Deadline for applications is Monday 9 September 2019 (1700 – BST / UK time)

The application should be submitted in two parts:

1) Email your CV to

2) Submit the short online application form, via the Google Forms survey

Energy-SHIFTS is a Horizon 2020 project that feeds energy-related Social Sciences & Humanities (energy-SSH) insights into EU energy policy. As part of our Early Stage Researcher (ESR) programme, we offer access to current energy policy dilemmas and the chance to become part of a close-knit network of researchers bridging the policy-research gap. We have two sets of opportunities, with further common collaboration possibilities beyond these too.

 Opportunity 1 – Working groups on future energy-SSH research needs (x8 ESRs):

Energy-SHIFTS has been tasked by the European Commission’s DG for Research & Innovation to advise on what energy-SSH should be funded in its Horizon Europe research and innovation programme (running over 2021-27). We will be coordinating four expert working groups on topic areas that the Commission has already committed to fund:

  • WG1. Renewables – chaired by Derk Loorbach (DRIFT) and Aleksandra Wagner (Jagiellonian University);
  • WG2. Smart consumption – chaired by Rosie Robison (Anglia Ruskin University) and Tomas Moe Skjølsvold (NTNU);
  • WG3. Energy efficiency – chaired by Chris Foulds (Anglia Ruskin University) and Thomas Berker (NTNU);
  • WG4. Transport – chaired by Marianne Ryghaug (NTNU) and Flor Avelino (DRIFT).

Each Working Group will have two allocated ESRs, who will sit on each Group’s steering committee. The focus of each Working Group’s work will be a Horizon Scan study, involving 25-30 senior European energy-SSH experts. Depending on interest, availability and skillsets, options for exact ESR collaboration include involvement in: researching energy-SSH expert invitations; undertaking targeted participant observation fieldnotes based on their experiences; reviewing interview protocol and Horizon Scan survey designs; and assisting in the actual Horizon Scanning methods, where appropriate.

 Opportunity 2 –  Matching policyworkers with researchers: Policy Fellowships (x2 ESRs): 

As part of Energy-SHIFTS, we will enable one-to-one dialogue between policyworkers and energy experts in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), via facilitating face-to-face as well as online meetings. These meetings will be structured around the policy and governance issues that matter most to those working at the energy policy frontier.

As part of the DRIFT-led team, options to get involved could include:

  • Promoting the call for policy fellows for our prestigious Policy Fellowship programme;
  • Reviewing the design of the Fellowship programme, especially from an ESR perspective;
  • Analysing policy fellow applications, in which they explain their policy problems; 
  • Researching possible energy-SSH researcher invitees, based on who could best complement (and sometimes constructively critique) the fellows’ policy problems; 
  • Contributing to an European Commission report on ‘Live energy policy challenges: questions for the Social Sciences & Humanities’;
  • Developing a toolkit for other institutions wishing to instigate similar innovative fellowship schemes.  

 By participating in these ESR opportunities, you will also benefit from:

  • Officially being part of the Energy-SHIFTS ESR programme, including being named on the ESR section of our website;
  • Having travel/accommodation funding to attend the final Energy-SHIFTS conference, in Brussels, in early 2021;
  • Blog-writing possibilities for Energy-SHIFTS;
  • Working with senior energy-SSH researchers and/or energy policyworkers – both through the Energy-SHIFTS partners and also associated collaborators.
  • The option to have a 90sec Energy-SHIFTS YouTube video solely dedicated to showcase your research;
  • Paper-writing collaboration possibilities.


  • You will be in the first four years of your academic career (at full-time equivalent) and will not have been awarded a doctoral degree. The EC’s definition of an ESR is available here; ESRs do not have to be PhD researchers necessarily.
  • You will be based at an European (or, rather, Horizon 2020 eligible country) research institution;
  • For Opportunity 1 (working groups): You must be available to contribute over October 2019 to July 2020, with the peak of work likely taking place in February to May 2020, when the Horizon Scanning exercise takes place;
  • For Opportunity 2 (policy fellowships): You must be available to contribute during the months of October (promotion), November (selection) and December (matching with researchers) 2019. The peak of the work will take place in November, when we will review applications for the fellowship for approximately three full days;
  • We note that – given that these are not paid positions – we do aim to be as flexible as possible to cater to the needs of the successful candidates.

How do I apply?

The application should be submitted in two parts:

  1. Email CV to
  2. Submit the short online application form, via the Google Forms survey.

The deadline to apply is Monday 9 September 2019. We are aiming to review applications quickly, with decisions communicated within 1-2 weeks.

Application assessment criteria:

  • Gender balance
  • Geographical spread
  • SSH disciplinary diversity
  • Quality of communication/writing skills
  • Relevant research background for the ESR work
  • Individual excellence 

Contacts for further information: