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Sustainable Energy Engineering Doctoral Program (SEED)

Applicable to PhD students from Kathmandu University, TERI School of Advanced Studies and Universidad Mayor de San Simón.

Boost your scientific skills and evidence-based knowledge through international collaborations in Sustainability, Circular Economy, Gender, Disasters and Climate Risk.

SEED logos

Application period open December 6 – January 15 for intake 2024!

(See application info further down)


The main objective of this graduate doctoral program - “Doctoral School in Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEED)” - is to:

  1. develop capacities of PhD researchers for conducting research on complex developmental challenges and solving them with holistic and innovative system solutions;
  2. enhance their competencies to work in multidisciplinary research; and
  3. to address the complex developmental societal challenges in different development contexts.

More specifically, the objectives of the doctoral school in Sustainable Energy Engineering are to provide:

  • A holistic view on energy supply, use and circular economy in a systems perspective.
  • Competency to critically evaluate gender issues and inequality in relation to energy use and energy generation.
  • Knowledge to understand and evaluate small-scale energy generation technologies and services based on locally available resources in a concept of poly-generation.
  • A critical understanding of the sociotechnical transition process and diffusion of sustainable innovations.

The Doctoral school in Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEED) is a collaboration between six universities in four different countries: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Linnaeus University (LNU) and Lund University (LU), all in Sweden, Kathmandu University (KU) in Nepal, TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS), India and Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) in Bolivia.

PhD school highlights:

  • Research mobility in Sweden (course work, research/publication work)
  • A 2-days workshop on Multidisciplinary Developmental Research
  • A 5-days course on Gender, Disaster and Climate Risk (3 ECTS) - offered by LTH
  • Four PhD Courses are the core of the mobility program
    •  Sustainability Assessment and Policy Evaluation (6 ECTS*)-offered by LNU
    • Diffusion of Innovations and Socio-technical transition (6 ECTS)-offered by LNU
    • Circular Economy, Energy systems and Poly-generation (ECTS) -offered by KTH Nexus and climate agenda in energy systems (6 ECTS) -offered by KTH
  •  Co-supervision by a cross-country supervision team

*) 1.5 ECTS corresponds to 1 40-hour week of full time studies (lectures, seminars, self-studies)

SEED School program specifics

The SEED will be executed with yearly intakes, three intakes within the SEED period of four (4) years. Every intake lasts for eighteen (18) months. The program will start with a mobility period in Sweden for four (4) months and the remaining fourteen (14) months will be spent at the home university. The mobility period, which is supported by scholarships, starts at LTH with two mandatory educational activities:

  •  SEED kick-off/ Multidisciplinary developmental research Workshop   This is a kick off meeting of the SEED school that will start with a 2-days workshop on Multidisciplinary developmental research. The workshop takes place at Lund University. This workshop logistic is coordinated by LU and Workshop activities will be organized jointly by LNU/KTH. This kick off session provides the detail information about the SEED Programme and other logistics. This is an opportunity to meet all SEED participants of each intake and mentors from Swedish Universities at one place. The workshop will be focused on understanding the multidisciplinary research, along with identifying/studying opportunities and challenges associated with multidisciplinary research.
  •  A 5-days PhD summer course on Gender, Disaster and Climate Risk (3 ECTS). This course is given at Lund University and it will help to include gender perspective in the multidisciplinary research at a broader level. The course specifically discusses gender inclusive approach in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation by offering pedagogical training to actors such as researchers and practitioners. It aims to bring together researchers and practitioners to facilitate dialogue, and co-create knowledge and solutions, in developing gender-inclusive designs in response, recovery, and preparedness.

Mobility at either KTH or LNU

Following these courses, the students will continue the mobility period at either LNU or KTH with “on the job training” depending on their research topic and specialization. During this period they will carry out research works in close collaboration with researchers at LNU and KTH under the supervision of the assigned mentors within the Thematic Multidisciplinary Areas within the SEED.

