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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 a major research initiative on global oil markets. The position will report to the Center’s Director. Successful execution will require generating 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 necessarily leverage linkages between other areas of ongoing work in natural gas, national security, climate change, economic statecraft, and 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.

Main Responsibilities

Research and Analysis:

  • Aligned with the Center’s overall focus, identify and execute on priority areas of work and appropriate research methodologies for qualitative and quantitative analysis. Examples of research areas of focus under the umbrella of global oil issues may include, among others:

    • The potential and impacts of volatile and or lower prices on producers and end users.

    • The changing dynamics of an oil market balance- to include the evolution of OPEC, changing supply and demand elasticities, the role of storage.

    • The future of oil in a low carbon energy system. 

    • That evolving role of oil in the US and global economy.

    • The components of peak oil demand (road, marine and air transport, petrochemicals, agriculture, distributed diesel generation, etc.).

    • The geopolitics and changes in the oil demand map.

    • The changes in oil supply, to include geopolitics, tight oil and new technology.

    • The response of IOCs and NOCs to changing demand patterns.

    • The role will involve regularly publishing outputs that provide quantitative and qualitative analysis on the above areas. These will take the form of research reports, issue briefs, op-eds, and other outputs.

  • Regularly publish outputs that provide analysis on issues such as illustrated above. These will take the form of 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

  • Master’s degree in energy, economics, public policy, foreign policy, international affairs, or national security, or equivalent which could include bachelor’s degree, and high-level, relevant professional experience.

  • 20 years of experience in energy policy, global oil markets or commodities.

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

  • Relevant experience integrating the work of multiple organizations, departments, or agencies.

  • A proven record of conducting relations at senior levels and the ability to achieve consensus and interact effectively with multiple high-level stakeholders.

  • Strong communication skills; the ability to build support across partners for better policies, on the basis of evidence-based analysis.

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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 jmccormick@columbia.edu.