Research Director (Energy & Environment Lab)

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 


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About the Unit

The University of Chicago Urban Labs partners with government and non-governmental organizations to identify and rigorously evaluate the policies and programs with the greatest potential to improve human lives at scale. Urban Labs’ evidence-based approach gives policymakers and practitioners the knowledge they need to effectively achieve the greatest social good per dollar spent. The University of Chicago Energy & Environment Lab (E&E Lab) partners with agencies at the federal, state and local level to identify, rigorously evaluate, and help scale programs and policies that reduce pollution and improve environmental outcomes, while ensuring access to reliable and affordable energy. The E&E Lab applies rigorous evaluation and modeling methods, including natural and field experiments, randomized controlled trials, behavioral economics, and machine learning, to help policymakers identify and generate evidence on innovative approaches and policy solutions to their most pressing environmental and energy challenges.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The University of Chicago E&E Lab is seeking a full-time Research Director (RD) to provide scientific and intellectual leadership to the E&E Lab, and develop and support environmental policy research projects. The RD will work closely with the Executive Director and faculty Director Michael Greenstone, and collaborate with other faculty members at the University of Chicago and elsewhere, to provide scientific direction for a portfolio of applied research projects and ensure the rigor and quality of the Lab's work.


  • Work collaboratively with faculty members, practitioners and policy makers to develop and implement applied research projects.
  • Serve as scientific lead on a portfolio of applied research projects focused on energy and environmental issues, including projects incorporating tools from predictive analytics and machine learning.
  • Manage and mentor research and project staff, providing scientific direction and ensuring the rigor and quality of all work.
  • Contribute to strategic decisions about new projects and initiatives.
  • Help draft research proposals, publications, and presentations.
  • Disseminate research findings to research and practitioner/policymaker audiences.
  • Serve as a member of the E&E Lab’s senior leadership team.


  • Expertise in applied microeconomics methods and all aspects of research design.
  • Topical expertise in energy and environmental economics, including familiarity with the field literature.
  • Substantial experience in machine learning/predictive analytics strongly preferred.
  • Interest in finding and testing innovative solutions to environmental problems.

Additional Requirements​​

Education, Experience, or Certifications:


  • Ph.D. in economics or other relevant field required.


  • At least two to five years of full-time research (or consulting) experience required.
  • Experience establishing and executing a research agenda, and seeing projects through to publication, preferred.
  • Experience working with interdisciplinary research teams and policymaker stakeholders preferred.