Postdoctoral Associate - Environmental Performance Index


  • Position: Postdoctoral Associate
  • Duties: Project director of the Environmental Performance Index (
  • Academic unit: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy (
  • Location: New Haven, CT, USA
  • Qualifications: Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Quantitative Social Science, Statistics or Data Science, or a similar discipline
  • Term: Two years, Summer 2022 – Summer 2024
  • Application: Cover letter and CV
  • Deadline: Review of applications begins March 15th 2022 and continues until filled.


The Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy ( seeks a Postdoctoral Associate to serve as the project director for the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ( The position will span the Summer of 2022 to the Summer of 2024, culminating in the launch of the 2024 EPI report.

The EPI has been a flagship project of the Center for over twenty years, tracking trends in sustainability and highlighting global leaders in environmental health and ecosystem vitality. Policymakers, researchers, media outlets, and non-governmental organizations rely on the EPI’s data-driven insights to identify environmental priorities and implement more effective sustainability policies.

The Postdoctoral Associate will supervise all aspects of the 2024 EPI analyses and report by: (1) mobilizing a team of data partners, researchers, and sustainability experts; (2) engaging with environmental and health ministries in governments around the world; (3) supervising multiple environmental research streams and data analyses; and (4) overseeing the production of a high-quality report. In addition to the Postdoctoral Associates primary responsibilities as EPI director, we also seek an individual who can engage with the Center’s broader environmental policy agenda.

Essential Duties

  • Oversee all elements of the production of the 2024 EPI report, including developing innovative environmental indicators, reviewing data sources, performing statistical analyses, and communicating findings in high-quality publications.
  • Work closely with the EPI Team, including Yale faculty, student research assistants, and our partners at Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network.
  • Contact and consult data partners at other institutions, including academic research centers, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Ensure methodological rigor and scientific accuracy of the EPI through surveying the latest advances in environmental data, refining existing approaches, introducing new metrics, and engaging with sustainability thought leaders in academic and policy institutions.
  • Curate and expande a code library in support of the EPI’s environmental data analyses.
  • Coördinate day-to-day operations and administration of the EPI, including hiring and supervising student research assistants, developing and tracking budgets, and managing contracts with data partners.
  • Lead the writing of the 2024 EPI report, website, policymakers’ summary, and technical appendix.
  • Develop and implement a communication strategy for disseminating the results of the 2024 EPI, including event planning for the release, engagement with news outlets and social media, and other opportunities for presenting the project to diverse audiences.
  • Answer inquiries from international media, government officials, academic researchers, and members of civil society.
  • Work with Professor Dan Esty, other Yale faculty, and research partners to publish scientific findings and policy insights in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.
  • Otherwise support the work of the Center, including contributing to fundraising efforts and writing reports and other materials for donors.

Education & Experience

  • A Ph.D. in Environmental Science or Quantitative Social Science. Possible fields include Climate Science, Environmental Chemistry, Ecology, Sustainability, Public Health, Statistics, Data Science, Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy.
  • Experience with statistical analyses and comfort with data analysis.
  • Experience in coding using R, Python, Matlab, Stata, or a similar data-oriented language.
  • Broad knowledge of environmental science and policy, especially in the areas of climate change, biodiversity, and international sustainable development.

Skills & Abilities

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • Excellent research, writing, interpersonal, and communication skills;
  • Experience with interdisciplinary research and collaborations;
  • Demonstrated leadership and project management experience;
  • Ability to work under pressure, meet tight deadlines, and manage multiple pressing responsibilities with minimal supervision.

Schedule & Compensation

This is a full-time position for two years to run Summer 2022 – Summer 2024. The start date is flexible, but we cannot offer a deferral. The position requires working during normal business hours throughout the calendar year with occasional travel. Salary is competitive and includes a benefits package through Yale University.

Application Guidelines

  • Review of applications will begin on March 15th, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled.
  • Please email a cover letter and CV as a single PDF to
    • Letters may be addressed to Prof. Dan Esty, Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511.
    • Cover letters should address qualifications for this position rather than summaries of research and publications.
  • If invited, candidates may be asked for additional materials, including writing samples and references.
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  • Yale University
  • Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy
  • New Haven, CT, USA
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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