Funds from this grant continue support for postdoctoral researchers studying energy, natural resource, and environmental economics at the Washington D.C.–based nonpartisan think tank Resources for the Future (RFF). Grant funds will support one, two-year postdoctoral researcher position in each of the next two years, and RFF will raise matching funds to support a second postdoctoral fellow each year.
The RFF program has several important strengths. First, supported postdoctoral researchers will split their time between defined projects and independent research, allowing them the opportunity to build a strong list of publications that is vital to securing a longer-term university or other research position. Second, postdoctoral researchers will have the opportunity to build and expand their professional networks in policy, academic, and private sector circles, providing them with a broader range of subsequent career opportunities. Third, researchers will be trained in valuable skills like grant writing, public speaking, presenting material to policy audiences, and event organization, all of which will be critical for advancement in their careers. Fourth, RFF will draw on a deep roster of senior in-house scholars and its extended network of affiliated university faculty to provide job placement services and career guidance. To date, the placement record for postdoctoral researchers in this program has been strong. Fifth, there are no other federally or philanthropically funded energy and environmental economics postdoctoral researcher positions of this kind, making the RFF program unique in the field.