Research Scientist/Engineer 2, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group

Posted by: Jenny Dettmann
Post Date: 2/21/2024
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: University of Washington Climate Impacts Group
Position/Title/Fund: Research Scientist/Engineer 2
Type/Term: Full-Time, Permanent
Location: Seattle, Washington
Salary: $4,649-$6,000 per month
Deadline: Open until filled

The Climate Impacts Group (CIG) seeks a full-time Research Scientist/Engineer 2 (E S UAW RSE) to support the Northwest Climate Resilience Collaborative (NCRC), our largest climate justice research program. We are looking for a candidate that can support work involving the creation of case studies and synthesis that inform broader climate justice and adaptation research practices, the development of a climate justice summer institute, and project management. We are looking for candidates with a strong social science research background and demonstrated passion and excitement for climate or environmental justice. Although this position will remain open until filled, applicant screening will begin March 25th.

The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (CIG) supports the development of climate resilience by advancing understanding of climate risks & enabling science-based action to manage those risks. Since 1995, the Climate Impacts Group has linked cutting edge scientific research with innovative approaches to community engagement to produce exceptional research products, develop strong relationships among resource managers, planners, and policy makers in the region and build regional capacity for addressing climatic variability and change. The Climate Impacts Group is a member organization of EarthLab.

EarthLab is a visionary institute that pushes boundaries to address our most pressing environmental challenges, with a focus on climate and its intersection with social justice. EarthLab does this by connecting faculty, students and researchers at the University of Washington to community collaborators in businesses, non-profits, public agencies, Tribal nations and others to co-produce actionable research that generates solutions and strategies for local and global impact. EarthLab’s vision, an equitable, just and sustainable world where people and planet thrive, supports one of the University’s biggest goals. As a Carnegie-classified Community Engagement University, the UW aspires to be the #1 university in the world as measured by impact. EarthLab is inspired by and committed to this challenge.

The College of the Environment promotes diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, staff, and public. Thus, we are strongly seeking candidates whose experiences have prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion and have given them the confidence to fully engage audiences from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. The University of Washington (UW) is located in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, with a dynamic, multicultural community of 3.7 million people and a range of ecosystems from mountains to ocean. The UW serves a diverse population of 80,000 students, faculty and staff, including 25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant students, and faculty from over 70 countries.

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem-solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion:

EarthLab and the Climate Impacts Group acknowledge the systemic racism that exists in the environmental sector and within environmentalism. We believe every member on our team enriches our diversity by bringing a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions. We are seeking candidates who are committed to creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive work environment where all voices are considered and valued.

Position Purpose:

The research scientist will contribute to a body of work that focuses on moving climate adaptation and climate justice into an implementation space. This may include the following: (1) collaborate with CIG and NCRC staff and partners to synthesize information and knowledge on and push the boundaries of participatory action and community-based research methods; (2) synthesize and contribute to understandings of climate and environmental justice in the context of a federally funded, university-based research program; (3) contribute to the development of case studies and other outputs that share lessons learned and projects of the NCRC; and (4) support the development, logistics, and project management of a climate justice summer school, among other projects.

We expect this will require (1) training or experience in social science methods and/or experience in developing case studies, literature reviews, policy analysis, and/or experience working at or with community-based/grassroots organizations; (2) familiarity with environmental and climate challenges underserved and frontline communities face; (3) the ability to work concurrently on multiple complex projects.

This position will also be responsible for project management activities, or providing other logistical support, for the projects you are involved in. This would likely include organizing and staffing meetings, note taking, workshop and conference agenda development, developing and implementing project plans, tracking and reporting timelines, report writing, etc.

While educational attainment is valued, we also encourage applications from practitioners who have worked in government, non-profits, and consulting who can bring a practical orientation to the CIG team.


Research Support [65%]

  • Apply social science research methodologies in support of CIG’s research and engagement objectives, such as literature reviews, contextual analyses, needs assessments, or developing case studies and monitoring and evaluation strategies.
  • Support NCRC Lead PI and Program Manager by applying theories of climate and environmental justice and other frameworks to synthesize research findings, and develop case studies.
  • Applying and synthesize concepts from participatory action research, public health, ethnic studies, Indigenous and decolonial research methods, urban planning and design, and/or research justice frameworks towards case studies, educational materials and curriculum.
  • Support outreach and engagement or other projects in collaboration with community, research, or other partners.
  • Work with CIG senior research staff to identify opportunities to assist existing clients to move from climate change planning to implementation.

Project Management [30%]

  • Work with CIG senior research staff to provide logistical support for projects.
  • Help coordinate collaborations with other organizations.

Grant writing and proposal development [5%]

  • Collaborate with CIG’s senior research scientists to integrate social sciences into project opportunities or proposals.
  • Write grant or proposal sections as needed.


  • Bachelor’s degree in public policy, geography, ethnic studies, public health, psychology, sociology, economics, or a related field and two years of relevant experience, OR Equivalent combination of education/experience.
  • Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
  • Experience with climate/environmental justice and/or working directly with frontline communities.
  • Experience with or deep knowledge of critical research methodologies like community-based participatory action research, Indigenous and decolonial research, co-production, or use-inspired research.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate complex scientific information in clear and concise language appropriate for diverse audiences (e.g., scientists, business people, policy makers, university students, mass media, etc.).
  • Evidence of strong logistical and organizational competency.
  • Experience with or strong knowledge of social science methods such as interviews, case study design, literature reviews, policy evaluation.


  • Master’s degree.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills and an ability to quickly adapt to new topics and challenges (e.g., research topics, institutional contexts, new methodologies or software tools).
  • Knowledge of or experience in applied climate change impacts and adaptation.
  • Strong team member/team approach.
How to Apply:

At EarthLab and the Climate Impacts Group, we focus on equity and justice in all that we do. Please submit a cover letter and include your experience, lived or professional, in the area of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The application process may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment, you will be prompted to do so the next time you your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are access ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicant screening will begin March 25, 2024.