Research Associate, Strategic Communications – Climate & Energy

About the European Climate Foundation

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) was established in 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to help Europe foster the development of a low-carbon society and play an even stronger international leadership role to mitigate climate change. The foundation works through several sectoral, cross-cutting and regional initiatives and collaborates with a wide network of partners to advance progress towards this shared goal.

The ECF team is a highly dynamic group of individuals, combining ambition and passion with a rigorous, results-oriented and analytic approach to the work. The ECF’s culture is one of intensity, enthusiasm and mutual support.

Context of the role

The ECF’s strategic communications team is the outreach unit of the foundation. Its role is to act as a centre of expertise for communication on climate change and to play an active role in helping create more political, media and public endorsement for action on climate change at an international, national and sectoral level. This position will report to the Research Manager – Strategic Communications.

The core of the role is the ability to take complex information about climate change and transform it into research products that are powerful communications tools. The emphasis is on producing short, journalistic analysis that is written for an audience of policymakers, advocates, journalists and strategic communicators.

Key responsibilities

Your day-to-day will be working as part of a small research team in a production environment, often to ambitious deadlines. In a typical week you might work on several different briefings and background research tasks, to be used to brief colleagues, journalistic contacts, spokespeople or partners at other organisations. You might also have a longer project or two on the go.

The scope covers climate and energy policy, politics, science and technology, with a global perspective. We are seeking candidates with expertise in climate and energy issues who would like to specialise in this area.

You will need to be meticulous in attention to detail and have very strong skills in presenting information in written English. You’ll need to be able to discuss and negotiate ideas well. You might also be good at presenting information visually, data analysis, or bring another relevant area of expertise.

This role might suit someone with a background as a specialist journalist, a research analyst who has been producing materials for a generalist audience, or an NGO or grassroots campaigner with strong research skills. But that’s just a guide. The critical thing we’ll be looking for is people who are adept at handling complicated material, who can translate it into clear work that can drive communications impact, and who work well and generously with others.

If you think this sounds like you, please apply!

Experience and competencies

Necessary skills and experience
As a researcher with the strategic communications team you must have:

  • Really strong writing skills in English, and the ability to make your case in person, over the phone, on slack, etc.
  • An established track record of producing impactful research materials that have supported advocacy or communications work. (These are not junior roles.)
  • Excellent instincts and good ideas about what effective research-led communications in the climate space should look like.
  • A good, broad and detailed understanding of relevant scientific and policy issues in the climate and energy space.
  • The disposition to work generously with colleagues in a high-trust international community of peers, and intercultural experience.
  • The drive to be self-directed and work nimbly in the face of phone/video conferencing, timezones, slack, email, Trello, etc.
  • A commitment to an inclusive and just approach to facing climate change. It would be great if you have
  • Additional language skills.
  • Strong editorial skills and editing experience.
  • Relevant issue expertise, which might include a specialization in climate science, energy policy,corporate analysis, or a range of other topics.
  • Research contacts and expertise tailored to particular regions or issues.
  • Strong skills in one or more of these areas: infographic design, polling, data journalism.
  • Amazing things we didn’t think of yet.

What we can offer you

  • The unique opportunity to work as part of a highly dynamic, international group of individuals who combine their passion to make a difference with ambition and a rigorous and results-oriented approach to work;
  • The chance to research across a broad range of climate and energy issues, and to create impactful research products used in different countries;
  • A flexible work environment where you can develop and challenge yourself;
  • A full-time position for one year, with a possible renewal – flexible working hours are negotiable.


The location for this role is flexible, with an international scope. We are seeking to build a team that has strong geographic diversity. The role is compatible with remote working, and depending on location, there may be the possibility of colocation with colleagues. We will not support relocation.

Start Date

As soon as possible.

How to apply

Note that we also have another similar position currently open for a Research Associate, Strategic Communications – Climate & Land Use. We suggest you check both roles before applying. Please send a CV and a cover letter outlining why you think you are a good fit for this role, with reference to past experience.

Please also include a short (<200 word) answer to this research question:

Highlight a piece of analysis, research work or report from the climate and energy space that you think has been effective in supporting impactful communications work, and briefly explain why.

Please send your application as one PDF to the following email address:

Please, indicate “Research Associate – Climate/energy” in the subject line. Telephone calls will not be forwarded to the recruitment team. Due to the high number of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Early applications are encouraged, we may appoint as early as January 2019 if the right candidate is found. All applications will be treated confidentially. We will store your information in our internal database unless you specifically request otherwise.

For more information on the ECF please visit