Employment

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) is located on the Lamont Campus of Columbia University in Palisades, NY, just 20 miles north of the Morningside Campus in New York City. All positions will be based here,

Our mission is to enhance society’s capability to understand, anticipate and manage the impacts of seasonal climate fluctuations in order to improve human welfare and the environment, especially in developing countries. In this context, we undertake fundamental research that is informed and advanced with problem focused projects in South and South East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and in Latin America, partnering with appropriate experts for the problem and region.

Available Administrative positions at IRI will be posted through the Jobs at Columbia portal, under department 6010 – EIL Lamont Divisions, or department 6061 – EIM Centers and Divisions.

Available Research Positions at IRI will  be posted on RAPS,  the applications site for academic positions at Columbia University, under EIL Lamont Divisions.

All positions must be applied for online on the respective websites. The Job title will hold the link to the online application.

Current Open Positions:

Research Scientist or Senior Research Scientist

The IRI invites applications for a Research Scientist/Senior Research Scientist position, to lead the ‘Climate Services and Safety Nets’ Flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS). The position will be located at the Lamont Campus of Columbia University.

The primary responsibilities will be to: 1) Provide continuity of vision and leadership for the Flagship grant, and share responsibility for integrating Flagship research into the overall CCAFS program and into CCAFS regional programs; 2) Ensure overall Flagship coherence and deliver on the Flagship grant outcomes; 3) Provide intellectual leadership in developing the knowledge, methods, capacity, and evidence needed to design interventions that help smallholder farmers to implement climate-resilient livelihood strategies; 4) Build strong cross-regional coherence and synergies and provide expertise to ensure quality of outputs and outcomes; 4) Seek out additional sources of funding to complement the Flagship grant. Appointment will be at the RS or SRS level commensurate with experience.

Applicants must have a PhD degree in agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, agrometeorology, agronomy or another field related to agricultural and/or environmental sciences and demonstrated international standing in issues related to climate variability and change, agriculture and food security. At least six years of postdoctoral experience is required for Research Scientist or ten years for Senior Research Scientist, as well as a strong publication record.


Staff Associate (ENACTS support)

The IRI seeks a full-time Staff Associate to report to and receive overall direction from Dr. Tufa Dinku (Lead ACToday Ethiopia and ENACTS program) and providing critical support to the delivery of current and new research and application initiatives focused on the development and use of ENACTS climate information services for decision-making in different sectors, primarily in Africa.

The incumbent will be expected to work closely with a senior team comprised of project PIs, the Data Library and ENACTSTeam and IRI staff engaged across the institute. May supervise short-term research assistants and interns on preliminary data analysis and reporting. May work with partners and visiting scientists as needed. Should be prepared to travel 30% of time, mainly to Africa, Asia and South America.

General Responsibilities

  • Work with Dr. Dinku, IRI staff and partners to undertake research and deliver analysis, reports and, as appropriate, contributions to formal peer-reviewed publications in the area of climate and health and/or nutrition.
  • Lead activities with ENACTS team to research, design and document relevant climate information and decision-support tools for different sectorial applications.
  • Identify and explore opportunities for extending IRI research and applications in ENACTS/ACToday countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Coordinate and support ENACTS and other relevant capacity building activities with partner organizations.
  • Undertake climate applications research as requested. This includes undertaking specific analysis, preparing reports and, as appropriate, contributions (and leading as appropriate) formal peer-reviewed publications in the area of climate health, disasters, nutrition and food security.
  • Lead activities with IRI Data Library/ENACTS team to research, design and document relevant climate information and decision-support tools for use by relevant researchers, policy-makers and practitioners with a focus on health, nutrition and agriculture.
  • Identify and explore new opportunities for policy relevant research in the area of climate and health/nutrition and agriculture. Assist in the preparation of new grants and the reporting of current grants.
  • Support research capacity building activities with partner organizations including National Meteorological Agencies including reporting and the development of new educational materials.
  • Organizes and supports the hosting of international experts for meetings and training activities. Collaborates closely with IRIstaff on visitor logistics and university protocols.
  • Contribute to outreach materials (including web features and newsletters), as needed.
  • Develops policy briefs, flyers and targeted promotional materials, as needed.
  • Show high degree of initiative and independent judgment required within flexible parameters.

Minimum Qualifications

Master’s degree in a relevant discipline with experience in, for example, health/nutrition, food security, agriculture, meteorology/atmospheric sciences, geographical information systems, geography/climate or equivalent and five years of relevant related experience. Excellent written and oral communication skills including demonstrated ability to work with development partners internationally, to take initiative and work independently with strong attention to detail. Experience with IRI Data Library/ENACTS and working at or with National Meteorological Agencies as well as spoken French and/or Spanish is an advantage.


