Research Fellow – Sustainable Energy

Position: Research Fellow – Sustainable Energy
Topic: Energy
Duration: Two years, with possibility of contract extension or development of permanent position
Salary range: Competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience
Start date: As soon as possible
Duty station: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Application deadline: Friday, 30 November, 2012

SEI seeks a Research Fellow to lead its Africa Centre’s sustainable energy programme. The successful candidate will be part of a small, dynamic team and will help shape a new agenda for action-oriented research and capacity-building on sustainable energy and climate policies. (S)he will also engage with SEI colleagues from the other centres as well as national and international project partners. This position reports to the Centre Director as well as to managers of specific projects in which the Research Fellow is involved.

The SEI Africa Centre was established in August 2008 and is based at the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), hosted by the Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA). The centre currently focuses on four areas:

  1. Climate change adaptation and mitigation;
  2. Sustainable energy options;
  3. Water supply and sanitation; and
  4. Water for agriculture and rural development.

Job responsibilities:

  • Work on existing and new projects as per general tasks;
  • Develop new projects and programme and obtain necessary funding;
  • Plan and coordinate activities at SEI Africa related to sustainable energy strategies, technologies and policies;
  • Support research, communication and outreach on sustainable energy at SEI; and
  • Develop and maintain a contact network of researchers, decision-makers and partner organisations in Africa relevant to the SEI work on sustainable energy.


Essential requirements

  • Ph.D. in interdisciplinary energy/environmental analysis, economics, applied sciences, or a related field (NOTE: a Master’s degree plus at least 5 years experience in a strong research or policy organization can substitute for a Ph.D.)
  • Fluency in spoken and written English;
  • Experience in fundraising for significant projects and liaising with funding agencies;
  • Experience working in sustainable energy technologies and policies in Africa;
  • Experience in policy-relevant and interdisciplinary research;
  • Knowledge on energy’s role in supporting sustainable development;
  • Knowledge and capability to analyse sustainable energy policies and programmes in the context of climate change, energy access and rural/agricultural development;
  • Ability to prepare articles, policy briefs, working papers and other publications;
  • Experience in capacity-building activities;
  • Ability to coordinate workshops, manage publications and supervise interns;
  • Ability to represent SEI at conferences; and
  • Ability to work independently, without much instruction from the management, as well as being comfortable working in international teams in a virtual environment, both as team leader and as team member.

Note: Applicants of any nationality are welcome, but applicants from Africa and/or with significant working experience in Africa will be given priority.

Desirable attributes:

  • Fluency or working ability in Kiswahili and/or other relevant languages;
  • Understanding of key issues relating to multilateral instruments such as REDD+;
  • Working knowledge of sustainability standards for energy systems and/or biofuels;
  • Knowledge on principles of climate accounting or carbon finance;
  • Track record of publications on energy and sustainability issues in peer-reviewed journals and/or scientific reports;
  • Experience with renewable energy and/or energy efficiency policies and technologies in developing countries;
  • Experience in assessments on the traditional biomass sector, including household energy and/or cookstoves; and
  • Comfortable with detailed analysis and fieldwork to support research.

How to apply: Applications should be submitted in PDF format and should consist of a CV and a cover letter that includes the names and contact details of three referees. Applications should be written in English and sent as soon as possible but no later than 30 November 2012. They should be sent by e-mail to Please use the subject line ‘Energy Research Fellow – [Applicant’s Last Name] – [Applicant’s First Name]’.

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