Researcher, Energy Transition Scenarios

Energy · Anywhere in the World, Geneva
Department Energy
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 120 people, plus over 150 associates and consultants, come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries. We are currently looking for a Researcher, Energy Transition Scenarios to work within the IISD Energy Program.

About the Position

More than 5 years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. One reason is the continued expansion of fossil fuel production, especially oil and gas, which has long been a blind spot in international climate policy. And although renewables are now the cheapest form of energy in most of the world, investments are not growing fast enough to decarbonize the economy in line with the Paris goals.

In May 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a Net Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario, finding that there is no need for investments in new oil and gas fields beyond those already in operation. It is the first time the IEA has published a scenario aligned with the 1.5°C temperature limit, following more than 5 years of pressure from civil society, investors, governments, and scientists, a coalition of which IISD was part. The resulting debates about the future of oil and gas illustrate the vast impact energy scenarios have on decisions about new policies and investments. Since energy infrastructure has an economic life of several decades, decisions by governments and investors rely on assumptions about future demand for the energy.

The Researcher, Energy Transition Scenarios will work as part of IISD’s Sustainable Energy Supply team, which delivers research, policy proposals, and strategic advice to support a Paris-aligned, managed phase-out of oil and gas production and the end of public finance to fossil fuels. The team collaborates with a large range of stakeholders, including civil society organizations and networks, international organizations, governments, and media. The position is based within the IISD Energy Program (, a diverse and dynamic team of over 30 experts based in the IISD Geneva and Ottawa offices as well as remotely in India, Indonesia, South Africa, and other countries.

The Researcher will analyze and interpret energy scenarios published by the IEA, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and others to support the end of new fossil fuel development and the increase in renewable energy growth consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The Researcher will publish this analysis, collaborate with civil society to strengthen campaigns, influence investors and governments, and share detailed country-level implications in key countries, especially in the Global South.

The Researcher’s key areas of responsibility will include but not be limited to:

  • Leading the delivery of quantitative and qualitative research; developing and verifying research methodologies.
  • Leading reports, policy briefs, and other outputs.
  • Contributing to communications, fundraising, and strategy development with the aim of identifying cutting-edge developments and maximizing policy impact.
  • Networking and maintaining strategic relationships with a variety of partners from governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and academia.
  • Presenting and communicating IISD’s work to a variety of audiences.

About the Successful Applicant

The successful applicant will have a strong background in relevant quantitative and qualitative research. They will be confident providing intellectual leadership for a research and policy agenda, engaging with colleagues and partners, and shaping outputs to deliver on strategic objectives.

The successful applicant will also have:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a quantitative field (e.g., natural sciences, mathematics, economics, finance, engineering).
  • A minimum 3 years of relevant work experience in one or several of the following areas: energy policy and energy transition, natural resource management, fiscal policy, climate change mitigation, sustainable development, and social policy.
  • Experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods; application of these in the area of energy policy will be considered a strong advantage.
  • An understanding of policy-making and economy in developed and developing countries; experience working in or with developing countries will be considered a strong advantage.
  • An understanding of climate change and its broad implications for energy systems; detailed knowledge of energy will be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated strategic skills and an ability to think critically and learn fast; experience with advocacy and campaigning approaches will be considered a strong advantage.
  • Excellent oral and writing skills in English and a track record of relevant publications in English; ability to work (read, write, speak) in other languages will be considered an advantage.
  • Confident and engaging communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational, planning, and project management skills.
  • A “can-do” work attitude and ability to work both independently and in different team roles, managing workload and producing deliverables to time and to budget.
  • Results-focused, an ability to prioritize and to work quickly and accurately, with flexibility to take on tasks ranging from highly complex to basic in nature.
  • A strong ability to work comfortably across different cultures and be inclusive and positive with different colleagues.
  • Computer literacy, including Microsoft Office applications and experience in handling web-based communications and management systems.
  • Availability to travel internationally.

Location: Flexible, with regular working hours in Europe or East Coast North America. We strongly encourage candidates from the Global South to apply.  

Starting Salary: Salary is commensurate with skills and experience, depending on location.

Type of engagement: Full-time consultancy or staff position, depending on location.

Application process: Cover letter (maximum one page) and a CV (maximum two pages). Applications without a cover letter or CV will not be considered.

Application deadline: September 26, 2021

Start Date: November 2021

All submissions must be in English.

Candidates must hold appropriate work authorization for locations where they expect to be based.

Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted. Resumés will be kept on file for one year. 

IISD is committed to fostering a more equitable and sustainable world and welcomes candidates who uphold our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, to correct the conditions of social injustice and disadvantage in employment around the world, we encourage candidates from historically marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and those who identify themselves as 2SLGBTQ+ to apply for the Researcher position. 





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  • Location
    Anywhere in the World, Geneva
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience