Summer Intern – Climate and Energy Team

Project Scope

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions (Climate and Energy Team) is looking for a summer research assistant to analyze the extent and impact of utility disconnections throughout the Southeast, specifically for the low- to moderate-income (LMI) residential market.
Background information:  Each month, thousands of utility customers are disconnected from their electric, natural gas and water service due to the inability to pay their monthly bill. Some of the disconnected households are reconnected within a few days, some work with the utility to develop a payment plan, but many households are forced to make difficult household expenditure decisions in order to resume service. The recent COVID pandemic has exacerbated the problem, forcing families to choose between paying their utility bill and forgoing food, healthcare and other household necessities, or paying for household items with the risk of disconnection from their utility.

The research assistant would review utility dockets and other publicly available information to catalog disconnection data and analyze trends over time. This would include an analysis of what utilities are doing well and what utilities might need to change in order to reduce energy insecurity impacts for their customers. Using this data, the assistant would write short policy briefs to educate decision makers at the state and utility level about the issue and some possible solutions.


•    Current undergraduate or graduate student
•    Energy and/or utility regulation and policy experience preferred
•    Remote communication skills – written and verbal (meetings, conference calls, etc.)
•    Administrative/organizational and reporting skills
•    Experience working in a team setting/environment but also executing tasks independently  

This position is open to students who are currently residing in North Carolina, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, or Washington, D.C. Undergraduate students must be residing in North Carolina.

To Apply

To apply, please send your resume or CV and a cover letter to Donna Brown,

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.