- Behavioral Research Scientist, NJ, USA

Behavioral Research Scientist
Climate Central

Location: USA – Princeton, NJ


Climate Central’s Behavioral Science and Assessment team is looking for a behavioral scientist to take part in conducting research and overseeing our organizational assessment efforts. The Behavioral Research Scientist will develop and implement research studies pertaining to climate change communication, public responses, and behavior. This position will also take on a leadership role in developing and overseeing our nascent assessment efforts, including identifying metrics and processes that the organization will use to measure its success, and ensure that our internal assessment efforts and data are of the highest quality.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Develop, implement, analyze, and publish behavioral science research projects
  • Oversee obtaining IRB approval, recruiting participants, and collection of data
  • Participate in research meetings, discussions of theory and development of research questions, background research, design and methodology, and analysis
  • Participate in preparing and publishing research articles

Assessment Responsibilities:

  • Oversee Climate Central’s organization-wide assessment efforts
  • Work with programmatic teams to establish clear, quantifiable goals and metrics that meaningfully align with their theories of change, and update these on a continuing basis
  • Develop systems and processes to establish, expand and, where possible, automate collection of relevant program assessment data
  • Track and analyze metrics for programs across the organization on an ongoing basis, with an emphasis on media tracking
  • Conduct user testing of materials for programs across the organization


  • PhD in a communications-relevant behavioral science field, or an advanced degree with demonstrated applied research experience
  • Quantitative research experience is required, including design, implementation, and analysis of research studies; qualitative research experience a plus
  • Data analysis skills, including fluent knowledge of a statistical package
  • Excellent academic and professional writing skills
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills
  • Flexibility, entrepreneurship, and capacity to learn new skills critically important.
  • Commitment and dedication to working on climate change issues at the intersection of science and public communication

About Climate Central:

Climate Central is a growing, non-profit organization of scientists and communicators with an entrepreneurial atmosphere, whose mission is to convey the science, impacts, and solutions to climate change. We are dedicated to delivering strong, clear, fact-based messages and scientifically founded content on climate change and energy through innovative programs and messengers to a broad, general audience and to decision-makers across the political spectrum. Climate Central is not an advocacy organization and does not lobby or support any specific legislation, policy or bill.

About the Behavioral Science and Assessment team:

The Behavioral Science and Assessment team seeks to bolster the effectiveness of the organization’s programs by utilizing cutting edge behavioral science and centralizing program evaluation functions. The team produces applied social science research not only for the organization itself, but also to advance the state of knowledge about the psychology of climate communications for the broader community. The team has a three-fold function in the organization. We undertake social science research in collaborations and partnerships with leading academics and research organizations, and communications groups. Current and recent partnerships include a large, multidisciplinary research program with the National Academies of Science and the Carnegie Mellon University on the roots of skepticism of mainstream science; a collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund focused on communicating extreme weather attribution; and a project with the Skoll Global Threat Fund’s Risk Engagement Project focused on climate message framing. These endeavors seek to expand our understanding of psychological dynamics of skepticism and engagement with climate change beyond the domain of specific applied programs to better serve the community as a whole. On a day-to-day level, the team acts as a crosscutting support unit across the organization, working on multiple research projects with each of the programmatic teams. We ensure that all of Climate Central’s programming is cognizant of behaviorally informed best practices. As an extension of this mandate, we also run smaller tests and experiments focused on tactical questions – such as user experience tests and user surveys – to improve the quality of our offerings and increase use of, and engagement with, our materials. In addition, the team is developing capacity for centralized tracking of program metrics and progress towards goals. Currently, program evaluation is handled separately by each of the programmatic teams within the organization. The Behavioral Research Scientist will expand on and integrate these efforts, with an eye toward additional research opportunities, and will assume overall responsibility for the timely reporting and communication of metrics to the programmatic and development teams. In addition, we have begun an exciting innovative project focused on social media analysis, which is opening a host of research and application possibilities.

Summary of Responsibilities of the Behavioral Science and Assessment Team:

1. Plan, design, and implement large scale climate communication research projects informed by the behavioral sciences.
2. Engage in research partnerships with other communications organizations and academic researchers.
3. Work with programmatic teams to identify opportunities for improving products with insights from behavioral science.
4. Run internal experiments pertaining to usability, message testing, and effectiveness.
5. Oversee assessments efforts through the selection and collection of program metrics and evaluation of performance.

Location: This is a full-time position based at Climate Central’s Princeton, NJ office. However, there may be some flexibility in the location and applicants who cannot relocate to Princeton should apply (please explain your situation in the cover letter).

Compensation: Climate Central offers a very competitive salary that is commensurate with experience, an excellent benefits package, and a rewarding work environment.

How to Apply: Please submit a cover letter and CV/resume via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and reference the Behavioral Research Scientist Position in the subject line.

Deadline: Review of applications will begin May 22nd, 2017 and will close when a candidate is recruited to fill the position.

Diversity: Climate Central strongly encourages diverse candidates to apply. We are an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and as such do not discriminate against any applicant for employment or employee on the basis of race, color, religious creed, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable discrimination laws.

To Apply

Apply online
here http://www.climatecentral.org/what-we-do/jobs#giving
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Posted on 12 July 2017
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