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Research Associate

Equitable Hiring Group
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
Sep 7, 2021

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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About the Organization
CLASP serves at the epicenter of collaborative, ambitious efforts to mitigate climate change and expand clean energy access through appliance efficiency. Our mission is to improve the energy and environmental performance of the appliances & equipment we use every day, accelerating our transition to a more sustainable world. Energy-efficient appliances are one of the most cost-effective methods for mitigating climate change. They save money for governments and consumers alike, reduce peak energy demand, and bolster economic and energy security. We work hand-in-hand with governments, experts, industry, consumers, donor organizations and others to accelerate adoption of the highest-quality, lowest resource-intensive appliances possible.

CLASP has worked in more than 100 countries since our inception in 1999. We are headquartered in Washington, DC, with teams in Europe, Kenya, India, China, and Indonesia. We are mission-driven and committed to a culture of diversity, transparency, collaboration, and impact. See our Team Page to learn more about us.

CLASP's Research team
CLASP's growing Research team collaborates with colleagues from our international program and communications teams and partner organizations to think critically about the major climate and energy challenges facing the world today, develop and test strategies to address those challenges, and publish innovative tools and resources to help policymakers and energy efficiency practitioners understand and implement effective solutions.
In 2021 we are organizing our research agenda around the following three themes:
  • Maximizing climate & energy access impacts from the appliance sector. As an example of our work in this area, we recently launched Mepsy, a new online appliance efficiency climate impacts calculator. In the next 12 months we will be using Mepsy to highlight the opportunity to use appliance standards to achieve global net-zero targets, and will be expanding the tool to include four new appliance types and to quantify the climate impacts of low-GWP refrigerants.
  • Delivering equitable outcomes. Our climate and energy access projects have, over the past several years, addressed numerous equity-related impacts from appliances. For example, we have published reports on environmentally harmful dumping of air conditioners and the gender equity impacts of off-grid appliances. In the next 12 months, we will work with partner organizations to publish research in this area with the goal of consolidating a wide range of equity-related evidence from around the globe and ensuring CLASP's current and future projects deliver equitable benefits.
  • Identifying and accelerating deployment of game-changing technology. CLASP has long studied the systematic benefits of appliance energy efficiency and highlighted opportunities to push forward new and innovative technologies that deliver environmental benefits, consumer cost savings, and better quality of life. In early 2021 we published a study about the benefits of hybrid heat pumps in US homes and policy recommendations that would lead to 45 million new heat pump deployments as a step towards decarbonization of residential space heating. We plan to continue this and other related lines of research in the next year to promote innovative appliance technical solutions that deliver outsized climate benefits.

  • About the role - Research Associate
    As an Associate on the Research team, you will help us deliver on our ambitious agenda by collecting and analyzing evidence to support research projects and helping to develop innovative tools and resources for energy efficiency practitioners. You will work from CLASP's Washington, DC office, and will collaborate extensively with CLASP team members in Europe, Africa, and Asia to create quality outputs such as reports, articles, and presentations that advance our global portfolio of energy efficiency projects. You will identify, explore, and cultivate new project ideas in consultation with Research team colleagues.

    In this role you will be exposed to an unusually wide range of people and issues in the climate and energy sectors, as well as the internal infrastructure and operations of a global NGO. A successful candidate will develop and grow a broad set of professional and technical skills, honing them to the level of excellence in a demanding and fast-paced environment. You will work with, learn from, and grow alongside a high-performing and diverse team in which everyone is committed to the development of themselves and others.

    Your responsibilities will include
    • Contributing to research projects:
      • Contribute to design and implementation of individual research projects and activities that will further CLASP's climate and energy access objectives. Wherever possible actively solicit input from diverse perspectives from across the CLASP team.
      • Conduct desk research on selected topics and prepare written synthesis of analysis and results for publication.
      • Collaborate with consultants that are supporting individual research projects. Ensure that contributors adhere to realistic timelines, stay within budget, and produce high-quality outputs.
      • Proactively identify and raise project implementation risks and concerns with the Chief of Research for discussion.
      • Seek to develop productive partnerships with individual researchers and institutions to further CLASP's strategic objectives.
    • Knowing the data:
      • Support development of analytical tools (typically in R Studio and Excel) that can be used to evaluate climate and energy access impacts of policy. Review, optimize, and quality check tools and resources developed by others.
      • Clearly document sources and assumptions to enable results to be evaluated and reproduced.
      • Understand the inherent limitations of data sources, assumptions, and analytical results so that uncertainties can be measured and discussed.
    • Keeping the pulse of the energy & climate community:
      • Read and summarize journal papers and media articles of relevance to CLASP's climate and energy access work, with a focus on the central themes of impacts, innovation, and equity.
      • Identify and track data and assumptions in the literature that support or challenge CLASP's ongoing research and analysis. Develop and maintain a list of important citations for quick reference.
      • Synthesize evidence and identify new research and partnership opportunities that will inform CLASP's annual research strategy.

