-depth analysis of decision-making, consumer research will provide data for a comprehensive agent-based model, aiming to predict the diffusion of renewable energy systems based on consumer preference data.

 

Working conditions: The Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab provides a stimulating research environment to work on some of today’s most pressing societal challenges. The successful candidate will benefit from a large interdisciplinary network including, the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (https://www.unige.ch/cisa/), the Institute for Environmental Sciences (https://www.unige.ch/environnement/en) and the Swiss Competence Center for Research in Energy, Society and Transition (https://www.sccer-crest.ch). The postdoc will further benefit from excellent working conditions including a competitive salary (beginning at about CHF 81’000) and funding for travel and further education. Moreover, the project is equipped with additional financial resources for international collaboration. Geneva is located between the Alps, the Jura, and Lake Geneva, and is noted for its international character and high quality of life. Geneva consistently ranks among the most attractive cities worldwide to live.

 

Requirements: Applicants must have an excellent PhD in psychology or a related field, excellent methodological and statistical skills, as well as a strong interest in experimental research, consumer judgment and decision-making as well as the renewable energy domain. Previous experience with the design and analysis of experimental studies is required. Furthermore, applicants should be firmly dedicated to pursuing a scientific career and be willing to work in an interdisciplinary environment. A proven track-record of publications as first author should be demonstrated as the candidate is expected to publish in top journals in the field. Excellent oral and written skills in English are required. Knowledge in an official Swiss language is a plus.

 

Application process: Interested applicants are asked to send one PDF document containing a cover letter outlining their motivation to conduct research in the context of this project and their CV with a description of scientific achievements, including a list of publications. Additional required documents are relevant certifications (or transcript of grades), the two most significant publications for the open position (i.e., journal publications, PhD thesis) and the names and contact information of three referees to ulf.hahnel@unige.ch. Review of applications will begin on November 4 and will continue until the position has been filled. The earliest starting date is January 1, 2020. For questions please email ulf.hahnel@unige.ch.

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Online until: 
2020-01-25
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