Associate Research Scientist (Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) Climate Prediction)

The IRI invites applications for an Associate Research Scientist position in subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) climate prediction, to be located at the Lamont Campus of Columbia University. The primary responsibilities will be to develop S2S climate prediction at regional scales, including calibrated probabilistic forecast tools and products using dynamical model output from multi-model databases, and further develop IRI’s climate research on S2S scales. Topics will include identifying features/locations/episodes of enhanced S2S predictability, and prediction of user-relevant variables such as monsoon onset date. Initial focus will be over Africa and possibly Latin America. The Associate Research Scientist is expected to actively engage in the interdisciplinary research and publications as well as fund-raising activities.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Applicants must have a PhD degree in climate, atmospheric science, statistics, or related field.
  • At least 2 years of postdoctoral experience is required, as well as a strong publication record
  • The successful candidate will have experience in S2S or seasonal forecasting research using multi-model ensembles, as well as expertise in the dynamics of variability of the coupled climate system at S2S or seasonal scales.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in scientific programming languages such as Python, R or Matlab is required.
  • Excellent communications skills, both verbal and written are essential.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with Python is preferred.
  • Conversational French and/or Spanish would be an advantage.

Associate Research Scientist (Climate and Remote Sensing)

The IRI invites applications for an Associate Research Scientist position in, Climate and Environmental Remote Sensing to be located at the Lamont Campus of Columbia University. The primary responsibilities will be (1) applied research in the development and use of climate and environmental parameters from remote sensing, (2) capacity development in the area of climate and environmental remote sensing, and (3) to further develop relevant products through externally-funded research. The Associate Research Scientist is expected to actively engage in the interdisciplinary research and publications as well as fund-raising activities.

Minimum Qualifications

  •  PhD degree in climate, atmospheric science, or related field
  • At least 2 years of postdoctoral experience as well as a strong publication record
  • Expertise in the development and application of climate and environmental remote sensing products
  • Experience in using remote sensing data and products in different applications, particularly in developing countries, as well as familiarity with GIS tools
  • Excellent communications skills, both verbal and written are essential

Staff Associate (Agriculture, Climate, Nutrition, Public administration, Public policy)

The Staff Associate will provide critical support to the delivery of current and new research and capacity-building initiatives within the IRI. Efforts will focus on the implementation of the Columbia World Project ACToday (“Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today, for Tomorrow”), with an initial focus on Ethiopia and Senegal. Work will involve interacting with IRI staff and ACToday partners to undertake research and deliver analysis, reports and, as appropriate, contributions to formal peer-reviewed publications in the area of climate, agriculture, food security and nutrition. An important part of the position will be to coordinate and support ACToday research and capacity-building activities with partner organizations in relevant countries.

  • Assist research in climate and food/nutrient security. This includes gathering data, performing specific analysis, preparing reports and contributing to (and leading as appropriate) formal peer-reviewed publications in the nexus of climate – agriculture – food security – nutrition.
  • Facilitate, develop materials for, and participate in research and capacity building meetings, workshops and trainings, involving in-region travel, primarily in Africa and coordination with partners and stakeholders.  
  • Present on ACToday project activities and progress at meetings and other engagements, speak/respond on behalf of the country team in discussions with partners, and steer project activities forward when the Country Lead becomes unavailable.
  • Communicate effectively with the country team and project management team about ongoing activities and goals. Identify information required for the management, planning and implementation of the project and communicate this with the Country Lead.
  • Coordinate and contribute to preparing project reports and outreach materials (including web features and newsletters), as needed. Develop policy briefs, flyers and targeted promotional materials, as needed.

The Staff Associate will receive general supervision and direction from the Senior Staff Associate. Will exercise independent judgement and initiative within parameters specified by the Senior Staff Associate.

The incumbent will be expected to work closely with a senior team comprised of the ACToday project PIs, country leads, the Data Library Team and IRI staff engaged across the institute as well as with multiple partners in the two focus countries. May guide short-term research assistants on preliminary data analysis and reporting.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, climate, nutrition, public administration, public policy or a related discipline and four years of relevant experience; or a Master’s degree in agriculture, climate, nutrition, public administration, public policy or a related discipline and two years of relevant experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and demonstrated ability to work with development partners internationally.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently with strong attention to detail.
  • Must be able to travel up to thirty percent of the time.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Fluency in both English and French is preferred.

