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PhD in Dynamic Allocation of Distributed Resources in Short-term Reserve and Flexibility Markets

Trondheim, Norway
NOK 532 200 per annum
Closing date
23 Apr 2024

Job Details

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

The Department of Electric Energy (IEL) at NTNU has a vacancy for a full-time 100% position (3 years) as a PhD candidate in “Dynamic Allocation of Distributed Resources in Short-term Reserve and Flexibility Markets”. The prospective candidate will be part of the research group Electricity Markets and Energy System Planning (EMESP).

This PhD position is connected to the FME Norwegian Centre for Energy Transition Strategies (NTRANS), which is a multidisciplinary national research centre studying transitions in the energy sector and related sectors. The FME NTRANS is a collaboration between 8 Norwegian research institutions and over 30 user partners from the industry and the public sector. Key research areas are the future energy system, active consumers and distributed solutions, deep decarbonisation and sector couplings, and accelerating the energy transition. The position is linked to Research Area 3 “Future Energy Systems” within FME NTRANS. The PhD Candidate will be employed at NTNU, and the workplace will be in Trondheim, in connection with this research project.

The fast-changing socio-techno-economic requirements of the 21st century require a distributed, digitalized, smart, flexible, interactive, and green electrical grid. The transition from a rigid, centralized, physical system to a flexible, distributed, cyber-physical system is aided by digital technologies (advanced metering infrastructure, phasor measurement unit, etc.) and latest advancements in ICT (automation, blockchains, Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence, etc.) Energy informatics is an emerging field that applies computational techniques such as big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, optimization, etc. for realizing sustainable future energy systems (smart grids, smart homes, electric vehicles, renewable energy, energy storage, flexibility services, local markets, etc.).

The success of future power systems largely depends on the ability of the grid to identify, activate, harness, and exploit the distributed flexibility potential offered by small-, medium- and large-scale producers/ consumers/prosumers and aggregators. Recently, there has been huge interest in providing flexibility services to transmission grid operators through aggregated and automated demand response, especially for frequency reserves in the Nordic balancing markets.

In this context, the main task of the PhD candidate in the doctoral work will be two-fold. First, to develop operational scheduling strategies for aggregated demand response of distributed resources through dynamic allocation for catering to stringent technical requirements of balancing markets. Second, to investigate the effects of flexibility modeling and risk management strategies for different types of bids in a multiple balancing and flexibility market products.

The main supervisor for the PhD position is Associate Professor Jayaprakash Rajasekharan.

Your immediate leader is the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • Combining knowledge from optimization, operations research, machine learning, and informatics to develop dynamic resource allocation methods for Nordic balancing markets through aggregated demand response from distributed resources.
  • Reviewing existing state-of-the-art literature and collecting data.
  • Conduct high-quality research and report progress regularly and in agreement with the supervisors.

The candidate is expected to disseminate scientific findings via journal publications and international conferences, workshops, or similar events and thus take part in academic discussion in the international academic community. As a PhD candidate, it is a requirement that you complete academic training consisting of coursework corresponding to a minimum of 30 ECTS. 

Required selection criteria

  • Applicants must hold an M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) within either Electrical Power Engineering or computer science with a specialization in one or more topics such as informatics, flexibility markets, congestion management, machine learning, operations research, and dynamic optimization.
  • A solid background in energy systems, flexibility modeling, informatics, machine learning, operations research, or optimization.
  • Excellent programming and optimization skills, preferably in Python and Pyomo.
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • Master's students who expect to complete their studies by summer 2024 are also encouraged to apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented before taking up the position.
  • Applicants must also meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program.
  • You must have good English language skills, both written and spoken, corresponding minimum to the scale B2, preferably C1, in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of an approved test. One of the following test scores could be documented for this purpose:
    • TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) — iBT enhanced score reporting is required. Your proficiency level for the overall test should correspond to a score in the range 101 – 60. Your proficiency level for each test section should correspond to at least ‘high intermediate’ level.
    • IELTS — 7, with no section lower than 6.0 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) — 185 - 169.

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills and the ability to communicate fluently will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for the

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant 

Preferred selection criteria

  • Relevant research experience in European research projects within the energy sector
  • Proficiency in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language

Personal characteristics

  • Inquisitive, self-motivated, and self-driven with a strong ability to work both independently, and in cooperation with others when required. 
  • Communicates information with clarity and ease, both orally and in writing. 
  • Structured, targeted and solution-oriented. 
  • Creativity and innovation in research. 
  • Scientific mindset. 

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from NOK 532 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Electrical Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution at campus Trondheim daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must be attached to the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include: 

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes the personal motivation, summarizes scientific work and explains how the applicant sees her/his background as suitable for the advertised position. 
  • CV and testimonials.
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study programme and grading system.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • A draft research proposal (2-3 pages including references) for the PhD study, where the candidate presents her/his own ideas for the PhD-work and how they can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project. 
  • English language proficiency documentation.
  • Name and contact information of three referees.
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work, please submit them.

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. 

If all, or parts, of your education, have been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality.

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Jayaprakash Rajasekharan at If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR consultant Sven Robert Storø at

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 23.04.2024.


NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Electric Energy

The Department of Electric Energy is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

Deadline 23rd April 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Elektrobygget O. S. Bragstads plass 2E, E-blokk , 7034 Trondheim


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