Job: Postdoctoral Opportunity: Idealized energy system modeling for a net-zero emission energy system

Department: DGE – Global Ecology

Salary: Competitive

Location: Stanford, California

Carnegie Institution Science Department of Global Ecology (DGE) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at its Stanford Campus. Founded in 2002, scientists at DGE conduct basic and applied research into the interactions among the Earth’s ecosystems and people. The Carnegie Institution has a deep commitment to scientific excellence and diversity;  we strongly encourage applications from candidates who will enrich and foster a culturally diverse and inclusive environment. 

Selected fellow(s) will join a highly collaborative and productive team of scientists aimed at developing information that can help facilitate a transition to a net-zero emission energy system. This work will be performed under the guidance of Dr. Ken Caldeira, a Senior Scientist with Breakthrough Energy and Senior Scientist (Emeritus) with Carnegie Institution for Science.

Our research focuses on performing idealized modeling studies (e.g., macro-energy, integrated-assessment, climate and carbon-cycle modeling) to address climate and energy challenges. Examples of recent research of the type for this position include: analyses of storage needs in decarbonized electricity systems, potential for global electricity grids, and potential roles for hydrogen as an electrofuel. We are are also interested in questions such as the relative value of firm vs. variable generation, and the relationship between storage amount and reliability in statistically described generation and demand time-series.

Postdoctoral Fellows typically lead projects and help out on other projects; peer-reviewed publication of results in high-quality journals is the norm. We want to hire people who see helping the group be successful as a key element in their own success strategy.

Postdoctoral Fellows at DGE have access to valuable research resources to launch successful scientific careers in academia and industry. Research resources include technical support staff, research equipment, and computing/IT resources. Opportunities to partner with other DGE scientists may also be available depending on Fellow(s)’ interests. DGE seeks to provide a culture of mentoring and professional development for all postdoctoral scientists; funding is available for travel to scientific conferences; additional professional development/training programs are offered internally.

Multiple positions are available with flexible start dates to begin within 18 months of this posting. Initial appointments are for 1 year, with possible renewal up to 4 years. Carnegie offers competitive salary and comprehensive benefits, including additional benefits to support employees during the COVID-19 outbreak . In addition, a budget is available to partially reimburse relocation expenses for successful candidates and their immediate families.


  • Work closely and collaboratively with other scientists to design, implement, analyze and summarize innovative research on net-zero emission energy technologies;
  • Publish results in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals; 
  • Present results at conferences and seminars. 

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in any scientific or engineering discipline with a grounding in the physical sciences or engineering;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Evidence of ability to work independently and in teams;
  • Commitment to a collegial and inclusive workplace. 

In light of the current pandemic and associated travel restrictions, we are open to creative solutions for broad participation. Our scientists’ safety is of utmost importance at Carnegie; opportunities for remote work during the pandemic will be available to all Fellows. 

Informal inquiries and questions about these positions should be directed to Ken Caldeira (e-mail: Applications will only be considered when submitted through our application portal (see blue bar below). Applicants are required to submit a cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information of at least three professional references. 

Carnegie is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration of employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status or any other characteristics protected by law. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse research community and we encourage applications by members of all underrepresented groups.