The Niskanen Center, in conjunction with the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), is seeking a postdoctoral researcher and writer to join our growing climate department for a two-year joint position based primarily in Washington, D.C., with opportunities to travel to Woods Hole for extended periods to pursue research projects.

The postdoctoral researcher will be expected to pursue an independent research project, in collaboration with WHRC scholars, and work with Niskanen Center staff to promote climate science with policymakers through a high volume of public writing, speaking, and direct engagement. The principle aim will be the completion of the fellowship with new expertise, and a large portfolio of work describing the methods, results, and implications of climate science for policymakers.

The fellow will be responsible for collaborating with Niskanen and WHRC staff to develop a high volume of written commentary, formal reports, and multimedia presentations explaining fundamental climate sciences, current topics in climate research, and the nature of climate risks faced by particular geographical regions. These materials will be designed to offer articulate, accurate, and meaningful information about the nature of climate change to federal policymakers.

The scope of the research project will be based on candidate interests and experience, as well as the needs of both the Niskanen Center and WHRC. Any such project will serve the broader ambition of generating a granular assessment of physical climate risk at the scale of regions to congressional districts. Climate risks examined may include: heat stress, agricultural drought, flooding (inland and coastal), wildfires, weather extremes. Candidates will also be encouraged to study secondary effects with clear links to human systems–for example, how changes in hydrology will impact hydroelectric power generation, links between heat stress and public health, or the interplay between air pollution and climate change.

The ideal candidate is passionate about understanding the risks of climate change and communicating that understanding directly to policymakers. We are looking for a motivated and energetic individual, who can successfully manage multiple projects, and work with a wide range of colleagues to deliver top-quality products. 


  • Research and model climate change impacts.
  • Process and analyze multi-temporal geospatial data, primarily climate model output and climate observations.
  • Work with policymaking networks to determine specific questions to be investigated.
  • Communicate research results with policymakers and publicly.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed literature and elsewhere.
  • Mentor research assistant(s).
  • Work in a highly collaborative, fast-paced, cross-disciplinary environment to analyze, synthesize, and present results.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Ph.D. (granted or expected soon) in physical or environmental science, geography, or a related discipline, with demonstrated data analysis skills and programming experience.
  • Record of successful research.
  • Experience analyzing the results of climate models.
  • General familiarity with the scope of climate science literature and the ability to clearly and succinctly bring it to an informed audience. 
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment with minimal oversight.

This is a full-time position located principally in Washington, D.C. The salary is $65,000, with additional travel and research stipends to travel to Woods Hole for research activities. The Niskanen Center offers health and dental insurance and a generous leave policy.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and the position will be open until filled. A start date in early 2020 is preferable. 

To apply, email with “CSNC” in the subject line. Please include a cover letter, resume or CV, and contact information for three references. No phone calls, please.

The Niskanen Center is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without discrimination of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status. We also seek to expand our professional networks and workplace composition to better reflect our dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.