Eurograd message

Message posted on 07/06/2021

Funded PhD Position 'Design anthropology of local energy markets: Social governance and inclusion' (Deadline: 20 June)

Dear all,

Apologies for cross-posting

We are looking for a doctoral researcher for a fully-funded PhD position, ‘design anthropology of local energy markets: social governance and inclusion’.

All the details about the position and the application process can be found at the link below: f-local-energy-markets-social-governance-and-inclusion/

Please feel free to pass the information to your network.

Job Description:

The Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is hiring a doctoral candidate on a challenging topic of social governance and inclusion in a local energy market. This fully-funded and four-year PhD position is part of the LIFE (Local Inclusive Future Energy City Platform) project


The LIFE project is interdisciplinary and aims to design and implement a district-scale smart energy management platform that enables energy governance by the local stakeholders. This LIFE platform will include a local energy market (LEM) that will facilitate peer-to-peer energy exchanges. Your Ph.D. research will address a crucial social challenge — inclusion and participation of stakeholders, such as local communities and households in local energy governance — at the heart of the project.

The field location of the LIFE project is the ArenApoort urban district, situated in Amsterdam-Southeast, The Netherlands. The ArenApoort comprises an intriguing mix of local energy producers and consumers ranging from high-end office buildings to social housing complexes. On the one hand, large businesses and offices are the stakeholders of the LIFE platform. On the other hand, 5000 homes of lower-income homeowners and local communities are desired participants in the local energy governance of the LIFE platform. These contrasting stakeholders have different needs, preferences, and values that require a nuanced understanding and embedding in the platform's design right from the onset.

As a PhD candidate, you will take an anthropological perspective to research the broad theme of social governance and inclusion in a LEM. Your doctoral research will critically engage with the following interconnected challenges:

  1. tensions and conflicts in needs, preferences, and values of stakeholders
  2. forms of social interactions and relations between stakeholders desired and required for local energy governance
  3. inclusion and participation of end-users, especially those who are at the risk of energy poverty
  4. opportunities for plural economic modes of (monetary and non-monetary) 'exchanges' of energy for addressing issues of inclusion and governance.

You will conduct an ethnography of these challenges and issues. Your supervisory team will support you to develop your research direction within these challenges. The LIFE project will engage with ArenApoort as a 'living lab' where functional prototypes of the LIFE platforms will be iteratively installed and investigated. The prototypes will also serve as a vehicle for your research as the social practices and discussions emerging with the local use of the prototypes will become the object of your ethnographic inquiry. This interdisciplinary research approach brings together perspectives from anthropology and design research, which will be used to develop both a critical understanding of the topic and empirically explore novel concepts and ideas identified in the study.

You will be jointly supervised by Prof. David V. Keyson, Prof. Bregje van Eekelen, and Dr. Abhigyan Singh. As members of the leading international faculty in design research, we are building expertise in the emerging domain of design anthropology.

Your ethnographic research will be facilitated by the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute). You will be expected to assist in teaching activities related to your expertise. You will have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with industrial partners (Alliander and Spectral Energy), societal partner (Stichting CoForce), as well as academics from other disciplines (law and power engineering).



  • You are interested in working at the intersection of social sciences and design.
  • You have experience in ethnographic research.
  • You have completed a master's degree in social sciences (anthropology, sociology, urban studies, science and technology studies, or other related fields) or design (design anthropology, participatory design, social design or other associated areas).
  • You have an interest in exploring the social dimension of the energy transition.
  • You have an interest and ability to work in interdisciplinary teams.
  • You have an excellent command of English (written and oral).
  • You have a good command of spoken Dutch.


  • Educational backgrounds in both social science and design.
  • Experience with design anthropology.
  • Experience in the field of energy transition or sustainability in the built environment.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me ( for any information or to talk about the research.

Best regards,

Abhigyan Singh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, *TU Delft*/ Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering



Office: 32 B-02-280, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands

Email: LinkedIn:


EASST's Eurograd mailing list Eurograd (at) Unsubscribe or edit subscription options:

Meet us via

Report abuses of this list to

view as plain text
Follow by Email