Short description: 

Background: The Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab at the University of Geneva, led by Prof. Tobias Brosch, is looking to fill an open 4-year PhD position in psychology. 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 PhD candidate will work in an interdisciplinary team with Prof. Tobias Brosch and Dr. Ulf Hahnel from the Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab and Prof. Evelina Trutnevyte from the Renewable Energy Systems Group (www.unige.ch/res). The position is financed in the framework of a joint research project on public attitudes and information processing concerning renewable energy solutions in Switzerland, which also involves the Services Industriels de Genève (SIG), the State of Geneva, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, and the ETH Zurich.

Content: The aim of the research project is to understand how information processing and motivated information search shape beliefs, emotions, and decisions. We will investigate how information processing strategies and subsequent judgments and decisions are influenced by (i) individual differences related to cognitive and affective traits and biases and (ii) aspects of the decision environment (e.g., information source, information framing). Given the high relevance of renewable energy projects for a successful energy transition, the project will especially focus on information processing with respect to geothermal energy systems. Thus, an additional goal of the project is to identify evidence-based strategies to improve public communication on this topic.

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, e.g., 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), and from excellent working conditions including a competitive salary (beginning at about CHF 47’000) and funding for travel and further education. 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 and application process: Applicants should have an excellent master’s degree in psychology, excellent methodological and statistical skills, as well as a strong interest in information processing research, intervention theory, and applied research. Previous experience with process tracing methods is a plus. Furthermore, applicants should be firmly dedicated to pursuing a scientific career and be willing to work in an interdisciplinary environment. Excellent oral and written skills in English as well as very good knowledge of French are required. Interested applicants are asked to send a cover letter outlining their motivation to pursue a PhD in the context of this project, their CV and relevant certifications (or transcript of grades), a sample document of academic writing (e.g., previous publications, master thesis) and two letters of recommendation to ulf.hahnel@unige.ch. Review of applications will begin on September 9 and will continue until the position has been filled. The earliest starting date is November 1, 2019. For questions please email ulf.hahnel@unige.ch.

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2020-01-16
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