  • Innovation diffusion/Socio-technical transition (Lead by LNU)
  • Sustainable Energy Access (Lead by LNU)
  • Nexus, Energy Poverty and Gender (Lead by LNU)
  • Resource efficiency Poly-generation (Lead by KTH)
  • Energy systems and circular economy (Lead by KTH)
  • Renewable energy technology (Lead by KTH)

PhD courses at LNU - Linnéuniversitetet

1. Sustainability Assessment and Policy Evaluation Course Credit: (6 ECTS)

Web page: Sustainability Assessment and Policy Evaluation

This course intends to augment the PhD students’/researchers’ (i) understanding of the sustainability evaluation and its contributions to policy-making; (ii) designing policy relevant Indicators for Sustainable Development; (iii) some sustainability assessment criteria and processes and tools; (iv) knowledge on research and policy interface; (v) evaluate/access development policy from sustainability perspective.

The course will be designed keeping focus on Energy sector and exploring its synergy, and trade off with other SDGs. The course will also help the students/researchers to communicate their research contribution in relation to sustainable development goals. The course will be beneficial but not limited to students working on the developmental research.

2. Diffusion of Innovations and Socio-technical transition (6 ECTS)

Web page: Diffusion of innovations and sociotechnical transition

This course intends to impart knowledge on diffusion of innovations and the sociotechnical transition process, and intervention strategies to facilitate diffusion of innovations. On completion of the course, the students should be able to: (i) Explain the systemic aspect of innovation and evaluate the sociotechnical change process; (ii) Analyze the decision-making process of the adopters of innovations, identify different categories of adopters, and identify various attributes of an innovation that can affect its diffusion; (iii) Evaluate the role of entrepreneurship in innovation; (iv) Articulate the intervention strategies to facilitate diffusion of innovations.

PhD courses at KTH – Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan

3. Circular Economy, Energy Systems, and Polygeneration (6 ECTS) In this PhD course, the students will get theoretical and practical knowledge on the following topics: Poly-generation for resource efficiency and climate change mitigation; Implications of circular transitions in specific sectors such as waste management, energy and energy-intensive industries; Tools and methodologies for the assessment of circularity (LCA and material flow analysis); Importance of business models’ innovation to value creation in a circular economy. The individual learning outcome (ILOs) are: (a) explain what is circular economy, in theory and practice, in energy systems, (b) describe systems for simultaneous generation of several energy services that are run by a combination of different energy sources, (c) able to use tools and methodologies relevant for the assessment of circularity performance and resource recovery, (d) apply circularity concept in waste management sector, e.g. waste-to-energy (WtE) and resource-intensive industries, e.g. cement, iron and steel, (e) demonstrate the knowledge of circularity in new innovative business creation, and (f) describe how small-scale polygeneration systems can operate connected or not connected to an electric grid, where the grid can be a classical national grid or a microgrid with distributed power generation.

4. Nexus and Climate Agenda in Energy Systems (6 ECTS).

This PhD course includes energy systems analysis (reference energy systems and scenario analysis); role of energy policies in systems transformation; Basics of nexus assessment (links between climate, water, land use and energy); energy systems and climate agenda the role of national and international actors in setting development priorities ( climate interactive exercise /world climate simulation ). ILOs are: (a) describe basic energy systems and scenario analysis, (b) explain the role of energy policies for a low carbon and climate resilient future in development contexts, (c) identify the links between climate, water, land use and energy systems, and (d) explain and evaluate the perspectives on global climate change, including the role of national and international actors in setting development priorities.

Organization of SEED - Sustainable Energy Engineering Doctoral program

The organization of SEED is illustrated in figure 1. It is based on already ongoing partnerships among the partners. The Executive Board (EB) is responsible for day-to-day management and operation of the school and the network. The local SEED coordinators and coordinators from the various committees looking after specific aspects of the SEED will be in this EB.

To account for the continued quality of the program there is an Advisory Board with two reference groups. The advisory Board for the SEED will comprise of (i) representatives from prominent subject experts in developmental research working on sustainable energy. (ii) high-educational administrative officials (Departmental heads, Rectors/dean) from various partnering universities.

Figure 2 illustrates how the key activities of SEED are organized.

