Location: Anywhere in Canada
This role is an opportunity to have a major impact in shaping climate and energy policy in Canada.
As our Director for Energy Systems Research, you will lead Clean Prosperity’s research program on pathways to net zero. You will leverage energy systems modelling, among other methods, to generate insights and identify policy implications for climate and energy policymakers, federally and in several provinces. And you’ll get to do all this with the support of a motivated and welcoming team.
At Clean Prosperity, our mission is to help Canada transition to a net-zero emissions economy in a way that is affordable for Canadians and generates economic growth all across the country. We believe the government’s role should be focused on creating the right incentives for the private sector to decarbonize. We are passionate about what we do and we are looking for a smart, ambitious person to join our team.
Please note that Clean Prosperity is committed to diversity in its hiring processes. As such, we welcome applications from members of visible minorities, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to help provide a diverse range of perspectives and lived experiences.
The Director for Energy Systems Research will oversee our Net-Zero Pathways research program, which is a multi-year study to better understand the choices that confront Canada on the path to reaching net zero by 2050 (see project details here). Over time, the Director may take on other projects and responsibilities. We expect the successful candidate to help drive the research agenda.
Currently, the Net-Zero Pathways program is focused on analyzing five archetypal net-zero pathways for Canada. Each pathway favours different technologies. For example, one scenario uses favourable assumptions for renewables deployment while another is focused on hydrogen.
We believe that policymakers and the public need better information about Canada’s decarbonization options if we are to have an effective and sustainable transition to net zero. To that end, we are using our Net-Zero Pathways project to generate insights on the challenges, opportunities, and policy implications at both the federal and provincial levels. You can find the first two reports from our Net-Zero Pathways project here.
The Net-Zero Pathways project was initiated in early 2022. As such, you will benefit from a rich existing database of net-zero scenarios that we have already generated with our modelling partner for this project, Navius Research. There is also scope to undertake additional modelling based on what we learn from our existing data.
Your research responsibilities will include:
- Identifying research questions that can help advance the organization’s policy goals (we have an existing set of questions to get you started!)
- Using our modelling database, as well as complementary qualitative and quantitative methods, to investigate those policy questions
- Overseeing the work of third-party researchers, including modelling partners
- Drafting reports of various lengths and formats to convey research findings, with a focus on policy recommendations
- Presenting findings at external meetings, and conferences
You will have a team to support you in this work. We currently have one full-time and one part-time research associate working on the project. You will also work closely with the rest of our team including our regional public affairs teams (federal, Western Canada, Ontario), and our communications, policy, and operations teams. You will report to our VP of Research and Outreach.
Ultimately, your work program, and the work of our entire organization, is about having policy impact. As such, we will ensure that the research you undertake is highly relevant and influences policymakers.
Since we are still a small organization, you will also be exposed to and, in some cases, participate in other organizational projects and activities.
The below list represents our ideal set of qualifications. We encourage you to apply if most of these are a fit, even if there’s one or two that aren’t:
- Masters degree or PhD in economics, engineering, energy systems, computer science or a related field.
- Background understanding of Canada’s energy system and climate policy environment. Work experience in these areas is considered a strong asset.
- Clear comfort with both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
- Experience working with energy and economic models is highly desirable. You should be able to review and interpret quantitative research including academic research from economists and modelling representations from energy-system optimization models. You should also, at minimum, be highly comfortable with analysis using Microsoft Excel, including using pivot tables and running regressions.
- Past experience in building or working with a computable general equilibrium model would be a major asset.
- Strong manager with a proven ability to lead large research assignments including motivating a team of internal/external colleagues towards a common goal, and staying on top of multiple competing priorities.
- Deeply strategic thinker who can identify the priority issues that matter to policymakers within a large/complex research dataset.
- Skilled writer who is able to produce compelling written briefs and reports, including simplifying technical topics for policy audiences.
- Ability to make engaging presentations to small and large groups, even when the topic is fairly technical.
- Willingness to travel occasionally (likely not more than once per quarter) anywhere in Canada.
- Fun to work with!
We are a small but mighty team! You can read about our team on our website here. With you and one other hire we will soon make, we will be a 13 person team.
You will report to the Vice President of Research and Outreach and manage two Research Associates (one of which is part-time). You will also work closely with our Director of Policy and Director of Communications on your research, plus interface regularly with our government relations focused staff including our Director of Federal Government Relations, Director for Western Canada, and Director for Ontario.
Location and Hours
We are a virtual team and you are welcome to work anywhere in Canada. All of our team members work from home. We will set you up with a home office budget to ensure you have a comfortable and effective setup.
We typically work a standard 7.5 hour workday but are much more concerned about results and getting things done effectively than when you’re working.
You will have regular opportunities to interact virtually and in person with other members of the staff. We hold weekly staff meetings, regular virtual happy hours, and arrange two in-person staff retreats per year to ensure that we can bond as a team.
While we are a nonprofit, most of our staff come from the private sector and we intend to pay a competitive salary. We understand that compensation is an important consideration for any applicant and we will discuss salary during our first interview with you. In addition to your salary, you will also be entitled to benefits.
Just as importantly, you’ll be working on something you truly believe in with other passionate people.
Our Work Environment
We are committed to creating a work environment that is fun, fulfilling, and effective. During the interview process, we will spend a lot of time talking about culture and fit, including sharing with you our team charter and more about our core values of humility, grit, empathy, and openness. You’ll also have a chance to meet several members of our team so you get as full a picture as possible of what it would be like to work with us. And while we have a strong culture already, we value the new ideas and fresh perspective that every new member of our team brings with them.
The Interview Process
We believe that the interview process should be a two-way exploration. You should interview us as much as we interview you, so we maximize the chances of a successful fit. We invest a lot of time in this process because we care deeply about our team culture and about each new individual that joins our team. We want you to have a fulfilling experience working with us, and help contribute meaningfully to our big aspirations!
Here’s some relevant details about what the interview process typically looks like (though we customize each process based on individual circumstances):
- We start by reviewing your resume and cover letter. We do this on a rolling basis, inviting high-potential candidates for an introductory call whenever we find someone who looks like a good fit. Expect to hear back from us between one and 14 days after applying if we think there is a good fit. Only selected candidates will be contacted.
- We have a 15-minute introductory call to get to know each other a bit better.
- Next, we meet for a longer interview of one to two hours to dive deep into your background and past experiences.
- We then ask candidates to complete a small assignment that simulates the type of work you’d do while at Clean Prosperity, and we use our next meeting to debrief on the assignment together. We pay you a stipend for completing the assignment. Candidates typically find the assignment useful for getting a better understanding of what it’s like to work at Clean Prosperity.
- Next, we do an interview focused on fit and values, making sure that we’d enjoy working together.
- Once we reach the final stage, we give you a chance to have casual one-on-one conversations (often virtual) with other members of the team so you can get as clear a picture as possible of what it’s like to work at Clean Prosperity. We also do reference checks in parallel.
- The whole process typically runs for four to six weeks and we carve out lots of time for you to ask questions at every step. At the end of each interaction, we mutually decide whether it makes sense to move to the next step.
- We’re always open to suggestions to improve our process. While it takes commitment from both sides, it also maximizes the chances that we are all happy with the final result!
How to Apply
If interested, please send an email to ESDir@cleanprosperity.ca with the subject line “Application for Energy Systems Research Director” that includes:
1. Your resume
2. A cover letter that explains why you want to work with us, why you’d be a good fit, and something that you’re passionate about outside of work.