Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Dep. of Technology and Society

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Description of the workplace

The Division of Environmental and Energy Systems Studies is a part of the Department of Technology and Society. We are slightly more than 30 employees who do research and educate on sustainability issues, decarbonisation transitions, electrification, resource security, policy analysis, and technology assessments. Our research is often part of multidisciplinary research projects in collaboration with other departments, universities, and societal stakeholders.

Subject description

The doctoral student will be admitted to doctoral studies in Technology and society, specialising in emerging value chains for battery industries. EU plans to electrify the transport sector and rapidly build a new manufacturing industry to produce batteries. Batteries use critical raw materials that are imported from outside of Europe and sometimes hard to access due to stiff competition and geopolitical rivalry. It is presently unclear to what extent the emerging European battery industry will be able to source the required materials and how effective current policies are to deliver on policymakers’ ambitions.

The European Commission has launched a number of policies that will shape the development of future EU battery value chains including, for example, European battery alliance, Battery passport, CSRD and taxonomy, FitFor55, the Net Zero Industry act, the critical raw materials act as well as strategies to phase out combustion engine vehicles and electrify transport. The development will also be shaped by the geopolitical situation through what happens in the US (e.g., the future of the Inflation Reduction Act) and China, and the possibilities of sourcing critical raw materials within EU and from other countries.

The aim of this PhD project is to explore opportunities and challenges in the future European and global battery economy for the purpose of understanding and anticipating risks, new battery technologies and their up-scaling needs, lock-ins, and how the innovation system evolves. The results will help policy makers and industry make better informed decisions when maneuvering this rapid and most likely bumpy transition.

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

You will be part of a national strategic competence center for the electrification of the transport system (see more below under COMPEL). The center unites leading research environments from different fields related to battery research.

You will have the opportunity to collaborate with senior researchers and other PhD-students at the division of Environmental and Energy Systems tudies. You will be responsible for assessing battery value chains. This can include developing quantitative methods to model future raw material flows and recycling, qualitative methods to compare strategies to secure raw materials, analysis of policy coherence and technology innovation systems. The research will be valuable for developing future European and Swedish policies to enable sustainability transitions, strategic autonomy, and industrial competitiveness.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Technology and Society if the applicant has:

  • At least 30 credits on advanced level of relevance for the subject.

Additional requirements

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills.
  4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Other assessment criteria

We consider it an additional qualification if you have:

  • Theoretical and/or practical experience of working with quantitative methods and software for data analysis.
  • Theoretical and/or practical experience of multidisciplinary research.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

We offer

Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get particular benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension scheme.
Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee.

This PhD position is part of COMPEL

COMPEL, "COMPetence for the ELectrification of the transport system", is a strategic initiative by the Swedish government, aimed at strengthening research and educational environments within battery technology and electrification. Within COMPEL, the three institutions - Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, and Uppsala University – in consultation with Swedish industry, deepen their collaboration with the aim of strengthening Sweden's position in battery technology contributing to the electrification of the transport sector, and related areas. The three institutions aim to enhance research and education in the battery sector to ensure strong research in battery technology supporting that electrification of the transport sector is maintained and further developed in Sweden. Research within COMPEL spans the entire battery value chain: materials research, research on new cell concepts and cell manufacturing, battery systems and system integration, recycling, and safety.

At Lund University with the Faculty of Engineering (LTH), COMPEL is a strategic initiative aimed at enhancing research environments in battery technology and electrification, in a manner that complements relevant research at other institutions and builds on our strengths. COMPEL at Lund University initially includes researchers from ten departments, and three areas of research have been identified for strategic development: materials research, integration of batteries with power electronics, and safe energy storage. On the educational side, the number of students in several of the Master programs is being increased, and the course offerings related to battery technology and electrification are being strengthened.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

How to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, a short sketch of a study or a research idea you would like to do that is in line with the project (0.5-1 page), degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

We plan to have interviews at the end of August.

Welcome to apply!

Type of employment Temporary position
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2024/1720
  • Lars J. Nilsson,
Union representative
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
Published 29.May.2024
Last application date 09.Aug.2024 11:59 PM CEST
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