Figure 1.  Organizational structure of SEED
Figure 1. Organizational structure of SEED
Figure 2. Key activities of SEED
Figure 2. Key activities of SEED

Mobility and logistics during the mobility period*

  • Start of mobility period: Arrival at Arlanda airport in Stockholm on August 25 2024.
  • The initial kick-off workshop on Multidisciplinary developmental research Workshop takes place at KTH in Stockholm during the first 2 days (Aug. 26-27).
  • Train transfer to Linnaeus university in Växjö (about 4 hours travel) to start the courses at LNU (see above) during 3 days (Aug 28-30).
  • The next event will be in Lund University, Lund. It is a one-week course September 2-6) on Gender, Disaster and Climate Risk.
  • Thereafter, students will return to KTH in Stockholm or LNU in Växjö (depending on the research topic) for the remaining mobility period (Sep 9-Dec 20.
  • End of mobility period: Departure from Stockholm Arlanda around December 20.
  • The amount of scholarship* per month (during the mobility) is SEK 15,000 and is made available upon arrival in Sweden.
  • Accommodation and living expenses are to be borne by the candidate. Accommodation in Lund University is arranged by LU and assistance in getting accommodation for the period in KTH/LNU will be provided by KTH/LNU.
  • Travel cost to/from Sweden, for movement between Lund University and KTH/LNU and insurance premium for the whole period is arranged by and covered by KTH*.
  • Visa applications and visa cost is handled by each candidate and cost coverage can be claimed from KTH upon arrival in Sweden and submission of receipts.

*) Candidates from UMSS should consult the local coordinator for info on scholarship and travel coverage, since the mobility will be part of the local PhD program mobility.


Figure 3. The SEED 2023 mobility students and selected members of the SEED faculty: Assoc. Prof. Anders Malmquist (KTH), Assoc. Prof. Brijesh Mainali (LNU), Prof. Krushna Mahapatra (LNU), Angélica Magne (UMSS Bolivia), Ravi Suwal, Kushal Shrestha, Ajay Kumar KC (all from KU Nepal), Anita Yadav (TERI-SAS, Indial).
  • Why did you choose SEED mobility programme at KTH/LNU?

Ravi Suwal: “By joining the SEED exchange program, it gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in Sweden's innovative energy research landscape and contribute to ongoing projects aligned with my academic and research interests. Similarly, exploring research in Sweden and other European countries in the field of building energy efficiency presents an exciting opportunity to explore into new advancements and innovative solutions. This knowledge has now given me an insight to explore effective and efficient technologies that could be beneficial for my home country.”

  • What are some of your favorite occasions/visits so far?

Anita Yadav : “Visit to Recycling facility at Växjö, Guided city tour as part of Gender course at LUND, SEBUT Conference visit”.

  • What did you learn during your stay in Sweden?

Ravi Suwal: “My time in Sweden has been a great learning experience in both my studies and getting to know the culture. In my research, I've learned about advanced methods building energy efficiency and Urban Building Energy Modelling. Learning the courses from LNU has given me new ways to think about global energy issues and innovation techniques. Personally, living here has shown me how people incorporate eco-friendly practices into their daily lives for a more sustainable lifestyle.”.

  • How would this exchange at KTH help in your PhD studies?

Anita Yadav: “The exchange at KTH significantly enriches my PhD studies in several ways. The courses, conferences, and events I attended have broadened my academic horizons, exposing me to cutting-edge research methodologies and diverse perspectives within my field. The insights gained from courses and the exposure to events and conferences have directly contributed to enhancing the depth and scope of my research. Additionally, the networking opportunities with experts and peers have not only expanded my professional connections but also opened avenues for potential collaborations and exchange of ideas. I also learned about Sweden’ Viable cities Programme and KTH Climate Action Center and the ongoing research to make cities resilient to climate change. Moreover, the experience has honed my presentation skills and increased my cultural awareness, which are valuable assets in effectively communicating my research findings and engaging with a global academic community.”.

  • What would you like to say to future exchange students thinking of choosing the SEED exchange program?

Ajay Kumar KC: “I would highly recommend future exchange students who are working in an energy and built environment. The learning and exposure at Sweden shall help them to better shape their research work and help in getting better research result. Similarly, exposure at Sweden shall also help them to expand their thinking horizon and update their knowledge on current technologies and developments.”.

