UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Fully-funded PhD Studentship in econometric modelling

22 March 2018

The UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources and the UCL Energy Institute are pleased to offer a fully-funded PhD Studentship in econometric modelling.

Europe Energy


  • Title: PhD Studentship in programme evaluation econometric
  • Supervisors: Dr Paolo Agnolucci, Senior Lecturer in Environmental and Resource Economics, UCL ISR and Dr Ian Hamilton, Reader, UCL Energy Institute.
  • Stipend: £16,777 & UK/EU fees
  • Start Date: September/October 2018
  • Funding Duration: 4 years
  • Eligibility please check: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/

The UCL Energy Institute invites applications for a fully funded 4-year PhD studentship covering UK/EU fees plus stipend to assess historical evidence about unintended consequences of UK Industrial energy policies.

Energy production and energy consumption of industrial firms are affected by a complicated array of policy instruments, with overlap of interventions being the rule rather than exception. The aim of this PhD studentship is to undertake assessment of complex impact evaluations affecting the production of energy and its consumption in the industrial sector. In your PhD, you will adopt a number of programme evaluation econometric techniques to address issues related to causality, self-selection, identification and construction of adequate counterfactual and also the way in which datasets on economic and energy performance of firms can be matched. We anticipate you will make use of a range of datasets, from half-hourly datasets, e.g. related to power production, to high-level datasets where analysis is typically constrained by relatively small sample size.  After assessing the impact of a select number of policy interventions, your work will analyse unintended consequences of those policies. Examples of possible methodologies for this part of your study include Exposure Impact Analysis (when focusing on Health), dose-response functions (when focusing on Natural Capital) or market concentration analysis. Finally, building on existing projects, you will critically reformulate the energy policies taking into account of those unintended consequences through methodologies.

We have established relationships with Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Ofgem to make the project policy-relevant and increase impact and a track record of successfully bidding for programme evaluation contracts tendered by BEIS, e.g. the evaluation for the Renewable Heat Incentive, Salix Finance, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Access to confidential micro-econometric energy data for firms and household has been already negotiated.  Your supervisors have hands-on experience of implementing programme evaluation econometrics (DiD, RDD, SCM) and of impact analysis using health methods and MCDA.

UCL has recently won the CCA evaluation funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) https://www.delta-esourcing.com/respond/T775RN5673. Your PhD will directly fee in the work of our consortium therefore offering you unparalleled access to a network of econometric and impact evaluation expertise in the UK, with regular meetings with BEIS policy makers.

Person specification:

  • A MSc degree in economics, statistics or other data analysis discipline
  • Enthusiastic and passionate about data analysis, modelling, programming and conducting research
  • Ability to implement several econometric techniques
  • Knowledge of statistical software / programming languages (such as R, MatLab, Python, Stata, SAS) and determination to become an advanced coder
  • Ability to use own initiative and prioritise workload
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills (oral and written)
  • A high level of attention to detail in working methods

Application Procedure

Stage 1 - Pre-application documents including: (1) CV, (2) academic transcripts, and (3) 1-page personal statement outlining motivation, interest and eligibility for the post - should be emailed directly to the PhD Administrator via bseer-phd-admin@ucl.ac.uk.

Stage 2 - Following the interview, the successful candidate will be invited to make a formal application to the UCL Research Degree programme. Further guidance will be provided.

You are encouraged to contact potential supervisors before applying to discuss the content of the research topic and your suitability. Please email Dr Paolo Agnolucci, p.agnolucci@ucl.ac.uk  and Dr Ian Hamilton i.hamilton@ucl.ac.uk

Deadline for application: applications will be assessed as they arrive with interviews set up in about a week of receiving your application

Start Date of the programme: 01/10/201