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Research Assistants

Data-Driven Environmental Policy: 2024 Environmental Performance Index

The Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, a joint undertaking between the School of the Environment and Yale Law School, advances sustainability governance, finance, and research with data-driven analyses. As a leading initiative in evidence-based policymaking, the Center’s work promotes applying science and law to enhance the resilience and impact of sustainability policies in countries around the world.

The Center seeks Tobin Research Fellows with a passion for applying their economics expertise to resolve outstanding environmental issues, such as climate change, air pollution, and biodiversity loss. Tobin Fellows will work with the Center’s faculty director, Prof. Dan Esty, the Center’s Associate Director, Meghan Kircher, and postdoctoral associate Sebastian Block.

Tobin Fellows will have the opportunity to work on the 2024 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) report, which will be published this summer. The EPI provides a leading data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world. Translating the latest scientific research into easy-to-understand indicators, the EPI’s analyses and country rankings highlight leaders and laggards in sustainability, identify best practices, and guide decision makers on the road towards a more sustainable future. Tobin Fellows will combine writing and data visualization to communicate the findings of the 2024 EPI across its more than 40 environmental indicators, highlighting successful environmental policies in countries around the world.

Depending on the Tobin Fellow’s interests and background, possible research tasks include:

  • Exploration, analysis, and visualization of global environmental datasets;
  • Assistance with quantifying and ranking countries environmental impacts and performance;
  • Performing literature reviews and writing memos on issues relating to sustainable development; and
  • Assistance with other tasks to advance the Center’s research agenda.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

Applicants should have excellent writing skills, strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and interests in sustainable economic development and in data-driven environmental policy. These positions require flexibility to rapidly research and produce written deliverables in support of the Center’s research agenda. Successful applicants will work well independently and within larger research groups.

Special Application Instructions

As a quick sample of your research and writing skills, please have a look at the Executive Summary of the World Energy Outlook 2023, from the International Energy Agency, and write (in one to two paragraphs and less than 150 words) the answer to the following questions:

  1. What is the Stated Policies Scenario?
  2. In STEPS, how did the solar photovoltaic capacity additions change between 2015 and 2023? What about the sales of electric cars?
  3. In STEPS, by 2030, what is the share of fossil fuels in the global energy supply? And the percentage of new car registrations in the US that are electric? And what percentage will renewables contribute to new power capacity?

Upload your answer in the “Additional File” section.

In the “Briefly describe your prior research experience and your research interests” section, please write a statement of no more than 300 words in length. In it, please describe how this position matches your experience and professional development goals.

Please contact us with questions (