Policy Associate

About Duke University

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

About the newly merged institute (NMI)

Duke University is heightening its commitment to accelerate sustainable and equitable solutions to the climate crisis and develop a new generation of climate-literate thought leaders. An ambitious university-wide strategy will build on decades of successful energy and environmental research, education, and external engagement efforts. As part of this endeavor, the university is merging two of its signature interdisciplinary units: the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke University Energy Initiative. Working closely with Duke University schools and other units, the newly merged institute will advance the university’s climate strategy by developing transformative educational experiences; galvanizing and conducting impactful research; and engaging with decision makers at the global, national, state, and local levels.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the newly merged institute. We believe that the educational environment is enhanced when diverse groups of people with diverse ideas come together to learn. Applicants with a demonstrated commitment to issues of diversity in higher education are particularly encouraged to apply.

Occupational Summary

This term limited grant funded position takes an active role in conducting specialized projects, in planning and operations, and in providing expertise in the James E. Rogers Energy Access Project (EAP) at the Nicholas Institute/Energy Initiative.

Work Performed

- Work with Area Director, Faculty co-director, and EAP-affiliated faculty and staff in conducting policy- and market-relevant research and analysis. This includes reviewing, synthesizing, and presenting relevant literature, articles, and other written materials; preparing and analyzing quantitative datasets from primary and secondary sources and operating economic and/or financial models; and overseeing literature reviews and preparation of annotated bibliographies. Work on multiple projects across multiple issue areas as needed, with a focus on EAP’s Modernizing Energy Access Finance work stream and Powering Productivity and Healthy Communities work stream.  

- Based on independent and collaborative research and data analysis, prepare drafts for internal and external reports, publications, articles, policy memos and briefs.

- Communicate understanding of scientific, technical, and policy-based approaches to the Institute'starget audiences through written and oral presentations.

- Contribute to strategic implementation of EAP goals, including developing and managing projects and stakeholder groups, organizing and leading meetings to develop and implement work stream strategies, identifying opportunities to engage externally to leverage prior work and achieve impact, and helping build collaborations with partners inside and outside of Duke.

- Provide data, literature synthesis, draft narratives, and budgets to assist with grant proposals to foundations, governments, and other potential sponsors.

- Work with faculty and stakeholders to plan, coordinate, and execute on- and off-campus activities (such as meetings, workshops, conferences, and events) related to engagement with university faculty, students, Nicholas Institute faculty working groups, and external stakeholders and policymakers.

- Oversee and manage the training and work of research assistants and interns. Identify new opportunities to involve Duke students in the specific program area.

- Coordinate with EAP-affiliated staff and faculty to ensure up-to-date web content. Stay current with all EAP projects and maintain updated project list and associated content on website. Coordinate communication efforts with Nicholas Institute and Energy Initiative staff and others as needed.

- Draft policy briefs, blog posts and other documents that bring new knowledge, data analysis, or synthesis into applied, practitioner-focused narratives.

- Coordinate and manage relationships with key EAP partners, including the SETI network, EAP Affiliates, private companies, and NGOs. Manage project logistics as needed.

Required Qualifications at this Level

Work requires a bachelor’s degree and four years of experience related to the position. A Master’s or higher degree in energy, environment, international development, economics, policy, or other relevant field may offset some required years of experience.  

Preferred Qualifications and Skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent team-building, organizational, problem-solving, and interpersonal or cross-cultural communication skills
  • Experience analyzing and interpreting data
  • Ability to set priorities among multiple tasks
  • Experience building and managing relationships in projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Ability to work independently with a high attention to detail in a fast–paced environment
  • Relevant experience in international development or energy/environmental issues in developing countries
  • Familiarity with the policy, economic, financial, legal and/or scientific aspects of the emerging market clean energy space
  • Demonstrated ability to summarize research and conduct investigations or literature reviews
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally as needed

To Apply

Internal link: https://performancemanager4.successfactors.com/sf/jobreq?jobId=182209&c…

External link: https://careers.duke.edu/job-invite/182209/


The intent of this job description is to provide a representation of the types and level of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title. It shall not be construed as a declaration of all specific duties and responsibilities of the particular position, as employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Duke also makes good faith efforts to recruit, hire, and promote qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.