SEED Application Process

Students for SEED will be recruited competitively through a common advertisement format from collaborating partner universities in Bolivia, India and Nepal. Each year six students will be recruited, considering a balanced number of students from the participating partner universities along with a gender balance among the participants. The advertisement will be announced in mid-March and the selection decision will be taken within 2 weeks after the application deadline. The results of the selection process will be notified to all applicants. To apply, the student must be enrolled at a Partnering University. The application shall be directed to the local program coordinator for SEED. Pre-screening of such applications are done at the local level and the shortlisted candidates’ applications will be forwarded to the executive board for the final selection. The SEED Executive board will evaluate the applications considering the qualifications and experience of the candidates and the mobility conditions.

The eligible candidates will be invited for interviews and the most suitable candidates will be offered to join SEED. The recruitment and admission practice will adhere to the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, and follow the local university’s requirements.

Selection requirements:

  • A cover letter including motivation to take part in this SEED Program (maximum 1 page)
  • Concept note on a multidisciplinary research to be carried out in Sweden during mobility. Students also need to show how this will contributes to his or her PhD.
  • A recent CV
  • Consent letter from the students’ PhD supervisor at home university
  • Proof of PhD admission at home university
  • Copy of Master Degree certificates.


  1. Date of start of application: December 6, 2023
  2. Last date of submission of application to local coordinator: January 15, 2024
  3. Confirmation of selection of candidate: 1st February
  4. Selected candidates should prove the consent of his/her employer (if applicable) February 15.
  5. Issuing the invitation letter (for visa formalities) to the candidate: February 16
  6. Period of stay in Sweden for SEED: August 25, 2024 until December 21, 2024 (approx. 4 months)

 Application form

SEED application form (pdf 301 kB)

About the partners:

KTH logo

 Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) – Department of Energy Technology with its division of Energy System is the institutional home for a widely used open source Water Energy Food (WEF) nexus framework called CLEWs. KTH has carried out research in the areas of enhancing energy and resource efficiency with polygeneration technologies for developing countries.

LNU logo

Linnaeus University (LNU) - Dept. of Built Environment and Energy Technology (BET) conducts number of EU and Swedish Research Council (FORMAS) funded research projects in the areas of energy efficiency and climate adaptation in the built environment. LNU research activities cover energy system analysis, identification and implementation of sustainable innovations, behavior and lifestyles, policy analysis, business models, and energy sustainability in developing countries.

Lund University logo

Lund University - LTH (Faculty of Engineering) - the Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety at conducts research about how people, organizations and society prepare for, deal with and recover from events that might threaten the society.

UMSS logo

Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS), Bolivia has been working in the field of energy since 2008 with a sandwich program on Energy financed by SIDA and a local doctoral program on energy and development.

KU logo

Kathmandu University (KU-Nepal) has been engaged in education and research in several fields including energy environment and climate change. Several departments under the School of Engineering and School of Science are working in renewable and sustainable energy and sustainable development goals (SDGs) related research.

TERI logo

TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS), India, aims to build capacity around various themes of sustainable development focused on Energy, Environment, Climate Science, Biotechnology and Sustainability adopting an interdisciplinary approach and incorporating the most contemporary, research-based evidence into the curriculum.

SRC logo

The Sustainable Energy Engineering Doctoral program (SEED) is a 4-years program. The Swedish Research Council VR finances the program.

Contact us:


Associate Prof. Anders Malmquist, Overall Program Coordinator - Royal Institute of Technology KTH. Email: Anders Malmquist

Associate Prof. Dilip Khatiwada, Coordinator - Royal Institute of Technology KTH. Email: Dilip Khatiwada

​​​​​Associate Prof. Brijesh Mainali, Coordinator - Linnaeus University-LNU. Email: Brijesh Mainali

Prof Misse Wester Coordinator - Lund University-LTH.  Email: Misse Wester


 Associate Prof Sunil P. Lohani, Coordinator - Kathmandu University-KU. Email: Sunil P. Lohani


Associate Prof Naqui Anwer, Coordinator - TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS). Email: Naqui Anwer


Dr. Evelyn Cardozo Rocabado Coordinator - Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) Email: Evelyn Cardozo Rocabado