Principal Researcher in Intelligent Grid

PLY-06 – Principal Researcher in Intelligent Grid, International Energy Research Centre (IERC)

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) at Tyndall National Institute, University College, Cork invites applications for a Principal Researcher to work within the Intelligent Grid team at IERC. This is an exciting opportunity to join an expanding energy research team located in Cork, Ireland.

The role offers the opportunity to lead research within IERC accordance with the Institute’s strategic growth plan, ‘Tyndall 2025’, which aims to double Tyndall’s size and impact over the next five years. Complementing this vision, you will articulate a cutting-edge research programme that will address some of the outstanding challenges in the development of intelligent and innovative solutions for decarbonising the electricity system.

As a research leader, you will lead the development of the Intelligent Grid research team within IERC to advance research in the areas of power electronics and smart grids. You will be a key contributor to developing and executing IERC’s research vision and the development of the new Integrated Power and Energy Systems (IPES) programme. Your research will be enabled by IERC’s laboratory facilities located both in Tyndall itself and at the Beaufort Building, Ringaskiddy. Working under the guidance of the Head of Group of IERC, you will be expected to lead a number of existing projects whilst also growing your own independent research programme in order to develop a fully independent dedicated team of highly skilled research staff and PhD students.

The role offers a superb opportunity for an aspiring research leader to realise their research vision and advance their career as part of a world-class multi-disciplinary, collaborative research ecosystem with cutting-edge facilities. You will be pivotal in fostering and developing deep, collaborations across IERC and Tyndall, as well as nationally through SFI research centres, and internationally through programmes such as the Horizon Europe funding framework. In addition, you will be encouraged and supported to pursue the exploitation of your ideas with industry and/or through the development of new start-up ventures. IERC seeks applicants with the desire to be at the forefront of developing the disruptive and transformative smart grid technologies and concepts that will accelerate societies decarbonisation towards net zero.

All IERC staff members are expected to understand academic and industrial requirements, together with a sound understanding of the wider energy landscape beyond their area of expertise.

Key Responsibilities

Essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Develop a credible and aspiring strategic research vision for the Intelligent Grid theme programme within IERC that leverages the unique infrastructure, capabilities and full range of expertise of the Tyndall National Institute and UCC.
  • Grow the Intelligent Grid activity and through your strong collaborations and outputs develop its international reputation in the field.
  • Generate excellent research outcomes as evidenced by influential or milestone publications in leading journals and conferences, e.g., in the top 10% in their field, and promote Open Science and Research Integrity within the team and the IERC and the IPES programme.
  • Drive collaboration with others in successful bids for competitive large scale (million €) grants/awards from national and European funding sources, and Industry to safeguard the financial sustainability of an independent research programme in Intelligent Grid.
  • Attract, retain, and grow high calibre talent including post-graduate students and research staff of all levels within IERC providing leadership, management, coaching, and mentoring as required.
  • Support a team culture that results in high quality postgraduate training and supervision and where professional / personal / career development is a priority.
  • Develop novel intellectual property and impactful innovations and accelerate knowledge transfer by establishing and maintaining key industrial partnerships and supporting commercialisation through high value start-ups or licencing to industry.
  • Support the Head of Group of IERC to develop and deliver IERC’s vision and strategy.
  • Manage the operational development of the Intelligent Grid theme activities in line with Tyndall 2025 Strategic Plan.
  • Contribute to major organisational projects/activities within Tyndall outside of their core research areas and manage their team members to do likewise.
  • Ensure that the activities within Intelligent Grid theme enjoy strong partnerships and collaborations within the IPES programme and across Tyndall’s other research groups.
  • Contribute to the development of national and international collaborative research networks and create new synergies/collaborations between IERC and other research third party bodies.
  • Supervise postdocs, postgraduate research students as supervisor and/or co‐supervisor and participate in postgraduate examination internal and external, as appropriate.
  • Promote and participate in an appropriate level of Education and Public Engagement (EPE) activity in coordination with the wider education and public engagement programmes within IPES programme and Tyndall.
  • Ensure compliance with Tyndall’s Health and Safety standards and with Tyndall’s Quality Management System with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

Essential Criteria

  • A PhD degree in a relevant technical discipline with typically 8+ years post-PhD experience in delivering high quality research outputs.
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking with strong personal vision and motivation and excellent negotiation, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • An excellent and growing international research profile as evidenced by invited talks and publications, awards or prizes, patents or other outputs relating to smart grids and power electronics.
  • Demonstrated leadership of successful funding applications for substantial research projects funded by national and international agencies and/or industry.
  • A proven or growing track record of leading, inspiring and mentoring early career staff or students leading to the development of a pipeline of early research leaders from within their research group.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a team as well as taking a leadership role.

Desirable Criteria

  • Evidence of creative skills/creativity
  • Demonstrated track record in building and growing international networks.
  • Demonstrated teaching and undergraduate supervision record, ideally with formal teaching qualification for higher education.
  • Has successfully supervised PhD students to completion.
  • A growing track record and/or evidence of commitment to innovation and commercialisation of IP, for example by successful technology transfer to industry and/or track record in attracting industry support

Tyndall National institute has a proactive entrepreneurial culture and we welcome applications from candidates who possess entrepreneurial and creative skills/experience, including the creation of technology start-ups.

Appointment may be made on the Admin I Grade 7 Scale (B) € 80,332- € 105,823 per annum. Salary placement point on appointment will be in accordance public sector pay policy.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Dr Padraig Lyons at

Closing date of application is 28th June, 2024.

Application Instructions

Please make sure to attach an up to date CV/Resume AND a brief motivation letter outlining how you meet the ‘Essential Criteria’ for this role.

Click here to Apply

A full candidate information pack is available to download by clicking here.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer