Research Scholar in Energy Transition

Organization
Institute on the Environment, UMN
Organization Summary

Do you believe in a future where people and the planet prosper together? Are you entrepreneurial and interested in building an impactful, collaborative research program in Energy Transition? The Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota is looking for someone to advance decarbonization pathways to support an equitable energy transition in the Midwest.

The Research Scholar in Energy Transition will develop an externally funded engaged-research program to support an equitable energy transition in the Midwest. Applicants are expected to have an area of focus within the energy transition realm that is rooted in interdisciplinary perspectives and will need to articulate how that focus both connects with, and enhances our existing UMN expertise.

This position is part of a cluster hire to enhance the capacity of the University of Minnesota, through the IonE, to pursue interdisciplinary and collaborative research that advances sustainable systems through community-engaged and societally impactful scholarship.  

Posting Date
Closing Date
Location in MN
Metro
Job type
full-time
Salary

Salary range: $70K - $125K, comprehensive benefits package

Primary Duties

As part of the cluster hire, we seek a Research Scholar in Energy Transition to develop an externally funded engaged-research program to support an equitable energy transition in the Midwest. Applicants are expected to have an area of focus within the energy transition realm that is rooted in interdisciplinary perspectives and will need to articulate how that focus both connects with, and enhances our existing UMN expertise. Applicants must also demonstrate their commitment to working with partners outside of academia and how their work contributes to the impact of these partnerships.

We are looking for colleagues at any career stage who will establish long-term careers at the intersection of original scholarship and translational science, with an emphasis on team science and collaboration that includes other members of the IonE community. Successful candidates will be expected to establish an externally funded research program that partially supports their salary (>50% external funding) and supports other researchers. This position does not include any teaching responsibilities; however, candidates are welcome to seek teaching opportunities and may be nominated for graduate faculty status to serve on graduate student committees. We consider translation within and outside the university as part of professional activities.

This position will be based in the Knowledge Initiatives (KI) branch of the Institute, which hosts a portfolio of interdisciplinary sustainability research and scholarly activity for IonE.  The position is located at IonE on the St. Paul, MN campus and the person will be expected to fully participate in IonE, including attending IonE events as well as developing working relationships with other IonE staff, university researchers and students, and external partners. This position allows for some teleworking; however, because of the collaborative nature of this work, the incumbent must be able to work on campus regularly. We are able to discuss work flexibility options as part of an offer, and relocation funding will be made available for candidates who would need to move to the region.

About the position:

This hired Research Scholar will lead IonE’s energy transition portfolio. Our goal is for Minnesota’s energy systems decarbonization strategies to be a global model for developing a prosperous and equitable carbon-neutral economy that advances innovation and improves people’s lives and the environment.

This research program should strive to tackle the most challenging barriers to advancing an equitable energy transition in Minnesota and the Midwest. The person in this role would take responsibility for helping to catalyze the UMN/IonE community of faculty, staff, and students in working towards high-impact interdisciplinary research. The person would also engage decision-makers, practitioners, and community members in a way that includes the empowerment of and partnership with under-represented communities. UMN has current expertise in renewable energy integration, energy storage, demand side technologies, and utility regulation; we would be looking to build expertise in these and other areas related to just and equitable clean energy.

The Research Scholar would be responsible for designing and developing project strategy, serving as the Principal Investigator on sponsored and non-sponsored awards, assuming fiduciary responsibilities for the budgets of funded projects, and supervising a team of policy analysts and researchers. The Research Scholar would work across programs to support Institute-wide research development, budgeting, external partnerships, and IonE-wide strategic projects such as Impact Goals and the IonE Energy Transition Strategic Plan.

Experience

Required Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a graduate degree (e.g., PhD, JD, MBA, MS/MA) in any field and an established scholarly portfolio appropriate to given career stage (demonstrated by scientific databases, reports, white papers, training materials, decision support systems, software and metadata documentation, policy memos, peer-reviewed publications, and patent filings)
  • Successful track-record of externally-funded research collaborations
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment with other experts both within the University and outside (e.g., communities, governments, businesses, etc.)
  • Interdisciplinary research experience in energy that connects with and enhances existing strengths at the Institute and the University.

Preferred Qualifications (there is not an expectation that all of these would be met):

  • Ability to advance and catalyze others towards IonE’s vision as described in the Strategic Plan including the ability to engage scholars across UMN towards energy transition goals, and co-produce creative, fundable, and impactful projects to advance sustainable outcome
  • Topical expertise or experience with renewable energy integration, energy storage, demand side technologies, and utility regulation; social science, policy, energy economics or decision analysis; software development; decision support tools; co-production processes, participatory action research or community-engaged scholarship; and synthesis of energy transition topics to support decision-making.
  • Awareness and/or integration of distributional, procedural, and recognitional equity as part of your research projects and/or examples of inclusively engaging diverse people and perspectives 
  • Experience supervising and mentoring established research staff, including encouraging a collaborative and inclusive approach to our goal-oriented work; supervision experience relevant to assigned rank
  • Strong commitment to mentoring and supervising undergraduate and graduate students
  • An established record of impact-oriented public engagement and partner relationship cultivation that is integrated into research and professional activities
  • Significant fundraising experience and/or current funding from diverse sources such as government grants (e.g., Federal, state), NGOs, foundation, and donors
How to Apply

To learn more and apply, visit the University's employment page and search for Job ID 347367 (https://humanresources.umn.edu/content/find-job). We are requesting applications by June 10; we will fully consider all applications that are submitted by June 16. 

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