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Senior Research Associate

The deadline for applications is 29 May 2018

Senior Research Associate

Financing Sustainable Infrastructure

Salary: £39,992 – 50,618

Vacancy reference number EN15258

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). CISL is a globally influential institute within the University of Cambridge, which focuses on developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy.  

The Senior Researcher Associate, with a focus on Financing Sustainable Infrastructure, will help to support and maintain CISL’s national and international reputation as a thought leader in sustainability leadership. The role holders’ contribution to excellence in research will be at the level of an experienced and skilled researcher, demonstrating a high level of competence and an independent standing in research.

Based in CISL’s Cambridge office, the role holder will be responsible for conducting academic and applied research as well as coordinating with CISL’s external stakeholders on financing of sustainable infrastructure. Specifically The role holder will be responsible for leading CISL’s contribution to the FutureDams project. This will include:

  • all administrative responsibilities;
  • undertaking academic and applied research;
  • delivering the key academic outputs;
  • coordinating with CISL’s external (finance sector) stakeholders on applied outputs;

The roles responsibilities split between 40% research, 20% dissemination, and 40% project administration.

The FutureDams project will explore how global capital flows (i.e. public and private capital) 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 stream 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.

2. Identify best practices promoting the financing of such infrastructure

This stream 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 for this stream will include an academic conference paper and a business primer toolkit outlining the finance landscape of dams.

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

More specifically, it would look to understand how best-in-class modelling can integrate public/private finance into the dam development process as well as which metrics would improve communication between investors and ‘clients’ and attract private finance over short- to long- term time frames. This stream would involve organising a series of stakeholder roundtables to understand the relevant metrics and result in 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. CISL is an equal opportunities employer and candidates from all backgrounds and predispositions are encouraged to apply. Informal enquiries sent to the CISL Human Resources team at

To submit an application, please click on the link in the 'Apply online' section of the advert published on the University's Job Opportunities pages (Research):

This will take you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you do not have an existing account) and log in before completing the online application form.

Click here to download further details

The deadline for applications is 29 May 2018

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