Energy Research Associate, Systems Change Lab

Data Analysis & Technical Research Worldwide

This is a hybrid position which requires 8 days/month in the office. You can be based in our office in Washington DC, London, The Hague, Mexico City, Nairobi, Jakarta, Mumbai, Addis Ababa or Bogota. Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission as WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship for this position.


About the Program:


About Climate, Economics and Finance Program: The world needs to cut its emissions almost in half by 2030, reach net-zero by mid-century and adapt to prevent increasingly dangerous impacts of climate change. This will require a transformation in the economic, financial and governance systems at global and country levels, to simultaneously achieve the world’s people, nature and climate goals. To address this important challenge, WRI’s Global Climate, Economics and Finance (CEF) Program undertakes research and analysis; develop tools and standards; communicate and engage; and build coalition and capacity to accelerate climate ambition, country transitions and the required shifts in economic and financial systems and incentives. We work with national governments, policymakers, businesses, civil society, local governments, and other non-state actors as they pursue their own mitigation and adaptation goals. We work at the global level and in partnership with WRI’s twelve focus countries and regions and WRI’s ‘human system transition’ teams (focused on energy, cities and food/land/water) to deliver this transformation.


Job Highlight:


Reporting to Senior Associate, you will lead research and technical inputs on the energy system - including energy supply, industry, transport, and the built environment - for Systems Change Lab. Your work will entail validating and updating the list of required shifts for each sector that allows the world to achieve climate, nature and equity goals, evidence-based targets for each shift, the underlying barriers and drivers of change, the best available indicators to track progress, and high-quality, publicly available datasets for each indicator. You will also be an author across Systems Change Lab knowledge products, supporting regular progress assessments, contributing to annual reports and the Lab's dashboard, and conducting research on case studies and trend analysis of systems change within these sectors. You will work with technical experts and partners across government, research and advocacy organizations, funders, and the private sector, as well as researchers within WRI’s Energy, Cities, and Climate, Economics and Finance programs. You will also support the Lab’s communications and outreach efforts, maintain and cultivate key partnerships, and contribute to fundraising materials.


What will you do:


Research and analysis (60%):


  • Spearhead the Lab’s efforts to validate, as well as revise where appropriate, targets, indicators, and datasets used to track progress across energy systems, spanning both energy supply, and end-use sectors like the built environment, industry and transport
  • Conduct an assessment of global progress made towards energy supply, built environment, industry and transport targets for 2030, 2035 and 2050 in close partnership with the Lab’s research partners
  • Lead global, national, and subnational research and analysis focused on identifying critical barriers to and drivers for accelerating transformational change across these sectors, as well as the most important enabling conditions need to overcome these obstacles
  • Contribute in a writing role, as both a lead author and contributing author, to a wide range of knowledge products, such as the State of Climate Action reports, Systems Change Lab’s data platform, technical notes, sector-specific reports, articles and other outreach materials
  • Develop new research questions aligned with the Lab’s strategy and manage the research teams needed to answer them


Partner Outreach & Project management (30%):


  • Manage peer review processes with internal sectoral teams across WRI, as well as external partners, on a regular basis to advance on research and progress tracking for required transformations
  • As the platform initiative expands into learning and sharing the ingredients for transformational change, and nudging and campaigning to accelerate action where it is most needed, act as relationship manager internally, as well as with partners and key relevant stakeholders for Systems Change Lab engagement efforts across energy supply, industry, transport, and the built environment. These efforts will be supported by our engagement team
  • Support and, in some instances, lead fundraising activities for Systems Change Lab by cultivating funder relationships, developing concept notes and proposals, and reporting on them


Communications (10%):


  • Represent WRI and the Systems Change Lab at conferences, workshops and other events
  • Produce high-impact, high-quality articles, commentaries, presentations, and other communications materials for the Systems Change Lab


What will you need:


  • Education: You have completed a bachelor's degree in environmental or energy policy, public policy or related field
  • Experience: You have minimum of 7 year of full-time relevant work experience in energy, environmental, climate or related fields; knowledge of climate change issues
  • In depth knowledge of energy systems, including energy supply and end-use sectors
  • Strong analytical, research and quantitative skills, preferably with advanced Excel and modeling skills, and proven ability to deliver high-quality work
  • Excellent writing, editing, presentation, and communication skills
  • Great attention to detail and ability to manage multiple priorities, and work under tight deadlines
  • Project planning and management skills
  • Self-starter with ability to juggle multiple assignments at one time, make independent decisions with problem-solving skills in some complex situations
  • Experience working collaboratively in teams, with positive demeanor and determined attitude
  • Languages: Proficiency in spoken and written English along with a local language
  • Requirements: Existing work authorization is required where this position. WRI is unable to authorize visa work authorization


Potential Salary: Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors. WRI offers a competitive renumeration and benefits package.


How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter by the date of 30 May 2024. We are unable to consider your application without a cover letter.


You mustapply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.


What we offer:


  • A competitive salary
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities 
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI
  • Commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure


About Us:


Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute(WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.


The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.


Our mission and values:


WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.


Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence and Respect.


Our culture:


WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment; we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.


Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.