PhD fellowship "la Caixa INPHINIT" in investigating the potential contribution of electric vehicles (EVs) to decarbonization

Save to favorites

    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
    Natural sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)




Group Leader: 

Prof. Xavier Gabarrell

Research Project / Research Group Description

Electric vehicles (EVs) are identified as one of the greatest contributors to the decarbonization of transportation worldwide. Although EVs do not generate tailpipe emissions and have better efficiency when compared to internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV), they have other potential environmental impacts associated to the battery material demand, the manufacturing of the battery and the electronics , and the electricity supply for use.

The proposed project will investigate further the environmental impacts mentioned above and advance in the use of industrial ecology methodologies as Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), as well as Ecodesign to help optimize the life cycle of EVs. MFA will be used to account for the flows and stocks of EVs and analyze the potential battery material demand and secondary sources, especially that of the EU raw critical materials (i.e. cobalt, lithium, natural graphite and rare earths). The results from the MFA are relevant to investigate potential circular economy strategies as remanufacturing, reuse and recycling (especially the secondary production) and also the extension of the lifespan, all useful to optimize the resource efficiency of EVs and reduce their environmental footprint. The results from the LCA will allow estimating quantitatively the potential environmental impacts, define potential Ecodesign strategies to reduce their environmental footprint, and evaluate diverse EVs scenarios and their potential contribution to decarbonization using a holistic perspective (including electricity generation).

Overall, the aim is to provide a more comprehensive assessment of EVs and evaluate their potential contribution to the decarbonization of the transportation sector using an holistic perspective.

Job position description

We are looking for highly motivated PhD students to work on the assessment of EVs using a global perspective, to evaluate their relevance in the EU and worldwide, and also from a life cycle perspective to identify environmental hotpots that help improve the resource efficiency of EVs.

It is expected that the student will contribute to research collaborations, reporting processes, as well as publications and other scientific communications derived from this work (outreach activities, among others).

The student will use a wide range of concepts and methods encompassing the fields of industrial ecology, industrial engineering, chemistry, material sciences, metallurgical engineering and recycling technologies among others. Applicants should possess a strong background in engineering disciplines, preferably in the battery and electronic manufacturing industry. Specific experience in the field of industrial ecology and software development (applications) will be an advantage

What is funded

Salary is €34.800 gross, plus €3.564 per year for additional costs (conferences, courses, etc.). An additional prize of €7.500 is paid upon completion of the PhD.


3 years


The selection process is very competitive and candidates should have an excellent academic record.

The candidate will apply through “la Caixa” foundation. Deadline 4 February 2021 at 2 pm (Central European Time - CET).



Eligible candidates must have resided or carried out their main activity in Spain for less than 12 months in the last 3 years, have a B2 English degree, and have a higher education degree that gives access to doctoral studies.


The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona is a research centre accredited with the Spanish Seal of Excellence María de Maeztu in 2020, the perfect place to carry out your PhD project through an INPhINIT Incoming fellowship.

For more information, please contact Ms Silvia Martínez (silvia.martinez.sinibaldi AT uab.cat).



The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.