Forest Use, Energy and Livelihoods (FUEL) Lab Postdoctoral Fellow

The Forest Use, Energy and Livelihoods (FUEL) Lab at the University Michigan/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announces one postdoctoral research opportunity, beginning January 2020 for work on an interdisciplinary team focusing on energy access and human well-being in low and middle-income countries. The postdoc will support the National Science Foundation funded Energy Poverty PIRE in Southern Africa (EPPSA), a program of work focused on understanding the dynamics of energy transitions and evaluating interventions that seek to mitigate energy poverty through use of incentives, technology or both. Interventions occur at a variety of scales (national to local) and include strategies to improve access to electricity and clean cooking.  Focal countries are Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

EPPSA has two thematic focuses (1) Population and Environment Dynamics of Energy Poverty and (2) Technology and/or Incentives for Mitigating Energy Poverty. The outcomes studied in this interdisciplinary program include socioeconomic impacts (time use, expenditures, and poverty), deforestation, particulate matter emissions and exposure, health impacts of energy transitions, and interventions to mitigate energy poverty. The postdoc will be engaged in building and analyzing study datasets by integrating Living Standards Measurement Study, Demographic and Health Survey data, and other population representative data with satellite-derived land cover-land use and other spatial and environmental data, and using the data to analyze the state of energy poverty, energy transitions, and their implications (Theme 1). Responsibilities also include engagement in impact evaluation study design, survey instrument development, and managing field teams conducting quasi-experimental evaluations of interventions in collaboration with our African partners (Theme 2). The position will also support PIRE PIs in managing the training program and fieldwork for graduate and undergraduate students from UNC-CH, NCSU and the University of Michigan. 

The successful candidate will have expertise and interests in one or more of the following areas: robust statistical inference; impact evaluation; statistical analysis of quantitative survey data (including panel data); use of matching methods; and integration of remote sensing, census, and multiple waves of sociodemographic datasets. A PhD in Economics, Applied Economics, Public Policy, Geography, other quantitative social science, or a related field is required at the time of appointment. Experience working internationally is strongly desired. Willingness to travel to Southern Africa for extended periods of time (8 to 12 weeks per year) is required.

The position is based in Ann Arbor at The University of Michigan, a leader in undergraduate and graduate education and one of the world's premiere research universities, offering rigorous academic programs, outstanding faculty, and diverse cultural and social opportunities in a stimulating intellectual environment. The School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) is a diverse collection of natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, and designers working collectively in an integrative setting at the University of Michigan. SEAS’ mission is to contribute to the protection of the Earth’s resources and the achievement of a sustainable society. The incumbent in this position would work with faculty and staff who are members of the Forest Use, Energy and Livelihoods Research Group within SEAS.