Senior Research Scholar or Research Scholar

Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia’s School of International & Public Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Feb 11

Position description

The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs seeks a Senior Research Scholar or Research Scholar to work at the intersection of energy, national security, climate change and related topics. Expertise on China is of particular interest. Successful execution will require generating original research, managing collaborative research projects across departments 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 natural gas, oil markets, climate change, and economic statecraft at the Center, SIPA, Columbia World Projects, and Columbia University more broadly.


  • 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/questions may include, among others:
  • How do tools of economic statecraft affect energy markets, national security interests, and international affairs? How should governments, businesses, and academics think about economic foreign policy, particularly the use of sanctions?
  • What are the major political-economy enablers and obstacles to a clean energy transition? How can policy be designed to catalyze/remove them in specific contexts?
  • How can policy be designed to simultaneously protect national security interests related to advanced energy technology while also promoting open trade and information sharing to drive energy innovation and deployment for deep decarbonization?
  • How do we think about defining and managing systemic risk (foreign policy, financial, physical security, cyber security, climate impacts, demographic trends, etc) across the energy sector?
  • How can the national security challenges of energy be best addressed through policymaking, including with respect to international nuclear programs?
  • Do changing conditions in global energy markets (e.g. oil, natural gas, power) necessitate a reconsideration of domestic and foreign policy responses to supply disruptions in relevant sectors? How can such disruptions be identified, prevented, or best be mitigated?
  • How do the impacts of climate change affect national security and foreign policy considerations by governments?
  • How does the transition to a low-carbon economy change energy geopolitics and national security considerations?
  • Applying these questions in various regions: specifically China as well as India, Latin America, Middle East, Europe/Eurasia, Africa, etc.
  • Regularly publish outputs — including peer-reviewed journal articles, research reports, issue briefs, op-eds, and others — aimed at practical applications and accessibility by practitioners.
  • Management, Coordination and Leadership:

  • Produce a strategic vision of the program and 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.
  • Responsible for supervising 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 Degree Required

Graduate degree (PhD, JD, MBA, or master’s)

Minimum Qualifications

  • Graduate degree (PhD, JD, MBA, or master’s) in energy, economics, public policy, foreign policy, international affairs, or national security
  • Research Scholar requires 8 years post-degree related work experience and Senior Research Scholar requires 10 years post-degree related work experience.
  • Extensive knowledge of energy economics, international relations, public policy institutions, and related policy issues.
  • A proven record of successful engagement at senior levels and the ability to achieve consensus and interact effectively with multiple high-level stakeholders.
  • Strong communication skills and an ability to build support amongst partners for better policies, on the basis of evidence-based analysis.
  • Proven track record of written research.

Application instructions

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