Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW is one of Switzerland’s largest multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences, with over 13,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff.

The School of Management and Law – with its internationally recognized Bachelor's and Master's degree programs as well as cooperative PhD programs, a needs-oriented and well-established continuing education program, and innovative research and development projects – is one of Switzerland's leading business schools. The SML is the first business school of a Swiss university of applied sciences to meet the high standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), making it one of the top 800 business schools worldwide.

The Centre of Energy and the Environment (CEE) was founded in 2017 with a research focus on energy economics and policy as well as electricity market design. CEE is part of the Swiss Competence Centre for Research in Energy, Society and Transition (SCCER CREST).

PhD position in electricity market design
The successful candidate will work on a research project regarding the design of optimal network tariffs and incentives for flexibility, a topic that has recently received a lot of policy attention within ongoing revision of the Swiss Federal Electricity Supply Act.

As part of this project, you will:

  •  Review the literature and findings from recent projects in Switzerland and neighbouring countries regarding optimal tariff design and flexibility incentives
  • Analyse drivers of grid expansion based on the expansion plans for a concrete distribution grid and potentially further data sources
  • Derive suggestions for the optimal design of flexibility incentives for different consumer groups and test these through interviews and online surveys 
  • Derive concrete policy recommendations and analyse the required regulatory changes 
  • Estimate the impact of your recommendations in terms of network cost savings, and impacts on the profitability of different technologies
Due to the high policy relevance of your research, you will be able to present and discuss your findings with an advisory group, including representatives from the national transmission grid operator, and several Swiss utilities, providing you with a unique networking opportunity and the possibility to contribute to the political decision making process in Switzerland. Following the successful termination of the project, you will have the possibility to present your findings at various national and international conferences.

We are looking for a candidate who is eager to conduct a methodologically rigorous research, which translates into a real impact. We expect high academic qualifications of a Master in economics, industrial engineering or related fields, with at least 30% of ECTS credits in economics and an graduation mark of at least 5.0 (Swiss grades) or 2.5 (German/Austrian grades) or equivalent. Experience with the electricity sector and grid analysis is an important plus. Excellent command of English and good knowledge of German is required. Further details on requirements for admission to the doctoral program at Uni Basel can be found at https://wwz.unibas.ch/de/phd/


We offer an entry salary of CHF 47’000 during the first year, and the potential for significant salary increases in subsequent years.  You will be part of a young and dynamic project team, including the network planning team of a grid operator and a German Startup Company that will perform the load-flow calculations for the distribution grid. Your thesis will be co-supervised by Dr. Christian Winzer (CEE) and Prof. Hannes Weigt from University of Basel. You will be enrolled as PhD student at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Basel enabling you to connect with other PhDs in economics, choose from a variety of training courses targeted to your doctoral research, as well as the possibility to participate in summer schools.
Do you have any further questions? For more information please contact Dr. Christian Winzer, Center for Energy and the Environment at ZHAW (phone +41 58 934 49 45, Email: christian.winzer@zhaw.ch).

We look forward to your application via our Online Plattform to Dagmar Debrunner, HR Consultant in Winterthur. Please upload your CV, Master thesis and a copy of your certificates. Please be advised, that we only take into account applications via the Online Plattform and not per mail or e-mail.
For further information on our Institute, go to: www.zhaw.ch
Zurich University of Appliend Sciences