Research Director

 (via AGU)
The Aspen Institute
Flexible, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

[AGU posting says 18 May deadline, but the posting itself says 30 May]

The Aspen Global Change Institute is a non-profit research organization with a mission to further the scientific understanding of global change and Earth system science in service of society. AGCI programming includes place-based and interdisciplinary research, applications to support adaptation to and mitigation of global change, and a landmark annual series of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary technical workshops. Each program area is grounded in rigorous and actionable science, collaboration between science and society, and service to communities of research and practice. AGCI was founded in 1989 and is a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) organization that supports a network of staff and partners working to implement a mission that is international in scope yet grounded in local contexts and problem domains. We are seeking a highly innovative and entrepreneurial member of the global change research community to join our senior leadership team to craft and pursue a scientific agenda that advances AGCI’s mission.

Position Overview

The Research Director is a newly-formed position at AGCI that is charged with designing and executing a scientific research agenda, cultivating AGCI as a platform for interdisciplinary and actionable science, and gathering resources for sustained continuation of research activities. In pursuing this work, the Research Director will have wide latitude to pursue ideas and efforts that further the broadly-defined mission of the Institute. The focal areas of this agenda and its implementation are likely to be unique to the experiences and interests of the candidate, but a successful applicant will be able to clearly articulate the novelty, feasibility, and mission-alignment of their ideas and also be able to engage requisite sponsors, scientific collaborators, and partners in practical settings who can benefit from this research. It is anticipated that a successful candidate may ‘carry over’ research projects or ideas from previous professional appointments.

As a senior member of the AGCI staff, this position will play a role in guiding the scientific direction of the Institute, including several existing program areas. One aspect of this pertains to AGCI’s watershed-scale bioclimatic and ecological observation network called the integrated Roaring Fork Observation Network (Osenga et al. 2019, Water Resources Research). Another opportunity will be to help guide, participate in, and build out from AGCI’s longstanding role as a convener of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary technical workshops. These sessions have resulted in dozens of field-defining publications (e.g. see Hoffert et al., 1998, Nature ; Easterling et al. 2000, Science; Moss et al. 2013, Science) and research initiatives (e.g., see Meehl et al. 2014, Eos, Eyring et al. 2019, Nature Climate Change) and have accumulated an alumni network of more than 1800 scientists and practitioners working in diverse areas of research. Additionally, as a member of the senior leadership team the Research Director will contribute to organizational strategy, report to the Executive Director, and collaborate with the other staff to implement the organizational vision, foster donor partners, and as appropriate provide research advice for team members, projects, and sponsored programs.

To fill this role, AGCI is looking for a highly entrepreneurial, creative, curious, collaborative, and forward-thinking individual with a physical or natural science research background and strong track record of prior scientific achievement. The ideal candidate will have experience working in interdisciplinary teams and with potential users of research, as well as a proven record of writing and receiving research grants to support their work.

Specific Responsibilities

• Develop, acquire funding, and implement a 21st century global change research agenda
• Contribute to the overall leadership and strategic direction of the Institute
• Provide scientific oversight to a watershed bioclimatic monitoring network
• Elevate the scientific profile of AGCI


• PhD in physical or natural science discipline (expertise in climate, hydrology, or ecology preferred)
• Strong scientific communication skills both written and verbal, including ability to present in front of large audiences and convey complex scientific concepts to various audiences (including the public, funders, colleagues from across disciplines).
• Firm grasp of relevant data collection, management, and analysis technologies/techniques
• Demonstrated creative problem-solving abilities
• Commitment to collaboration and community building in all partnerships and programs (both internal and external)
• Demonstrated excellence in organizational, managerial, and interpersonal skills
• Desire to join and foster the growth of a dynamic nonprofit organization

Work Schedule & Compensation

Start date is flexible within the summer of 2019. AGCI will consider flexible FTEs and joint appointments (e.g., academic teaching and advising). AGCI operates a primary office in Basalt, Colorado with satellite offices as part of its institute without walls approach.
Compensation: Anticipated salary range is $90,000-120,000. Benefits include generous PTO, healthcare, IRA contributions, flexible scheduling, wellness benefits, and professional development opportunities.

To Apply

Please submit your application through ZipRecruiter. In your application, please submit a cover letter not to exceed 2 pages describing your qualifications and ideas for future research directions that align with AGCI’s mission, a CV/resume that includes a listing of research grants received, and complete the questionnaire prompted through the ZipRecruiter portal. References and additional materials may be requested at a later point.

Applications are due May 30, 2019.
Additional applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis thereafter until a suitable candidate is appointed.

The Aspen Global Change Institute is committed to providing an equal employment opportunity for all applicants and to ensuring an inclusive work environment free of discrimination and harassment. We welcome people of all identities, backgrounds, and experiences to apply. If you feel you do not meet 100% the listed qualifications but are capable of accomplishing the aims of this position, we still encourage you to apply. In the questionnaire we request you complete upon submitting your application, you will have the opportunity to share additional details about your work experience that are not reflected in a traditional resume. Our employment decisions are based on our organizational needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, family or parental status, disability, age, national origin, or any other protected status.