Postdoc in the Dynamics of Sustainable Behaviour, contribute to development of reboundless design theory, a paradigm shift in design science

If you have a PhD in Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Sciences, Neuroeconomics or related areas and you want to work at the very front of the new scientific revolution within sustainability transitions, this is a job of high relevance for you.

At DTU Construct you will break new ground at the absolute forefront for enabling the design of sustainable solutions and be an active part of REBOUNDLESS, a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant project, recently awarded by the European Research Council.

You will contribute to the development of the reboundless design theory, a paradigm shift in design science that will establish the scientific knowledge for preventing rebound effects (i.e., unintended consequences of interventions that arise due to induced changes in system behavior leading to higher sustainability impacts). You will have the opportunity to join top interdisciplinary scientists from all over the world and make a personal impact in solving some of the most critical challenges the world is facing.

Never before has there been a stronger global focus on solving the pressing sustainability challenges, but the expected positive societal impact will not be achieved unless rebound effects are prevented.

Responsibilities and qualifications

Unveiling the mechanisms giving rise to rebound effects
Your focus will be to drive the identification of the behavioral mechanisms of rebound effects triggered by efficiency, effectiveness and sufficiency design strategies, building upon existing cases with empirical evidence of rebound effects across four needs (housing, nutrition, mobility and consumables).

More specifically, you will focus on expanding the current understanding of the triggers, drivers and mechanisms giving rise to rebound effects, further advancing current knowledge of rebound effects from ecological economics, energy economics, etc. In collaboration with a system dynamics researcher, you will lead the development of systemic mechanisms causing the observed rebound effects. Your primary tasks will include:

  • Collect, categorize and systematize cases and datasets with empirical evidence of rebound effects
  • Identify the key behavioral factors giving rise to the occurrence of rebound effects via meta-analysis (incl. qualitative and quantitative data analysis)
  • Develop behavioral mechanisms and patterns of behavior
  • Work together with system dynamics researchers for developing causal loop diagrams (CLDs) of behavioral mechanisms
  • Publish research results in high-end scientific articles and conferences
  • Support with supervision of BSc, MSc and PhD students, as well as engage in teaching activities

Your new workplace will be DTU’s main campus in Kgs. Lyngby, Copenhagen. 

PhD in Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Sciences, Neuroeconomics or related areas 
We are looking for a visionary profile who thrives on turning exciting challenges into solutions based on curiosity and an open mind for entering new paths when necessary. As a Scientist, you can naturally drive things forward on your own. Equally important is it that you like to create results based on knowledge sharing and positive teamwork.

As you will work in a highly interdisciplinary group, you must also bring collaboration, critical thinking, and planning skills backed by excellent communication ability in written and spoken English. Additionally, your CV comprises:

  • A PhD in Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Sciences, Neuroeconomics or related areas
  • Strong knowledge of bounded rationality, decision-making processes and system behavior
  • Solid skills in performing systematic literature reviews, case studies, data collection, qualitative and quantitative data analysis (e.g., QCA) – preferred but not mandatory for applying
  • Preferably some years’ experience from sustainability transitions and/or sustainable design – preferred but not mandatory for applying
  • Good understanding of system thinking, system dynamics or agent-based modelling – advantageous but not mandatory for applying

The REBOUNDLESS group – your new team
You will join a top-class ERC scientific team that is currently being constructed, meaning you will get the opportunity to influence our ways of working as well as our environment. When completed, our team will consist of ca. 7 researchers who work hands-in-hand (incl. academic staff, researchers, postdocs, PhD students and research assistants). Our team is part of a larger research group at DTU Construct focused on Circular Economy and Sustainable Design, within the Section of Engineering Design and Product Development. We will also actively collaborate with the DTU Centre for Absolute Sustainability.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your PhD degree but cannot begin before having received it.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 2 years. Starting date is planned for January 2023 (or according to mutual agreement). The position is a full-time position. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
If you would like additional information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Daniela C. A. Pigosso at If necessary, we will set up an additional phone call to ensure your understanding of the job and your many opportunities.

You can read more about Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.   

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 31 July 2022 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD – in English)
  • List of publications
  • A one-page statement describing your scientific view on rebound effects (plus references)

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Construct
DTU Civil and Mechanical Engineering develops and utilizes science and technical knowledge for the benefit of society and the sustainable development. We undertake research, education, innovation, and scientific advice of the highest quality within engineering design, building design and processes, building construction and safety, building energy and installation, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, materials technology, manufacturing engineering, and thermal energy systems.   

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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