Writing and Research Specialist, Energy Systems

Great Plains Institute
Organization Summary

A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) is transforming the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. Increased demand for GPI’s unique blend of energy expertise and consensus-derived solutions has driven organizational and programmatic growth. With headquarters in Minnesota, GPI’s operations are national in scope while retaining a core competency in the Midcontinent region. GPI is powered by more than 50 professionals and is supported by some of the nation’s most respected philanthropies. 


The following values inform the way we work both inside and outside of GPI. It is important to us to be trusted, inclusive, equitable, and transformative:


Trusted. We base our approach and actions on trust, mutual respect, and accountability. 

Inclusive. We achieve impact through inclusive and deliberate collaboration with a diversity of interests.

Equitable. We strive for equity in our approach and outcomes.

Transformative. We are a bold and passionate catalyst for change.

Posting Date
Closing Date
Location in MN
Job type

Salary range: $50K-$70K, commensurate with experience. Benefits include a health plan, 401(k) retirement plan, LTD, STD, life, vision, dental, FSA/HSA, paid time off, professional development allowance, and a communication stipend.


Hours may be flexible and are typically Monday through Friday during the business day; evenings and weekends may be required at times. 

Primary Duties

Writing and Research Assistance (85% of time): The Energy Systems program area convenes many stakeholder groups that meet regularly. The primary role of this position is to support those groups with note-taking, writing, and secondary research tasks, including but not limited to the following, and at the direction of program staff:

  1. Take notes during stakeholder meetings, making sure to capture key discussion points in an organized fashion. After meetings, work with program staff to clean up notes and send to stakeholders for review.
  2. After individual meetings, assist with writing meeting summaries capturing the key take-aways from the meeting and send to stakeholders for review.
  3. After the conclusion of a stakeholder engagement process (i.e., a series of meetings), assist with writing process summary documents outlining the process followed, issues discussed, and areas of consensus and disagreement. In addition, describe modeling and other activities that were conducted to inform stakeholder discussions. Work with GPI staff and stakeholders to revise these summaries over multiple iterations of edits.
  4. Assist with developing surveys to solicit stakeholder feedback on both process design and policy issues; consolidate, organize, and summarize survey feedback. Present feedback during stakeholder meetings as needed.
  5. Review large documents and sets of information, such as in regulatory dockets and state and federal legislative bills, and organize and summarize that information for GPI staff, clients, and stakeholder groups.
  6. Conduct secondary research in response to questions raised by GPI’s stakeholder groups. Develop written and visual materials to convey complex policy topics to stakeholder groups for discussion. Present results of research in stakeholder meetings to inform discussions, while maintaining a neutral perspective on policy issues.
  7. Track policy developments on topics and/or in locations of interest to GPI’s work and alert relevant staff to those developments.
  8. Write blogs on GPI’s work and projects, including summarizing and highlighting stakeholder engagement processes and relevant updates on matters of interest to GPI’s stakeholders.
  9. Collaborate with GPI’s communications team in developing written materials and publications that will be shared publicly.
  10. Work with program staff and GPI’s communications team to develop and update content on webpages and websites.
  11. Draft social media posts that professionally communicate about GPI’s work.
  12. Format written materials in adherence to GPI’s style guide.
  13. Review written materials for grammar, punctuation, formatting, and other improvements to ensure quality of written work products.
  14. Assist with writing fundraising proposals, including to philanthropic foundations, in response to competitive procurement opportunities, and for private sector consulting opportunities.
  15. Communicate effectively and positively with internal colleagues, external clients and partners, and with large stakeholder groups in a timely manner and while ensuring information is clear, succinct, and accessible to all parties.
  16. Assist with uploading meeting resources and materials and maintaining lists and databases of knowledge resources for multiple different stakeholder groups on GPI’s server, in Excel spreadsheets, and in online databases.
  17. Assist with drafting stakeholder meeting agendas.
  18. Assist with writing communications (typically email) for stakeholder groups.

Meeting Coordination and Administrative Assistance (15% of time): In addition to the primary tasks of writing and research, this position may be asked during times when staff are capacity-constrained to assist with meeting coordination and administrative tasks, including the following: 

  1. Take notes during project planning meetings, making sure to capture key decisions related to timing and next steps, and disseminate notes immediately to the project planning team to clarify responsibilities for all parties. 
  2. Schedule meetings with clients, partners, and stakeholders and sending meeting invitations through Microsoft Outlook.
  3. Set up virtual meetings in Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
  4. Coordinate with meeting presenters and speakers in a respectful, professional, and timely manner, including coordination of PowerPoint slide decks and speaking times during all-day agendas.
  5. Assist with developing, assembling, and disseminating meeting materials, including agendas, nametags and/or name tents, printed resources such as reports, electronic resources such as PowerPoint slide decks, flip charts, markers, and large post-it notes.
  6. Assist with meeting execution, including setting up and staffing welcome tables with name tags and meeting materials, testing A/V equipment, and ensuring that food and beverages arrive as scheduled.
  7. Respond in a timely and positive manner to requests for assistance from GPI staff, partners, clients, and stakeholders during meetings.
  8. Travel to meetings and assist with transporting materials to and from meetings. Currently, most meetings are virtual, but in the future plane travel will be required.
  9. Assist with developing project and program budgets.

Other Programmatic Assistance: As requested by the Program Managers or Vice President of the Energy Systems program area.


  • Bachelor’s Degree and/or Master’s Degree in a relevant field of study.
  • Work or academic experience related to energy policy, state climate action planning, energy utilities, or other related fields is preferred.
  • Experience with writing and secondary research
  • Strong writing, research, verbal communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Experience, professional or otherwise, working on a diverse team and developing and maintaining relationships. 
  • Ability to work well with people from a variety of backgrounds and political perspectives that may differ significantly from oneself.
  • Ability to work independently and follow directions
  • Time management skills with ability to prioritize a large volume of tasks and deadlines
  • Self-motivation, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn
  • Experience in using Microsoft Office.
  • Commitment to the mission of the Great Plains Institute.

The Great Plains Institute is committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages candidates from all backgrounds to apply.


How to Apply

Required application materials include a resume and one-page cover letter. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 


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