Research Associate




£40,215 to £47,579 plus benefits, per annum.

How can the UK reach net-zero emissions?  We can no longer answer this by modelling individual parts of the energy system, such as electricity or transport. All sectors and energy vectors must be considered together, and this is the core challenge being addressed by IDLES: the Integrated Development of Low-carbon Energy Systems.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Work with MOSSI, a simple power market model (using the merit order stack approach) with dynamic investments to test the impact of decarbonisation pathways on energy prices and appropriate market designs.
  • Model the effects of large scale inter-seasonal storage and demand-side flexibility on the future development of the UK’s energy system.
  • Develop a soft-linking protocol between MOSSI and the core IDLES model (being developed by Professor Nilay Shah and Professor Goran Strbac), so that we can explore the economic rationality of the pathways emerging from their optimisation model.
  • Test how society evolves from the present to these proposed decarbonised energy systems. Will the market naturally guide investments in the recommended directions? Will the right technologies be deployed at the scale and pace required? Will high-carbon or other sub-optimal lock-ins occur without rule changes?
  • Lead on the intellectual development (backend) of an outreach website for the IDLES project. This will use the MOSSI model (or similar) as the basis for a what-if game in which the consequences of different low-carbon energy policies can be compared. This could, for example, be a website showing the real-time operation of the energy system in 2050, in the style of ‘Electric Insights’ (  We will then engage a professional website/app developer to present the system in an engaging and visual fashion

Essential requirements

  • A PhD degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate science, engineering or economic subject
  • A proven track record in conducting high quality research, as evidenced by innovative publications in peer reviewed journals, commensurate with career stage
  • Experience of modelling energy systems using existing tools or by developing your own
  • Modelling techniques, including simulation or optimisation
  • Excellent written communication and fluency in English
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and with confidence with colleagues and external stakeholders
  • Exceptional technical and scientific writing ability with proven track record in peer reviewed publication in the international scientific literature, commensurate with career stage
  • Ability to work independently and within a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to produce high-quality research in a timely manner
  • A high level of analytical ability, with the potential to provide scientific leadership
  • Excellent presentation skills, and ability to communicate complex scientific material with clarity and coherence
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, often under pressure and conflicting deadlines
  • Ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines

Further information

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £35,477 – £38,566 per annum.

Please apply here.