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The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) seeks a Research Scholar for major research initiatives on nuclear energy. Successful execution will require generating policy-related original research, managing external research projects and communicating research findings clearly and concisely to a range of audiences in a manner that maximizes policy impact, as well as contributing to the University’s wider research and convening efforts.

The position will leverage linkages between other areas of ongoing work in the power sector, climate policy, international security, and U.S. foreign policy at the Center, SIPA, Columbia World Projects and Columbia University more broadly. 
The position will engage at a high level with key stakeholders. A high level of verbal and written communications, and cultural awareness skills are required. The position will report to the Center’s Director.

Main Responsibilities

Research and Analysis:

  • Identify and execute on priority areas of work and appropriate research methodologies for qualitative and quantitative analysis. The methodologies and disciplines will likely span everything from case studies to detailed policy analysis. Examples of relevant research areas may include, among others:

    • The economics of nuclear energy and policy recommendations to address issues that may be identified
    • Role of nuclear energy in a low-carbon economy and as part of a sustainable approach to managing issues around climate change
    • Nuclear nonproliferation and security challenges
    • Geopolitical implications of changes to the commercial nuclear industry and technology controls
    • Advanced nuclear reactor technology, reactor design, policy challenges, regulatory requirements, and recommendations for how to incorporate advanced reactors into future planning and business development
  •  Regularly publish outputs that provide analysis on issues such as illustrated above. These will take the form of peer-reviewed journal articles, research reports, issue briefs, op-eds, and other outputs.

Management, Coordination and Leadership:

  • Produce a strategic vision of the scope of research questions to explore, including identifying emerging opportunities and challenges, and develop ways in which the Center can generate unique insights to improve public understanding and debate.

  • Identify the institutions and individuals currently doing leading work in this area and establish and maintain close working relationships with them to explore and develop research partnerships and joint products.

  • Supervise and directly engaging with the work of external partners to ensure the timely delivery of relevant, rigorous and objective research and analysis.

  • Assist in securing funding from a variety of sources to support the program’s operation.

  • Leverage the resources available across Columbia University to ensure the program is cross-disciplinary and engages faculty and students from all relevant disciplines.

Convene and Communicate:

  • Clearly communicate research findings into actionable, policy-relevant mediums for multiple audiences [e.g. policymakers, private and public sector leaders, general public and the relevant research community]. Must possess the ability to convey complex data and information in a succinct and easy to digest manner for immediate impact.

  • Manage and execute senior-level roundtables to incorporate expert review from a broad range of perspectives into the research process

  • Manage and execute public discussions to improve the general understanding of complex issues.

Minimum qualifications

  • Advanced degree (MA, MBA, JD, PhD) focused on energy, economics, public policy, foreign policy, international affairs, national security or a directly related field.

  • Experience across energy policy, national security, power markets or a directly related field.

  • Experience managing teams and complex projects.

  • Experience in policy analysis, development or advisory services and management of policy research.

  • English language proficiency.

  • Strong communication skills.


Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer; applications from women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged. For further information, please contact Jesse McCormick, Director of Strategy and Operations, Center on Global Energy Policy, at