Deadline: 15.10.2023

PhD position in Affordable and climate-neutral housing renovation/

Chalmers University of Technology

You have the opportunity to work in one of the world leading academic places in the field of carbon-neutral and affordable housing with a focus on building renovation. We are offering an inspiring work environment with a mixture of PhD students, Postdocs and senior researchers with different educational as well as cultural backgrounds.

Project description
Access to decent and affordable housing is a basic human need as well as a human right recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Social Charter, but these needs and rights are not always fulfilled in Europe. At the same time housing has become an increasing focus for investment and wealth generation among high-income and wealthy populations and therefore is both an important form of inequality and a significant cause of inequality.

Transitioning to a low carbon emitting Europe and meeting the European Green Deal commitment to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, without exacerbating existing social inequalities is a complex policy challenge that requires a coherent but multifaceted response, faces implementation challenges and may contradict other policy priorities. Households vulnerable to energy poverty may struggle to pay taxes intended to reduce carbon emissions for instance. Low-income homeowners may lack the means to pay the high upfront costs required to make their home energy efficient. Social housing landlords may not have the capacity to move tenants to alternative accommodation when they renovate their homes. Private landlords in booming housing markets may not feel incentivised to invest in the energy efficiency of dwellings that are in high demand or may only be willing to do so if they can re-let the dwellings for higher rents (sometimes called `renoviction’).

We are now recruiting one PhD student for work in a new European research project starting early in 2024, financed by the European Commission within the Horizon Research Innovation Action framework.

The PhD project aims to tackle unsustainable housing and energy poverty. The methodological approach is based on a structured literature review which is complemented by analysis of real-building case studies.
The goals of the PhD studies are to:

1) Identify and analyse representative and advanced examples of building renovation projects with
different levels of ambition regarding their energy efficiency and carbon-reduction improvements,
targeted at low income and other marginalised groups experiencing housing inequalities.

2) Investigate the regulatory, financial and institutional framework conditions for energy efficiency and carbon-reduced renovation of housing occupied by low-income and marginalised groups.

3) Assess the current use of digital processes and tools in housing renovation planning and execution.

4) Provide a broader perspective on the links between the digital and green transition and housing inequalities.

5) To propose new governance arrangements on a European, national and – if possible – subnational level to support the just transition to more energy-efficient homes and the reduction of energy poverty.

You will be employed by Chalmers on a full-time temporary contract. The employment is limited to four years’ effective time on the Ph.D. project, plus additional time spent on teaching and other departmental duties up to a maximum of five years. The employment is tied to the successful progress of the doctoral project, as evaluated throughout the project.

Master’s level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher-education credits in Engineering, Architectural Engineering or equivalent with relevant courses in building performance, building renovation, affordable housing etc. The position requires advanced knowledge on building energy performance calculation, housing renovation standards and EU regulation. The position requires very good verbal and written communication skills in English.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

We offer
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg.
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20230498 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.


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