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Postdoctoral Scholar Employee Appointment, Open Modeling of Decarbonization in China

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar
Salary range: $60,000-$67,000

Application Window

Open date: January 31, 2024

Most recent review date: Sunday, Mar 31, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) is hiring one or more postdoctoral researchers to conduct open modeling studies of accelerated decarbonization, with a particular focus on China. The postdoc will join the lab of the PI, Michael Davidson, Assistant Professor in GPS and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
While China’s long-term goals of carbon neutrality have been set, there is considerable uncertainty about (a) the next decade, and (b) the pace, structure, and cost of low-carbon pathways. The transformation of the power sector—central to any decarbonization scenario—is hindered by entrenched incumbents and the institutional and engineering challenges of achieving the massive scale-up of renewable and low-carbon energy sources required. This requires the development of new modeling tools to capture physical resource, engineering, and political economy factors affecting the deployment of low-carbon energy. The postdoctoral researcher(s) will contribute to creating open and broadly accessible data, models, and insights, which target governments, academics, civil society organizations (CSOs), and industry stakeholders. Applications are welcomed in any of the following three areas:

  1. Renewable energy resource assessment and capacity planning optimizations. Questions include: Where to prioritize and what are the local impacts of rapid renewable energy build-out? What are key land use constraints and appropriate technological pathways to address them?
  2. Low-carbon power market models for affordability and reliability. Questions include: What are the emissions and economic impacts of non-standard power market designs? How much, where, and for what compensation is firm capacity needed to operate the system reliably?
  3. Finance, employment, and risk models of low-carbon transitions in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Questions include: What are the financial and employment implications for coal reduction in major SOEs? What transition strategies are feasible both technologically and politically? The postdoc will be fully integrated into the GPS community, a highly interdisciplinary school of public policy scholars. The postdoc will also be expected to engage with other units on campus researching energy systems, particularly the Jacobs School of Engineering.

The postdoc will be fully integrated into the GPS community, a highly interdisciplinary school of public policy scholars. The postdoc will also be expected to engage with other units on campus researching energy systems, particularly the Jacobs School of Engineering.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Must be pursuing or have already been granted a Ph.D. in a relevant field, including but not limited to Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Operations Research, Economics, Political Science, or Public Policy. Must have demonstrated record of publications and programming knowledge.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Applicants are required to hold a Ph.D. or received a Ph.D. degree by the start of the appointment.

Preferred qualifications

All candidates must have a demonstrated research ability and publication track record, and should be well-versed in relevant models and programming languages.

The committee is most interested in scholars who can be in residence for the duration of the appointment.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Technical Writing Sample

  • Personal Statement -

    describing your experience and career goals (one page)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Applicants should summarize their past or potential contributions to diversity. See our Faculty Equity site for more information

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)
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About UC San Diego

The University of California, San Diego is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, covered veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

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Job location

La Jolla, CA