The Cascade Institute is based at Royal Roads University and acknowledges that our headquarters are located on the traditional lands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lekwungen (Songhees) nations. We recognize that their ancestors and peoples have lived on these lands for thousands of years. It is with gratitude that we now learn, work, and conduct research on these Lands. We also recognize that beyond the land acknowledgment, we all play a role in transforming our relationships, communities and our world.


The Fellow, Energy Systems Transformation will contribute cutting-edge research and analysis to the Cascade Institute’s Energy Systems Transformation team. The role is a two-year limited term position with the possibility of renewal depending on performance and funding. The start date for the position is March 15 - May 1, 2024. Special consideration will be given to applicants who are able to work at least three days per week at the Cascade Institute office on Royal Roads University campus—however, hybrid and remote working arrangements may be considered.

The Fellow will apply their expertise and analytical/methodological toolkit to two main areas (demonstrated expertise in at least one area is required – plus interest in the other):

  • The scale-up and acceleration of local-level energy system innovations (technological, institutional, and worldview) to the regional/national/global level
  • The political and regulatory environment around geothermal energy systems in Canada (specifically, ultradeep geothermal systems)

Primary Position Outcomes

Development of research and analysis products

  • Works both independently and with other members of the research team(s) to collect data, conduct cutting-edge analysis, and write high-quality deliverables (academic and non-academic papers, reports, briefings, system mapping tools)
  • Collaborates with other members of their research team(s) to scan the knowledge frontier for high-impact research and analysis opportunities
  • Contributes to the development and execution of new strategies and projects in collaboration with the research team(s)
  • Builds new, and expands current, national and international networks of experts and changemakers to shape and sometimes co-develop research and analysis

Knowledge mobilization

  • Collaborates with other members of their research team(s), as well as the communications team to mobilize knowledge, findings, and recommendations to maximize their impact

Teamwork and project management

  • Provides regular progress updates to the Research Director, project team, and various advisory teams/boards
  • Contributes to the tracking of project evaluation metrics and helps to fulfill project reporting requirements
  • Integrates inclusion, diversity and accessibility in processes, activities and resources

About the Energy Systems Transformation team

The Cascade Institute’s Energy Systems Transformation (EST) team conducts applied research and analysis to accelerate the energy transition. Their work seeks to harness non-linear change in technological and social systems to produce new solutions. Using tools to measure and map worldviews and policy preferences, EST team members identify and investigate potential technological and social innovations capable of catalyzing energy system transformation at a rate and scale commensurate with the urgency and magnitude of the climate crisis. The EST team pursues new research pathways, analyzes emerging data, and provides timely advice to frontline actors including policymakers, financial actors, and activists. This work explores the technological, institutional, and worldview components of energy systems to effectively guide R&D, investment, and implementation of key energy technologies.

The EST team is a part of Accelerating Community Energy Transformation (ACET) (supported by the Canada First Excellence Research Fund)a research collaboration with the University of Victoria, Yukon University, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, and the University of British Columbia helping communities achieve their unique clean-energy systems goals.

About Cascade Institute Fellows

Cascade Institute Fellows are researchers and knowledge mobilizers with highly specialized expertise on complex systems and the topics related to the Institute’s evolving research program. Fellows are members of one or more of the Institute’s research teams and work both independently and collaboratively with other team members to produce cutting-edge research and analysis products. Fellows scan the knowledge frontier to identify high-impact research opportunities. Working within intellectually diverse teams, Fellows develop new, and expand current, national and international networks of experts and changemakers.

Required qualifications

  • A doctorate in the social or natural sciences or equivalent expertise and experience
  • Demonstrated expertise (e.g., writing, publications, other research/analysis outputs) in either:
    • The scale-up and acceleration of energy system innovations (technological, institutional, worldview)
    • The political and regulatory environment around geothermal energy systems in Canada (specifically, “ultradeep” geothermal systems)
  • Demonstrated expertise in the dynamics of complex systems (e.g., writing, publications, other research/analysis outputs)
  • Experience working on collaborative/team projects
  • Experience working on interdisciplinary projects
  • Demonstrated ability to write with exceptional analytical clarity
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively tailor outputs for different types of readers
  • Experience communicating research/analysis findings beyond journal articles and academic conferences
  • Demonstrated ability to present research/analysis findings orally in a clear and compelling manner—and to engage critically and constructively with other experts in a meeting/workshop/webinar setting
  • Demonstrated ability to build broad networks of other experts and practitioners
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage networks to improve the quality of research/analysis outputs and maximize the impact of knowledge mobilization

Preferred qualifications

  • 2+ years relevant work experience post-PhD
  • Experience working at a research institute, think tank, or research-focused NGO
  • Experience managing complex projects
  • Experience using formal expert elicitation methods
  • Experience using horizon scanning/scenario planning methods
Additional Information
This is a temporary (2 year), full-time position working 37.5 hours per week, with possibility for extension depending on funding. The salary is $90,000 per annum. The Cascade Institute is a non-profit charitable organization but its employees are hired by Royal Roads University. Royal Roads University is pleased to offer a comprehensive benefits package.
While the Cascade Institute values all applications we receive, only those candidates shortlisted for further consideration will be contacted. International candidates are encouraged to apply. However, an international candidate can only be hired in the absence of a qualified candidate with Canadian citizenship, permanent residency, or a valid work permit.
If you require any form of accommodation throughout the recruitment process, please contact us directly at [email protected] attention: Lorisha Bühler or 250-391-2600 extension 4408 so we can offer you individualized assistance and ensure equity in our recruitment and hiring process.