University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Senior Research Associate (Fixed Term)

This new and exciting full time 2-year research role will work closely with the Research Director for Sustainable Finance and Executive Director for Sustainable Economy within the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

The Senior Researcher Associate will support and maintain CISL's national and international reputation as a thought leader in sustainability leadership. Based in Cambridge, the role holder will be responsible for conducting academic and applied research and coordinating with CISL's external stakeholders on financing of sustainable infrastructure. Specifically, they will lead CISL's contribution to the FutureDams project. This will include all administrative responsibilities, undertaking academic and applied research, delivering key academic outputs and coordinating with CISL's external (finance sector) stakeholders on applied outputs. Responsibilities split between 40% research, 20% dissemination, and 40% project administration.

The FutureDams project will explore how global capital flows can influence the emergence of more sustainable dam infrastructure. The role holder will be responsible for three streams of activities:

  1. Conduct a review of risks and opportunities of financing sustainable infrastructure

This will involve mapping of the interest groups currently engaged in public and private financing of sustainable infrastructure with the spotlight on dams. Delivering an academic summary of financial frameworks inherent in financing sustainable infrastructure, and a practitioner summary of financial instruments and risks of financing sustainable dams.

  1. Identify best practices promoting the financing of such infrastructure

This will involve coordinating and delivering a series of roundtables to initiate dialogue between a range of stakeholders on the strategies and methodologies for decreasing the cost of capital. The deliverables will include an academic conference paper and a business primer toolkit outlining the finance landscape of dams.

  1. Identify how metrics can align financing instruments with sustainable infrastructure

More specifically understanding how best-in-class modelling can integrate public/private finance into the dam development process, and which metrics would improve communication between investors and 'clients' and attract private finance over short- to long- term time frames. This involves organising a series of stakeholder roundtables to understand the relevant metrics and delivering an academic paper on directing capital into sustainable infrastructure, spotlight on dams.

Applicants must be committed to the values that underpin CISL's work and demonstrate the following essential skills and experience:

  • Holds a PhD in a relevant specialist subject
  • At least three years of postdoctoral research experience at the level of Research Associate, or equivalent experience
  • Possess sufficient breadth/depth of specialist knowledge in financing sustainable infrastructure and of research methods and techniques to develop research objectives, projects and proposals
  • Willing to continually update knowledge in the specialist area and engage in continuing professional development
  • Experience working with academics, business leaders, policy bodies, government, and/or non-profit sector partners
  • Experience of managing own workload, with the ability to work in a team, under supervision, as well as independently
  • Strong administrative skills to manage project/s including financial management
  • Strong communication and networking skills, with an ability and willingness to travel to project meetings and dissemination activities
  • Fluent in written and spoken English with a proven ability to write reports and presentations with appropriate grammar, spelling, punctuation and tone
  • Ability to generate new ideas and use own initiative

This post is full time, fixed term for 2 years and is located in Cambridge.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal enquiries may be made to the CISL Human Resources team,

Please quote reference EN15258 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online