Staff Associate (International affairs, Public administration, Policy, Law, Business and Management)

The Staff Associate will provide critical support to the delivery of current and new research and capacity-building initiatives focused on the implementation of the Columbia World Project ACToday (“Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today, for Tomorrow”), with an initial focus on efforts in Colombia and Guatemala. Work will involve interacting with IRI staff and ACToday partners to undertake research and deliver analysis, reports and, as appropriate, contributions to formal peer-reviewed publications in the area of climate services, agriculture, food security and nutrition. An important part of the position will be to coordinate and support ACToday research and capacity-building activities with partner organizations in relevant countries.

  • Assist with research in climate services and food/nutrient security. This includes gathering data, performing specific analysis, preparing reports and contributing to (and leading as appropriate) formal peer-reviewed publications in the nexus of climate – agriculture – food security – nutrition – institutional and climate services landscape.
  • Facilitate, develop materials for, and participate in research and capacity- building meetings, workshops and trainings, involving in-region travel, primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean, and coordination with partners and stakeholders. Present on ACToday project activities and progress at meetings and other engagements with academic/research institutes (e.g., universities) and operational (e.g., National Met Services, Ministries) partners; speak/respond on behalf of the country team in discussions with those partners; and steer project activities forward when the country lead becomes unavailable.
  • Communicate effectively with the country team and project management team about ongoing activities and goals. Identify information required for the management, planning and implementation of the project and communicate this with the country lead.
  • Coordinate and contribute to preparing project reports and outreach materials (including web features and newsletters), as needed. Develop policy briefs, flyers and targeted promotional materials, as needed.

General supervision and direction by Associate Research Scientist. Will exercise independent judgment within parameters defined by the Associate Research Scientist.

The incumbent will be expected to work closely with a senior team comprised of the ACToday project PIs, country leads, the Climate Group, the Regional and Sectoral Research Group, the Data Library Team and IRI staff engaged across the institute as well as with multiple partners in the two focus countries. May guide short-term student interns from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Climate and Society Master’s Program on preliminary data analysis and reporting.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in international affairs, public administration, policy, law, business and management or related social science disciplines, and at least two years of relevant experience. Or Bachelor’s degree in international affairs, public administration, policy, law, business and management or related social science disciplines, and four years of relevant experience.
  • Previous work in climate services, and in agriculture and/or food security is required.
  • The candidate is required to have excellent written and oral communication skills in both English and Spanish
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an interdisciplinary team, and with development partners internationally.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently with strong attention to detail and coordinated efforts.
  • Must be able to travel up to thirty percent of the time.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of network analysis techniques, value chains, climate services for agriculture/food security/nutrition is strongly preferred..
  • Demonstrated capacity to contribute to research in the nexus of stakeholders, legislation, climate services and nutrition strongly preferred.

Staff Associate (Data Library Team)

The successful candidate will join the Data Library team at the IRI to support, maintain, develop and use the Data Library to accomplish the objectives of IRI projects and the mission of the institution.

General Responsibilities

  • The acquisition, development, and maintenance of climate-related datasets and associated metadata to be served through the IRI Data Library. This includes working with IRI research scientists and providing assistance with datasets and climate forecast model output and the production of climate-related analyses to meet project objectives, typically using the Data Library programming language (ingrid). Ingrid is based on postscript.
  • The candidate will also work collaboratively with project scientists and international and domestic research partners from a variety of disciplines, such as health, food security, agriculture, and natural hazards, to develop specialized “Maproom” analyses and online products and tools based upon Data Library functionality.
  • Develop specialized point and click web pages (maprooms) for dataset visualization and analysis. These will be web pages that include JavaScript, html, and xml coding to provide the user with menu and visualization options for datasets and analyses.
  • Respond to dataset-related questions from users and researchers. This will include recommending specific datasets for research topics and providing algorithms for optimized access to datasets through the Data Library.
  • Research and understand the strengths and weaknesses of particular climate-related datasets. Determine which climate datasets are most suitable for climate analysis in different parts of the world. Analyze the spatial and temporal resolution needed in a dataset for particular analyses.

Minimum Qualifications

  • B.S. Degree in meteorology, oceanography, atmospheric physics, mathematics, or geophysics and 4 years experience OR a M.S. degree with 2 years experiences

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience with computer programming, scripting, and geospatial data analysis in the area of climate science in a Unix/Linux operating system environment.
  • Familiarity with the output from climate forecast models.
  • Familiarity with data formats commonly used in climate science, such as netCDF, HDF, and GRIB/GRIB2, and related tools.
  • Strong writing and communication skills in English.