Job Opportunity: Research Associate – Energy Water Climate Nexus

The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in Texas, USA, is currently looking for a research associate in the field of the Energy-Water-Climate Nexus.

General Purpose of Job

The Research Associate – Energy Water Climate Nexus is responsible for performing basic or applied research, research management, and proposal development in support of projects pertaining to climate change, water resources and clean energy transitional impacts. Work involves a high degree of expertise, creative insight, and technical skills in climate, water and energy system modeling. Work may involve the development of new theories and methodologies and management of components of a research project or program.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to the following.  Other duties may be assigned.

Major Duties

  • Plan, direct and perform complex research/analysis and develop informed positions on the technical and economic feasibility of climate change mitigation and adaptation scenarios.
  • Develop and provide research pertaining to climate risk, resilience and adaptation in energy and water systems, taking into account environmental stressors and community well-being. 
  • Plan and model the effects of regional climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  • Connect climate downscale models to regional issues, environmental stressors and critical infrastructure (e.g. ports and transportation).
  • Engage key decision makers and facilitating stakeholder engagement to support development of climate planning efforts
  • Identify and track current issues related to climate mitigation and adaptation planning and formulate concepts for new or expanded areas of research.
  • Prepare peer-review journal articles, presentation and technical reports.
  • Generate proposals for new funding opportunities.
  • Complete routine work with little or no instruction; general instructions on new assignments.

Proposal Development

  • Work with other research staff to identify potential funding sources.
  • Write white papers and proposals for submission to funding sources.
  • Develop project budgets to achieve objectives and desired outcomes in creative and cost effective ways.
  • Investigate the feasibility of applying a wide variety of principles and concepts to developing products and solving problems related to HARC’s mission. 

Project Management

  • Manage project teams, budgets, and timely completion of project deliverables.

Internal Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with other HARC researchers on multidisciplinary projects.
  • Communicate project findings in oral and written form for HARC outreach products.
  • Initiate and promote teamwork, shared learning and integrated approaches to sustainability.
  • Use professional knowledge and skills to contribute to the achievement of HARC’s mission.
  • Serve on HARC committees or working groups as assigned.

External Responsibilities

  • Make contributions to discipline through the creation of peer review publications, technical reports, public outreach documents, web content, and external conferences and/or presentations.
  • Initiate and promote external collaboration and integrated approaches to sustainability.

Continuing Education

  • Maintain broad knowledge of state-of-the-art principles, theories and practices in discipline.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


PhD in engineering, climatology, meteorology, public policy or related discipline with a minimum of one year of experience; Master’s degree in engineering, chemicals or a related discipline with a minimum of 4 plus years experience; or Bachelors with a minimum of 8 years; or equivalent with a demonstrated working knowledge of relevant discipline.

Language Ability:

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents. Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community. Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format.

Math Ability:

Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts such as exponents, logarithms, quadratic equations, and permutations. Ability to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis.

Reasoning Ability:

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.

Computer Skills:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be computer literate in word processing, spreadsheet, internet and email software as well as project specific software.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

May supervises 1-3 employees based on project needs. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather); outdoor weather conditions and risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include Close vision. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.

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Houston Advanced Research Center - GuideStar Profile