Local recruitment: Research Assistant, Climate, Environment, and Conflict

U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP)

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

Job category: Program

Requisition number: RESEA002228

Job details


Who We Are

Peace is our commitment. The United States Institute of Peace represents the American people’s shared values and commitment to peace worldwide.  We know that Peace is Security – it advances both U.S. and international security by preventing, managing, and mitigating violent conflict.

We are an independent, non-partisan institution and are actively engaged with peacebuilding efforts around the world.  Together we tackle the most challenging problems and hold fast to the possibility of a more peaceful world. To learn more about USIP programs and job openings, go to  https://www.usip.org/about/careers

If you are passionate about making the world a better place and want a front-row seat on the world stage, USIP is the place for you.

Program Overview

The USIP Program on Climate, Environment, and Conflict (CEC) promotes evidence-based research and policymaking through innovative partnerships to strengthen multilateral and regional approaches to climate security and environmental peacebuilding. The CEC Program seeks to build adaptive capacity in fragile states and societies facing environmental stressors and climate-related shocks that exacerbate risks of violent conflict, threatening global stability and U.S. national security.  It has traditionally focused on three major issues:  migration and displacement related to climate and environmental change; the risks of conflict in the transition to more modern energy systems; and transboundary water under a changing climate.  In addition, the CEC Program partners with the U.S. Government to work on a wide range of climate security issues.

Job Brief

USIP has established a multi-year strategic collaboration with the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which is now beginning to include relationships with other U.S. Combatant Commands and engagement with the U.S. interagency on climate security issues.  The Research Assistant position will primarily serve the CEC Team’s work on climate security with AFRICOM and the interagency.


  • Support for development of a climate security alert tool from prototype to full tool;
  • Support for the planning of a 4th symposium on “Security Impacts of Climate Change”; and
  • Research tasks as needed for analysis and support for AFRICOM and other interagency partners.
  • In addition, there may be other opportunities for the Research Assistant to contribute to tasks for the CEC Team’s other portfolios, as well as to contribute to Analysis and Commentary pieces for USIP’s website.

Hours Up to 20 hours per week during regular business hours, starting October 1, 2023

Compensation The approximate range is between $17.00 and $18.00 per hour.


  • Assist a wide range of projects conducted and commissioned by the CEC program
  • Conduct rapid desk and background research on climate security issues
  • Draft concept notes, memos, talking points, and briefing slides on CEC’s work
  • Support key informant interviews with subject-matter experts
  • Help to identify cutting-edge climate and conflict-related tools and datasets
  • Contribute to online analyses and commentary on USIP’s website
  • Support the editing process of internal products and research publications
  • Provide general planning and organization support for invite-only and public events
  • Provide essential administrative and logistical support to events
  • Perform other duties as assigned


  • Must be a full-time graduate student preferably studying international relations, democracy, and governance, or international peace and conflict resolution.
  • Must be a full-time master’s student or a Ph.D. candidate focusing on climate and environmental affairs, peace and conflict resolution, or a closely related field.
  • Knowledge of issues at the nexus of climate, environment, and conflict
  • Demonstrated interest in Africa or the Indo-Pacific regions is an advantage
  • Coursework and/or knowledge of the U.S. defense sector are desirable
  • Proficiency in French and/or Portuguese a plus
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Must have the ability to work in a team and independently

USIP’s Research Assistant program is administered through the Consortium of Universities in the Washington Metropolitan area. However, any full-time university student is eligible for these openings.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.

How to Apply
To be considered for this position, please submit a complete application package consisting of:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • A brief writing sample demonstrating research and writing competencies

Only those applicants that are selected for further discussions will be contacted. 

No Phone Calls. Interviews will be scheduled by appointment only. 

USIP is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy and practice of USIP to offer equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliations or belief, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law.





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