Kendall Fellowship: Carbon Dioxide Removal Innovations

Kendall Fellowship: Carbon Dioxide Removal Innovations
Climate & Energy Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
Washington, DC, or Cambridge, MA


The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the leading science-based organization at the center of today’s most exciting and important policy debates, seeks outstanding candidates for its Kendall Science Fellows program. This two-year fellowship is open to candidates who will have completed their Ph.D. in the physical sciences, engineering, economics, or other relevant technical or multidisciplinary subject before Fall 2019. The fellow will investigate the potential for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere, along with the research agenda, policies, and funding needed to effectively, economically, and safely deploy negative emissions technologies (NETs) to help meet the carbon emissions goals (net-zero by mid-century) arising from the Paris Agreement.


The Union of Concerned Scientists is an independent national nonprofit whose scientists and engineers work to solve some of our planet’s most pressing environmental and security problems. UCS combines technical analysis and effective organizing and advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for stemming the tide of global warming, advancing clean energy and transportation policy, promoting sustainable food and agricultural policy, countering misinformation, and reducing the threat of catastrophic nuclear war.



The Kendall Fellow will work with UCS staff to develop a proposal for a two-year post-doctoral research project focused on accelerating the potential for CDR to help the US meet net-zero carbon emissions goals, and understanding the risks and barriers involved. The primary goal of the project is to inform and shape the development of a US research agenda for innovation and deployment of NETs as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by mid-century.


We anticipate this work will build on the 2018 National Academies of Science report on CDR, the 2018 IPCC Special Report on reaching 1.5C, and other related research.


As a Fellow, you could evaluate CDR options with regards to their readiness, risks and trade-offs, current and potential costs of deployment compared to other alternatives, and permanence. You may also conduct research on the potential for encouraging innovation in CDR options against current and future likely obstacles or inertia risks. As a Fellow, you’ll have opportunities to engage with science and policy leaders, and influential NGOs and academic centers.


The detailed outcomes of the fellowship will be defined during the development of the proposal but could include: a research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal; a UCS report on technology and policy issues; the development of materials for the public and opinion leaders; briefings for scientists, policy-makers, and NGOs, and UCS blogs.


Qualifications and experience

A completed Ph.D. in the physical sciences, engineering, economics, or other relevant scientific field (or a completion date of Fall 2019) is required.


You should have knowledge and experience with global carbon models, climate change mitigation pathways, economic modeling, and demonstrated understanding of the technical, environmental, societal, and/or economic feasibility and constraints of negative emissions technologies. Understanding of technology innovation & deployment is highly desirable. Skills and experience communicating complex technical and policy questions in written products and verbal presentations are also important. 


May spend extended periods at computer.  Travel expected on roughly a quarterly basis, occasionally including overnight stays.


UCS is an equal opportunity employer continually seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive.  We've adopted this commitment because we believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. We are actively seeking people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work.


About the Kendall Science Fellows Program

The Kendall Science Fellows Program was established to honor Nobel Prize winning physicist Henry Kendall who was with UCS from our beginnings and was the long-time chair of our board.  Kendall was known for his unique ability to shake up the status quo and catalyze new thinking, and UCS looks to Kendall Fellows to do the same. Priority is given to innovative and forward-looking proposals that are primarily scientific, technical, or analytic in nature but also show interest in the application of science to policy. Fellows will benefit from the opportunity to learn from the UCS approach to science and policy, and UCS will benefit from the new approaches and expertise of the Kendall Fellows.


Compensation, Hours and Location: This is a full-time, up to two-year position based in UCS’s Washington DC office. Fellowship will begin fall 2019. Kendall Fellowship salaries follow a special structure and are fixed at $72,000 for candidates with less than 3 years relevant post-Ph.D. experience and $82,000 for those with 3-8 years of post-Ph.D. experience. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. Information about UCS is available at


To Apply: Please upload a statement of interest (up to 2 pages, including relevant background and experience, a brief description of a research idea in the selected area, and explaining your interest in working with UCS), curriculum vitae, and two references. Upload materials in Word or PDF format to

 No phone calls, please.


Review of initial applications will begin December 12, 2018. Following an initial screening, top candidates will co-create a more specific fellowship proposal in coordination with UCS staff for submission to the Kendall Science Fellows Program Advisory Committee by February 1, 2017. Final decisions on the award of this competitive fellowship will be made by the end of February 2019.

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