    Who You Are:
    • A Details Person. Your favorite part of reading a research paper is deciding which of the citations in the bibliography to read next. You want to understand not just what someone says, but what assumptions they used to get there.
    • An Analog and Digital Synthesizer. Once you have collected all the details, you can wrap them up in a succinct written form and contribute to an engaging conversation, whether face-to-face, on the phone, or on Twitter.
    • An Effective Collaborator. You have worked across cultural lines on a dispersed team, and you have the ability to operate in complex situations. You can easily gain trust from colleagues and are known for being supportive.
    • A Flexible Thinker. You are not afraid to step outside your job description or comfort zone to help the team reach its goals. You are comfortable with shifting schedules and don't expect every day to go "as planned." You are happy to challenge someone's assumptions, and to have your assumptions challenged in return.
    • A Humble Teammate. Nothing is beneath or above you. You are quick to always lend a hand or two! You are able to earn influence without authority and naturally seek to support both small projects or large strategic goals. You know what you know, and what you don't know, and don't shy away from questions.
    • Mission-oriented. You believe in the mission of CLASP and are passionate about climate change, energy efficiency, and creating a more sustainable world.

    What you'll need:
    • Two to five years of professional experience in energy efficiency, clean energy, engineering, economics, or public policy.
    • Ability to handle simultaneous deadlines and complete assignments with minimal supervision in a fast-paced workplace.
    • Strong analytical skills, including using both Excel and R Studio for data analysis, and the ability to translate analysis into clear and concise policy recommendations.
    • A commitment to diversity and inclusion. You're always asking: "whose voice is not at the table?" You have experience working with diverse teams and successfully navigating cross-cultural communication in both local and global contexts, and you deeply value creating a workplace that is supportive of difference.
    • A passion for, and interest in, mitigating climate change.

    Compensation and Location
    CLASP provides its employees with a highly competitive salary that is benchmarked annually with other non-profit organizations in the DC metropolitan area. CLASP also provides a comprehensive benefits package, including fully paid health insurance for individuals and competitive rates for families/dependents, unlimited leave and all federal holidays, an impressive match of employee contributions to the 403b retirement plan, and a collegial office environment that supports professional development, wellness and flexible telecommuting options.

    This position is full-time and based in CLASP's Washington, D.C. office. Compensation for this role starts at $65k and can increase based on the candidate's level of experience.

    The Application Process
    CLASP has engaged Equitable Hiring Group to support this hiring process. To apply, please complete the short form to the right.

    Individuals who apply by Tuesda, July 27th will be given priority; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis after that date until the position is filled.

    When you apply, please remove the names of your undergraduate and graduate schools from your resume. There is no need to reformat your resume, but simplify it to "B.A. Economics," for example. This "bias blind" process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates, reviewing applicants on performance assessments instead of resume proxies (e.g., where you went to school). This evaluation process will follow best practices shown to reduce bias in decision making and may be different from other application processes you have experienced.

    The overall evaluation process will follow this anticipated timeline:
    • Late July: Selected candidates asked to complete short answer questions
    • EarlyAugust: Video interview with CLASP Staff
    • Mid-August: Finalist candidates will be asked to complete a timed trial assignment
    • Late August: Finalists will participate in a multi-team member group interview via video conference. (*due to COVID-19, we will be conducting all interviews via video for the near future). Candidate references will also be checked at this step
    • Early September: Offer extended

    If you have any questions about the opportunity, please feel free to email

    CLASP is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. CLASP complies with all federal, state and local employment law in the countries we operate and is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, disability, political affiliation, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, genetic information, military or protected veteran status, credit information or any other characteristic protected under federal, state or local law. Each person is evaluated based on personal skill and merit. CLASP's policy regarding equal employment opportunity applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, job assignments, promotions, working conditions, scheduling, benefits, wage and salary administration, disciplinary action, termination, and social, educational and recreational programs.

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