Job Description

The MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI) seeks an experienced scholar to develop a comprehensive research portfolio on the environmental and social concerns of mineral demands for the clean energy transition. The incumbent will lead the Program on Mining and the Circular Economy, under the direction of the ESI director. They should possess a deep knowledge of environmental issues related to mining and the circular economy and have a track record of peer-reviewed publications, academic presentations, student training, and external engagement on the topic. This role will help advance the program objective of becoming a leading voice globally for responsible management of the Earth’s metals to mitigate climate change while promoting the social and environmental well-being of resource-rich regions, and of future generations.  

Research (60%)

  • Project development and completion: Initiate, formulate, direct, execute, and oversee research projects to examine environmental and social concerns of critical mineral mining in the United States and globally. Interface with internal and external collaborators to manage project deliverables.  
  • Methods, data, and protocols: Formulate and improve qualitative and quantitative methods to advance understanding of this topic, including fieldwork in mining regions in the US and internationally. Oversee the collection, analysis, and integrity of data and research protocols and procedures.  
  • Publications and presentations: Author and co-author articles resulting from research in leading journals in the field of extractive industries and sustainability, present findings at academic conferences and on-campus events, conduct peer reviews of scholarship on the topic, and develop networks of leading mining researchers on and off-campus. 
  • Program development: Serve as a key advisor to the ESI director in determining long-term strategy and financial planning/operations.  

Fundraising (20%)

  • Grant proposals: Identify fundraising opportunities and prepare and submit all components of proposals.  
  • Progress and reporting: Track project goals and accomplishments, prepare and submit periodic and final reports for grants.  
  • Communication: Communicate directly with grant-making agencies and coordinate with the ESI Director and Manager of Finance and Administration about funding.  

Training and mentorship (10%)

  • Recruit, train and supervise undergraduate and graduate research assistants. 
  • Manage the invitation and onboarding of visiting researchers, as relevant. 

External engagement (10%)

  • Oversee the program’s annual conference on environmental and social issues related to clean energy mining. 
  • Lead the development, writing, publication, and dissemination of publications oriented toward education and influencing a public and policy audience on mineral demands of the clean energy transition. 
  • Disseminate research results to the public through media interviews. 

Other duties as assigned by the PI. 



  • PhD and postdoctoral research experience required.  
  • Must have at least 4 years of related experience in a research environment. At least part of this research experience must have been focused on the environmental impacts of mining. 
  • Occasional travel will be necessary to carry out research fieldwork and dissemination of findings, both domestically and internationally.   


  • Experience interacting with the media and policymakers. 
  • Experience organizing conferences. 
  • Fieldwork experience directly in mining regions.  
  • Fluency in Spanish is desirable.  

Note: This is a two-year position.