Role Description
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Energy and Environment program is seeking a part-time Program Fellow to work 20 hours per week. The expectation is that this role will be fully remote, and the individual does not need to be based in the New York City area. This role would be ideal for an early career scholar based at an independent research organization or an individual who is currently at a university and enrolled in a post-doctoral position, in the latter stages of a doctoral program, or in a Master’s program. The individual in this role will assist the Program Director in facilitating new and existing grantmaking and serve as a key resource as the program explores new directions. This role will provide the individual with valuable practical experience and mentorship in program management, memo writing, research tracking, and creating outputs for public dissemination.

Because the individual will retain a primary appointment elsewhere, the position will be supported in the form of a contract with the individual’s primary institution. This individual will not be an employee of the Sloan Foundation. This role is temporary and will last initially for one year, with potential to extend for a second year. This role is expected to begin in early 2021.

Given the unique nature of this arrangement, the part-time Program Fellow is expected to be
highly self-motivated, a quick learner, exceptionally organized, and capable of handling assignments that have both near- and long-term deadlines. The ideal candidate will be a selfstarter and able to operate under fast-paced conditions, be adept at getting up-to-speed on new topics quickly, be comfortable with working independently in an efficient manner, and have a deep interest in exploring a wide range of topics. The individual will also need to demonstrate careful judgment while handling sensitive or confidential program information and have a high degree of integrity and humility in the service of the Foundation’s mission.
The remote, part-time Program Fellow is expected to be in regular communication with the Program Director on a daily and weekly basis, providing updates to ensure that tasks are accomplished and prioritized appropriately. Work products will receive regular feedback, with revisions expected to account for the comments provided. It is expected that time spent on this role will be relatively consistent on a daily basis, at approximately four hours per day. The Program Director will be in ongoing contact with the part-time Program Fellow’s supervisor at their home institution to coordinate this arrangement and ensure its effective implementation.

Financial Support Arrangement
Financial support covering the relevant portion of the part-time Program Fellow’s salary and benefits at their primary institution will be provided, commensurate with the individual’s experience. Funding will be provided in the form of a contract with the individual’s primary institution.

Program Background
The mission of the Sloan Foundation’s Energy and Environment Program is to inform the societal transition toward low-carbon energy systems in the United States by investigating a range of economic, environmental, technological, and distributional issues. The program looks to achieve this mission by supporting research, training, networking, and dissemination efforts that shape the direction of scholarship. It supports the investigation of under-explored questions that warrant further attention, advances collaborative and interdisciplinary research across the social and natural sciences, involves early career faculty and trains the next generation of students, links research with practice, and partners with other funders to amplify programmatic impact. The Energy and Environment program has an extensive, existing grantmaking portfolio that is expected to continue growing in the years ahead.

Major Responsibilities
This part-time Program Fellow will be involved in a range of activities that will help the Program Director manage and implement the program’s grantmaking strategy, including helping to prepare key internal documents, assisting in grant review processes, tracking key program outputs and outcomes, reviewing and synthesizing relevant research on key energy and environment topics, and potentially participating in key conferences and events within the field. Over time, the individual in this role is expected to become responsible for generating specific work products, such as establishing and managing a database that tracks program outputs or producing a program newsletter for wider public distribution. Main tasks are likely to include:

  •  Assist in internal and external grant evaluation and management
    • Assist in preparing staff and board memos for proposals under consideration
    • Assist in reviewing draft proposals
    • Assist in implementing and managing proposal review processes
  • Track grant outputs
    • Assist in reviewing grant reports
    • Help to establish and maintain a database to regularly track grant outputs
  • Conduct background research to inform program strategy
    • Read and synthesize a wide range of relevant academic and other literature to
      identify emerging areas of opportunity for the program
    • Conduct background landscape research on potential areas of programmatic focus,
      including conducting interviews and attending relevant conferences or meetings
  • Produce outputs for public dissemination
    • Prepare a newsletter that highlights recent program developments and
      accomplishments
    • Working with partners, assist in planning and organizing a major convening of the
      program’s grantees

The individual in this role will gain experience on a variety of energy and environmental issues, learn how philanthropies establish and implement program strategies, be centrally involved in facilitating grantmaking processes, and over time gain responsibility for producing specific work outputs. This experience could be valuable for numerous career trajectories within academia, non-profit organizations, government entities, or in the private sector. The Foundation maintains an emphatic commitment to all forms of diversity in its programs and among its staff, and we welcome and encourage applications from candidates from groups who are traditionally underrepresented in the social sciences or natural sciences.

Expected Candidate Qualifications
The ideal candidate for this part-time role will have familiarity with a variety of energy and environmental issues. Individuals could be in a training program (or in a similar research role) based in the social sciences, economics, public policy, interdisciplinary studies, or related fields. While a PhD or equivalent experience is preferred, individuals with an understanding of policy relevant research, an interest in program management, or who demonstrate other related skill sets are encouraged to apply. The individual is expected to demonstrate excellent writing skills, be capable of expressing complex ideas in straightforward prose, and able to offer insightful and constructive feedback on documents produced by others. Strong communication and organizational skills are required, as is a willingness to be collaborative.

Applications
Applications will be considered on an ongoing, rolling basis and should be submitted by individuals no later than Thursday, November 12, 2020. Application packets should be submitted as a single PDF file and emailed to energy@sloan.org. The file name should be “Program Fellow Application – Last Name”. Candidates are expected to be able to begin in this role in early 2021.

Application packets should include:

  1. A 1-2 page Cover Letter describing the candidates interest in the position
  2. A 1-3 CV or resume that highlights relevant qualifications and experience
  3. A 2-4 page writing sample that reflects the candidate’s writing abilities. The writing sample can be a policy memo, research brief, or similar document, and it can cover any issue related to energy and environmental issues in the United States. It can be an original piece of writing or a document excerpted or repurposed from a candidate’s relevant work.

Given the expected high volume of submissions, we will not be able to answer questions regarding the position or the application process. We will only be able to advance a small number of highly qualified candidates to the next round of consideration.