Research Analyst (Policy Associate; Internet of Water)

Duke University

Durham, NC, United States 🇺🇸

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Duke University

Research Analyst (Policy Associate) – Internet of Water

Occupational Summary

In the United States, water data have been collected by multiple federal, state, and local agencies for decades, yet we are still unable to answer fundamental questions about our water systems in a timely way: How much water is there? What is its quality? How is it used? Because the data have been collected by different agencies, for different purposes, at different scales, and are scattered across multiple platforms with different standards, they are rarely used beyond their original purpose. The Internet of Water (IoW) is a bold vision for how to improve water data infrastructure to fundamentally transform water management. “Internet of Water” describes a network of data producers, hubs, and users to facilitate the sharing and integration of federated open water data.

The IoW was established in 2018 at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. The IoW plays the essential role of coordinating efforts among data hubs articulating a clear vision for policies and procedures to share data, demonstrating the value of integrating water data, and capturing that value to ensure the IoW is sustained over time. The IoW also provides technical and non-technical resources for data producers and data hubs alike.

This position takes an active role in conducting specialized research activities, in planning and operations, and in providing expertise in one or more of the program areas at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions: Climate and Energy, Environmental Economics, Ecosystem Services, Ocean and Coastal Policy, Water Policy, and State Policy.

This position will be located at the Nicholas Institute in Durham, NC with the expectation that the individual must be able to travel on occasion (subject to COVID-19 restrictions). This position has an initial term-limit of one year with the potential for continuity based on the performance and sustainability of the project.

Work Performed

· Work with Area Director and Senior Policy Associates in conducting research by reviewing, synthesizing and analyzing relevant environmental policy or science, with potential focus on policies related to water affordability, federal agency water management operations, and water quality management programs;

· Based on independent and collaborative research, prepare drafts for internal and external reports, publications, and policy memos and briefs;

· Provide data, documentation, and draft narratives and budgets to assist with grant proposals to foundations, corporations, and government sponsors;

· Work with faculty and stakeholders to plan and conduct meetings, workshops, conferences, and events;

· Identify new opportunities to involve Duke students in relevant activities;

· Oversee and manage the training and work of research assistants and interns;

· Develop data-based presentations/visualizations and related analysis for relevant water policy questions, with particular focus on water quality, drinking water, and regulatory enforcement actions (e.g., consent decrees)

· Develop a policy strategy/approach for the Internet of Water (IoW), including the development of support materials to reach policy makers, creation of blog posts and other publications to make the case to policy makers, and the identification and development of additional resources as needed

· Co-lead the IoW Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network, focusing specifically on building participation in the forum and recruiting new members to the network;

· Assist with or lead pilot or demonstration projects, which include the use of public water data for informing management or policy-related decisions;

· Develop educational and support materials for the IoW by aiding the IoW team in developing content for the learning center, such as tutorials and other interactive learning devices;

· Support the IoW data architect and other members of the IoW technical team with geospatial or other visualizations of water data, and other technical assistance as appropriate;

· Serve as the community science liaison for the IoW team, representing the IoW with the Water Data Collaborative Steering Committee, and collaborating with community science partners as appropriate;

Perferred Minimum Requirements


Master’s degree in science, engineering, policy or a field directly related to the position.


Four years of working in a field directly related to the position highly. A degree higher than a bachelor’s degree or significant technical expertise may substitute for two years of experience.


· Knowledge and expertise in the policy, economic, legal and/or scientific aspects of the environmental program area;

· Ability to manage, analyze, synthesize, and communicate environmental data to a range of audiences;

· Organizational and interpersonal skills

· Excellent oral and written communication skills

· Ability and willingness to travel (subject to COVID-19 related restrictions)

Required Minimum Qualifications


Work requires a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the specific position.


Work requires four years of experience in research/data analysis or OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE related position. A related master’s degree may offset required years of experience on a 1:1 basis, e.g. a two year master’s degree in lieu two years of experience.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.