Circular Economy Research Lead

We want to accelerate the transition toward a circular economy with actionable insights for nations, cities and businesses. We understand that as the circular economy gains global traction, it can be difficult to know where to begin, how to align sustainability commitments with commercial ones, how to know what social impacts circular strategies might have or how to track circular progress against set goals. We offer a range of Circle Scans grounded in scientific methodologies that translate complex data on energy and material flows into tangible decisions for your country, city or business. This involves developing insights, from identifying the sectors which require circular solutions to analysing how the circular transition may impact labour markets.

Job Description

Your role in the Circle Economy team

As an experienced research lead, you will own, innovate and continuously improve the calculation methodologies and data modeling work across the organisation. While simultaneously building out the capabilities of the analysts team (of currently 2 analysts) within the organisation. On top of carrying out high quality analysis, you will help to innovate and develop new cutting-edge methodologies for understanding the impact of the circular economy. Externally you will collaborate with analysts and organisations to support this innovation process and expand the reach of our frameworks and methodologies. Internally, you will work in collaboration with analysts, researchers and project managers working across the organisation to support cities, nations and businesses understand the impact of circular strategies.

Who You Are

We are looking for a sharp and highly motivated research lead who can be the driving force behind conducting and developing cutting-edge quantitative analysis on an extremely relevant topic. You have the ability to work on both the micro and macro level, adapting your approach to the task at hand. You have experience both utilising and innovating quantitative research methods and a commitment to using analysis to drive action by decision makers.


On the content level, you have a clear understanding of and affinity with the circular economy, environmental sustainability and scientific research methods. You have a track record of applying research methods to complex social and environmental issues and eager to contribute your experience to driving the uptake of the circular economy by businesses, cities and nations.

You are practical, knowledgeable and skillful, and looking for a challenge to make an impact. You are passionate about environmental sustainability and social justice, and eager to lead a team conducting cutting-edge research, advisory and advocacy work. You want to get your hands dirty to create practical interventions to ensure a positive transition to the circular economy for work and workers.

Key Responsibilities and Duties

  • Carry out and contribute to quantitative research on the circular economy;
  • Provide coaching to and build the capacity and learning trajectories for junior analysts
  • Lead on and develop with the team a research and methodologies strategy for the organisation spanning the various quantitative approaches applied
  • Keep up to date with emerging research and methodologies in the field;
  • Work together with team Leads on the development and implementation of new and cutting-edge methodologies;
  • Contribute to publications or other written Circle Economy outputs;
  • Collect and organise stakeholder feedback and learning from projects to inform the continuous development of the methods used by the Circle Economy
  • Represent CE and present research deliverables at client and stakeholder meetings, including our internal scientific committee.

Job Requirements

Skills and Competencies


  • You have 5+ years experience in applied economics, applied econometrics, industrial ecology, environmental engineering, ecological economics, or social sciences research, or preferably a combination of the disciplines;
  • You have deep and comprehensive expertise in key methods of environmental analysis (e.g. Material Flow Analysis, Life Cycle Analysis and Input-Output Analysis)
  • You are familiar with (or willing to learn) open source programming languages and quantitative analytical tools (e.g. Python and, R, SQLStata);
  • You are a trained quantitative researcher, and are eager to further develop these skills, while directly applying and valorising the knowledge in practice with programme stakeholders;
  • You are comfortable building relationships with external partners and stakeholders;
  • You have excellent written and spoken communication skills in English;
  • You are knowledgeable and have an active interest in the circular economy, and environmental sustainability more widely, and would love to contribute your skills and knowledge to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable future;
  • You have a hands-on mentality; the success of this programme lies in its impact.
  • You have experience in the coaching and management of colleagues


  • You have numerical modelling skills
  • Experience with machine learning approaches;
  • You have experience contributing to academic or non-academic publications.

Our Culture

We are a team of 45+ driven and ambitious professionals, coming from diverse backgrounds and from more than 20 different countries, sharing the belief that the circular economy creates prosperity for all. We work in a lively and dynamic atmosphere in our open office space right in the heart of Amsterdam. At Circle Economy, we have a culture of getting things done while having fun, and apart from friendly and open team dynamics, you can expect a drink in your hand every other Friday by 4pm.

Our Values

As a team we have guiding principles that define our mindsets and are inherent in the way we work each day, especially in the way we treat each other and others. Our values are a compass to guide our culture internally and shape our impact externally, they further our greater mission and don’t impose ideology but enable ideas.

  • Focus on Impact - Time is short, boundaries set, efforts need to be focused, brave and relentless. We are actively at work to make a positive difference, bringing benefit to others, doing good and doing it well, each one of us in their own function
  • Resources Consciousness - The potential of our people is unlimited, but resources should be safeguarded. We make the most of others’ time, money, energy and spirit, with efficiency and effectiveness, without abusing these valuable resources
  • Diversity - We need it, to pursue a world of richness, where potential can be expressed to its fullest, and in complete fairness, by all. We embrace diversity, with openness, fairness, and the enthusiasm of knowing that diversity is where jewels hide
  • Safety - collaborating where vulnerability, mistakes, and even tough confrontation, are openly accepted and embraced, without compromising safe relationships, safe boundaries and a safe job
  • Collaboration - Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success: we want to be there for others, in good and bad times, working together, hand in hand, beyond role and bias, to get the work done
  • Recognition - Sometimes we have to recognise great successes, other times great efforts followed by great failures. Recognition helps us move up the line from good intentions to good results.
  • Support - Relationships, when created on the basis of respect and trust, allow us to thrive. When we are encouraged and our actions championed by another, this kind of support ensures choices and decisions are made without consequences as a condition. We foster an environment of encouragement and a trusting place to return to in more difficult moments.

What we offer you

For this role, we are offering an initial 1-year contract for 32 to 40 hours per week. We offer an awesome challenge for a passionate person that loves to learn continuously and take up responsibilities in a vibrant and talented team. Salary is competitive, keeping in mind we are a non-­profit, start­up organisation, based in Amsterdam. To apply please respond with your CV and a motivation letter at the following site:

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  • Circle Economy
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Industry Positions
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