Research Associate (Climate Program)

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Washington, DC, US

This is a short-term position (ends in July 2020) with prospects for extension that are contingent on funding.

Position Summary

In this short-term position, you will support research and analysis towards the design of a Systems-Change Lab that will facilitate and monitor systemic transitions. As part of this work, you will conduct research across key domains (including climate, energy, forests, biodiversity, food, oceans, water, financial systems, circular economy, and cities) to identify threats, necessary transitions, and drivers and enabling conditions relevant to facilitating transitions. You will conduct literature review, consult experts and summarize the assessment of the status and prospects for real progress towards systems change. You will help design the Lab and identify key indicators and benchmarks of change for each issue area that can inform whether we are operating consistently with preserving our global commons. 

Job Responsibilities

Research & Knowledge (75% time)

  • Conduct desk-based research of peer-reviewed literature, including on transition theory, transformational change, tipping points, policy change, path dependency, and social movements
  • Conduct desk-based research and literature reviews, as well as organize and participate in interviews with experts, to identify the major transitions underway and needed in a variety of systems
  • Help formulate key hypotheses about why change is occurring in some systems more rapidly than others
  • Assist in developing monitoring indicators and assess key systems with transitions underway
  • Help develop a detailed design of the systems change lab including its proposed structure, engagement model, modus-operandi, etc.
  • Present at internal meetings
  • Help prepare a presentation on the research project’s findings
  • Contribute to a paper summarizing the findings

Administrative (25% time)

  • Organize internal and external meetings, workshops, conferences and other dissemination activities
  • Liaise with external partners and WRI colleagues across programs and countries
  • Draft reports to funders
  • Respond to internal and external requests for information

Job Qualifications

  • Master’s degree (or bachelor’s degree with 2 additional years of relevant experience) in environmental science, environmental policy, or related field
  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant, full-time work experience
  • Detail-oriented and highly organized
  • Excellent analytical and research skills
  • Excellent writing, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to work both independently as well as part of a team, manage multiple priorities, and work under tight deadlines
  • Strong computer skills and experience in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • Commitment to WRI’s mission and values
  • US work authorization is required for this opportunity

How to Apply 

Please include a cover letter and resume with your application. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.