We’ve got a new name: Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability. Read the announcement.

Research Analyst (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 position takes an active role in conducting specialized research activities, in planning and operations, and in providing expertise for the US Energy Transition Initiative at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. This position will report to Area Director Amy Pickle.

Work Performed

  • Work with Area Director, faculty, and other research personnel in conducting policy research by reviewing, synthesizing, and analyzing policy and science related to deep decarbonization and electrification. Conduct literature reviews and prepare detailed, annotated bibliographies. Draft responses to requests for information from partners and member companies.
  • Attend ETC Global meetings and review ETC Global reports to prepare summaries and syntheses for US ETI members on relevance to US context; assist eligible US ETI members in triaging ETC global meetings based on agenda topics.
  • Based on independent and collaborative research, prepare drafts for internal and external reports, publications, and policy memos and briefs.
  • Communicate understanding of scientific, technical, and policy-based approaches to the US ETI’s target audiences through written and oral presentations.
  • Collaborate with principal investigator in developing plans for research projects and to discuss the interpretation of results and preparation of publications. Assist Area Director and Senior Policy Associates in research project management.
  • Work with faculty and stakeholders to plan, execute and conduct on- and off-campus activities (such as meetings, workshops, conferences, and events) related to engagement with university faculty, member companies, and external stakeholders and policymakers.
  • Depending on expertise, participate in the operation of economic or technical models or tools.
  • Oversee and manage the training and work of research assistants and interns. Identify new opportunities to involve Duke students in the project.


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent team-building, organizational, problem-solving, and interpersonal or cross-cultural communication skills
  • Experience analyzing and interpreting data
  • Experience building clear, attractive visualizations and graphics
  • Ability to set priorities among multiple tasks
  • Experience building and maintaining relationships in projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Ability to work independently and accurately with a high attention to detail in a fast–paced environment
  • Relevant work experience in law, decarbonization policy or technology, or business
  • Demonstrated ability to summarize research and conduct investigations or literature reviews
  • Willingness and ability to travel as needed

Minimum Education/Training Job Requirements – Required

Work requires a bachelor's degree.

Preferred Experience

Work requires two years of experience in research, policy/data analysis or related position. A master's or higher degree in policy, law, or business, or other relevant field may offset required years of experience on a 1:1 basis, e.g. a two-year master's degree in lieu two years of experience.

To Apply

Internal link: https://performancemanager4.successfactors.com/sf/jobreq?jobId=206669&company=dukeuniverP1

External link: https://careers.duke.edu/job-invite/206669/

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. 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 aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.