Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Housing

Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) seeks applications for a postdoctoral fellow for a two-year appointment to begin in Summer 2024. Since its founding in 1959, the Center has been a leader in advancing public understanding of housing issues and policy. The Center strives to improve equitable access to decent, affordable homes in thriving communities, we conduct rigorous research to advance policy and practice, and we bring together diverse stakeholders to spark new ideas for addressing housing challenges. Through teaching and fellowships, we mentor and inspire the next generation of housing leaders.

Candidates should have research interests related to housing policy, affordable or assisted housing and household energy or disasters assistance, mortgage finance, urban planning, land use regulation, home improvement markets, housing quality, residential design and construction, home energy or disaster performance or related topics in relation to global climate change. Either a focus on climate mitigation (including residential decarbonization) or climate adaptation (including hazard mitigation or residential relocation) are accepted though familiarity with the technical, programmatic, and policy scholarship design of both are ideal. The Center also will prioritize scholars with a demonstrated background and professional interest in the inequities associated with their selected areas of scholarship, including but not limited to racial and income disparities.

Potential areas of interest include:

Housing and climate mitigation (including residential decarbonization)

  • Residential energy-efficiency program effects on non-energy household outcomes
  • Weatherization and LIHEAP program use, implementation, and effects
  • IRA residential tax credit and rebate implementation
  • Energy-efficiency and renewable energy programs in assisted and public housing
  • Rental properties and “split-incentive” energy retrofit challenges
  • The effect of green buildings standards on assisted housing construction and maintenance
  • Residential utility spatial patterns
  • Residential density and land-use patterns in relation to greenhouse gas emissions

Housing and climate adaptation (including climate-related disasters and housing)

  • Household disasters assistance
  • Home buyout programs, voluntary relocation incentives, and mandatory “retreat”
  • Homeowner and disaster insurance policies
  • Property risk disclosure laws’ effectiveness
  • Residential-level structural mitigation programs and policies
  • Geographic and demographic disparities of adaptation planning and implementation
  • Climate “gentrification,” displacement, migration, and related housing market effects from climate projections
  • Non-flood and sea-level rise residential risks (e.g., wildfire, heatwaves, drought, air and water quality and access, etc.)
  • Community engagement, participation, and inclusion in climate plans and project selection
  • Housing market and affordability effects across the disaster chronology
  • Community social networks and housing design
  • Interplay between regional or community infrastructure and individual residential property

The postdoctoral fellow will split their time between conducting their own independent research and contributing to the research products of the Center, which include working papers, reports, research briefs, and other publications. Fellows receive a yearly stipend of $72,000 and will receive office space within the Center in addition to access to Harvard University staff resources.

Position Requirements:

The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in environmental sciences, architecture, civil or environmental engineering, urban planning, public policy, any of the relevant social sciences, or a related discipline at the time of the expected start of July 2024 or soon after; strong oral and written communication skills; and the ability to work as part of a team, contributing to the intellectual environment of the Center. Experience with a range of data collection and analysis tools is a plus, as is extensive familiarity with both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Application Instructions:

Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and 3 reference letters to [email protected] no later than Friday, November 3rd, 2023. Contact Dr. Carlos Martín ([email protected]) with any questions.