Postdoctoral Researcher in Agent-Based Modelling – University of Barcelona and University of Pisa

Deadline: 19 May 2024
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Agent-Based Modelling
Location: University of Barcelona, Spain and University of Pisa, Italy
Salary: 36,250 euros per year

The University of Barcelona and University of Pisa are looking for an outstanding postdoctoral researcher with expertise in Agent-Based Modelling to contribute to a new Horizon Europe research project entitled Models, Assessment, and Policies for Sustainability (MAPS). This is a 2-year position, starting September 2024.

Position Description

The successful candidate will conduct research to construct an agent-based model (ABM) to analyse the effect of behavioural and lifestyle changes in society by selecting key agents and implementing their interactions. This ABM will be coupled to a new ecological macroeconomic model that will include the dynamic impact of resource limitations on behaviour.

The position will be based at both the University of Barcelona (Spain), and the University of Pisa (Italy). The candidate will be expected to spend most of the time in Barcelona, under the supervision of Dr Jordi Solé, with occasional visits to Pisa under the supervision of Dr Simone D’Alessandro.


Essential — The successful candidate will have:

  • A PhD in an area such as ecological economics, economics, engineering/mathematics/physics, sustainability science, or a related field. Completion of the PhD by the start date of the contract is a requirement for the position.
  • A track record of relevant research publications in internationally recognised journals
  • Knowledge and understanding of socio-ecological transitions and their implications for sustainability and resilience.
  • Strong programming skills in Python, Julia, C/C++ or a similar language (2+ years of experience).
  • Expertise in mathematical modelling
  • Good data analytics and visualization skills
  • Motivation and initiative to work both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Proficiency in English

Note that we do not expect a single candidate to know all these areas. We strongly value motivation for learning new skills.

Desirable — The successful candidate may have:

  • Previous experience with well-known ABM and SD libraries (e.g. Mesa, Agents.jl, PySD, BPTK_Py, Mimi.jl) and related modelling environments (e.g. Vensim, Stella, NetLogo, MASON, AnyLogo, etc.)
  • Expertise in numerical methods
  • Knowledge of sensitivity and uncertainty analysis techniques
  • Previous participation in large research projects
  • Comfort with Linux or Unix-based operating systems
  • Knowledge of post-growth research topics (e.g. human well-being, gender studies, provisioning systems, the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries, etc.)
  • Fluency in Catalan and/or Spanish
How to Apply

Please submit your CV, a 1-page cover letter, and a 1-page research proposal to Dr Jordi Solé at by 19 May, 23:59 CET. The subject of your email should be: “Application for Postdoc Position in Agent-Based Modelling”. 

Within your 1-page cover letter, please indicate how your skills and experience match the essential/desirable specifications listed above. Within your 1-page proposal, please discuss how you would construct an agent-based model to analyse the effect of behavioural and lifestyle changes within environmental constraints.

Please ask two referees to submit reference letters for you to by 19 May 2024, 23:59 CET. The subject of their emails should be: “Reference for YOUR NAME for ABM position”.

Deadline to apply: Sunday, 19 May 2024, 23:59 CET

Start date of position: September 2024

Salary: €36,250 per year

Online interviews are expected to be held in the final week of May 2024.

The MAPS Project

There is an urgent need for a new economic paradigm that reconciles human well-being with environmental sustainability — one based on a “post-growth” approach. High-income countries must move beyond the pursuit of GDP growth as a policy goal, and instead pursue policies that improve human well-being while reducing resource use.     

The aim of the MAPS project is to broaden the range of policies, models, and assessments to help achieve sustainability, equity, and human well-being. It is a 4-year Horizon Europe research project coordinated by the University of Barcelona, with nine other partners across Europe.

We are committed to advancing the careers of junior women researchers, and researchers from under-represented backgrounds, who are encouraged to apply.