General Purpose

Data-Driven Yale is seeking student research assistants to contribute a range of projects aimed to bring quantitative rigor and analysis to environmental policymaking. Research projects include measuring urban environmental performance; assessing sub-national and non-state climate action; and measuring co-benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our work has been published in high-profile academic journals, including Nature and Nature Climate Change, and has been featured in popular media, including The Economist, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Scientific American, among others.

Student research assistants (RAs) contribute to all levels of our work, from research and writing to data analysis, visualization, and design. You will work collaboratively with full-time research staff, the faculty director, other students, and external partners all around the world. Student RAs receive training in data-driven approaches to environmental policy, which can involve statistical data analysis, quantitative research, and writing for policy audiences.

Positions are available, beginning in September, for the 2018 academic year. Students are expected to work an average of 5-10 hours each week but can work up to 19 hours a week. Pay is commensurate with standard Yale student employment rates.

Background of Data-Driven Yale

Data-Driven Yale uses cutting edge data analytics to develop solutions to the world’s environmental problems. Launched in 2015, the research group is an interdisciplinary collaboration of policy experts, data scientists, visual designers, and interactive programmers at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale-NUS College, Singapore.

Requirements: Strong organizational, interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills are required, as are excellent writing skills. Must be a self-starter and independent worker.

Proven research skills strongly preferred, with a particular emphasis on scientific research and an ability to convey scientific concepts to the general public. Proficiency in another language (in particular, Spanish, French, or Mandarin) highly desirable. Pay will be at established Yale rates.

Available positions

We have a range of potential opportunities for Research Assistants to support:

Researchers/Data Analysts for Urban Environmental Performance Index

Building on our experience ranking global countries through the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), Data-Driven Yale is working to establish a similar index focused on cities. The Urban Environmental Performance Index (UEPI) will provide a much needed, data-driven approach to urban environmental management and planning. The index will rely on “third wave” data including satellite data, OpenStreetMap, and other open data sources. A pilot of the index is currently under development, and we plan to launch this analysis during the winter months. We are seeking researchers with a strong interest in urban science to assist in geospatial data management, spatial analysis, map production, and background research and writing.

Researchers/Writers for Global Climate Action Analysis

Data-Driven Yale assess the level of participation, trends, and impact of climate mitigation, adaptation and financing commitments made by cities, regions, businesses, investors, and civil society organizations. In past projects, we have partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the French Energy and Environment Management Agency (ADEME), the Groundswell of Climate Action, and the UNFCCC on this work, and our analysis has been featured in Nature, Nature Climate Change and Science. In the coming months, we will be working to develop and communicate the results of an expanded database of these climate action commitments. We are seeking researchers with a strong interest in climate policy to assist in data collection, data analysis, research, and writing. Experience or interest in climate action commitments from businesses and investors is particularly helpful.

Writers for Communications and Outreach

Are you passionate about storytelling and data-driven journalism? We are looking for strong communicators to work with our team on popular writing, blogging, social media and outreach. We have excellent relationships with reporters and major media organizations, including The Atlantic, Grist, Scientific American, among others. We’re looking for research assistants looking to build a writing portfolio to work with our team to write regular blogs, share updates via Twitter and other social media channels, update our website, and to maintain a regular newsletter.


We’re looking for computer science students who are interested in practical programming experience to assist with a range of tasks, from big data mining to development of front-end data visualizations and graphics. In the past, we’ve had programmers develop interactive infographics, high-resolution maps, and data portals, among other projects. Eager to apply your python, javascript, or other programming skills? Join our team and collaborate with our team of interdisciplinary researchers to develop your portfolio.

Graphic Designers

Environmental academics and practitioners struggle daily to communicate important ideas to a public with increasing demands on their attention. Too frequently, the important findings of the academic world go unnoticed because the text-heavy format in which academics communicate is incompatible with the increasingly visual world from which policymakers and the general public draw their ideas. We’re seeking a graphic designer to work across different projects to help solve this pressing problem, by developing infographics and data visualization tools to improve communication around environmental issues.

Candidates with proven research and design skills, with a particular emphasis on scientific research and an ability to convey scientific concepts to the general public, are encouraged to apply. Graphic design experience and knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite are required.

To apply, send a resume, cover letter, and work samples to

Download the job description here.