The Environmental Psychology group and the Psychometrics and Statistics group at the University of Groningen offer a PhD position in the project “Understanding energy behaviour within households: a dynamic network approach”. The project is aimed at developing and testing theory using state of the art statistical models to understand the dynamic processes that affect energy behaviour within households.

To mitigate anthropogenic climate change, a transition is needed towards a sustainable energy system that less strongly relies on fossil energy sources. Besides an increase in renewable energy production and use, a substantial increase in energy efficiency is needed. To realise this, substantial changes in a wide range of energy behaviours of individuals and households is needed. To design effective energy policy, it is important to understand which factors influence energy behaviour of individuals and households. Currently, studies typically relate individual factors (e.g., individual motivations and abilities) to household energy behaviour and energy use (e.g., thermostat settings in the home, total electricity use of a household). Indeed, many energy decisions are made within household level. Yet, the influence of different household members on such decisions, and the dynamics within households, over persons and over time, are poorly understood. In this PhD project, you will develop and test theory to understand which characteristics of household members, and interactions between household members affect energy behaviour in households. Moreover, you will develop and apply novel statistical models to test such dynamics within households. These models rely upon recent advances in the fields of time series modelling and psychometric network modelling. You will also set up and conduct a field experiment to collect data via innovative methods (e.g., smart phones, smart meters, frequent questionnaires) to validate the theory.

We are looking for a PhD candidate with expertise in Statistics and Psychometrics as well as in Environmental Psychology. You will publish the results of your studies in international scientific journals, which will be part of your PhD thesis, and you will present your studies at international conferences.

We are looking for a PhD candidate who is highly motivated to work on this topic, and is particularly interested in developing comprehensive statistical models and in conducting theory-based research with a high societal relevance. You have a creative, critical and independent research attitude and you are open to different perspectives on this research topic. You can work independently, but can also collaborate in an interdisciplinary team. You have completed a (Research) Master in Psychology with a focus on Statistics and Psychometrics and preferably also Environmental Psychology, or a scientific education that is closely related to this, or you expect to receive such a master degree soon. You have good communication skills in English and Dutch, both verbally and written (or willingness to learn Dutch).

Deadline to apply is 15 May. Details can be found here.