Doctoral Economics Intern, Climate Resilience

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.


We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 1,000 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.


Our culturevalues and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

Program/Department Overview

Ensuring that economics is the backbone for all EDF policy positions, the Economics Team is the nexus of economics at EDF. To be effective in this role, the Economics Team provides thought leadership and programmatic support for other EDF Mission Areas and fosters relationships with economists in academia, think tanks and international organizations.

As part of an initiative intended to further strengthen EDF’s thought leadership on environmental policy, the Economics Team hosts a Pre-Doctoral Internship Program. The Economics Team will host a PhD student in Economics during Summer 2023 to explore topical environmental policy issues, interact with experts inside and outside EDF to learn about the dimensions most relevant to policy makers, and to identify critical research gaps and opportunities. The objective is to give the PhD student an opportunity to learn what research questions are most important to policy making and to help identify a research agenda that can make a critical contribution to the policy debate.

We are looking for strong and highly motivated early program PhD students with an open mindset who are able to think comprehensively and creatively about the issues at hand. We encourage students with interests in environmental economics, climate risk management, and housing markets to apply. We would also encourage active involvement from the student’s academic supervisor (if the student already has one), who could help guide the student to maximize returns from the program, together with the senior staff in the EDF Economics Team who will be hosting the student for the summer.

Overall Function

The impacts of climate change pose myriad risks to the financial stability of housing and mortgage markets in the US. As these risks intensify, public and private institutions within these markets are deploying a range of adaptation strategies to mitigate and redistribute climate-related costs. The intern will help us to better understand the consequences of these adaptation strategies and to explore how federal policies can be designed to equitably and efficiently regulate the distribution of climate risk. The Intern will provide their expertise on the critical challenges the team is working on. The intern will report to EDF’s High Meadows Post-doctoral Fellow and work closely with the Associate Vice President of Economics and Policy Analysis

Key Responsibilities

The specific deliverables expected of the intern will be determined in conversation with the EDF host based on the intern’s previous expertise and the specifics of the topic. Responsibilities may include:

  • Connect with key Economics and other EDF staff, as well as outside experts and stakeholders to identify the most important policy issues and related research questions in the relevant space.
  • Potentially contribute to an expert workshop to hone in on the most valuable research questions.
  • Outline, together with EDF and outside experts, a research agenda for themselves and the broader research community and identify critical research questions and the methods and data needed to answer them.
  • Deliver a final presentation describing the lessons learned and the proposed research agenda.
  • Develop in more detail an approach to answer one of the questions identified in the research agenda, including what data, methods, or tools the student could use to develop a research project that continues throughout the academic year.
  • Participate in advancing EDF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.


  • Currently enrolled in a PhD program in Economics, Natural Resources, Public Policy, or closely related field, preferably in their first, second, or third year.
  • Demonstrated desire to do policy-relevant research.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work in a team setting and have the ability to work independently when projects are due.
  • Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated initiative and problem solving skills.


U.S. Remote


June 2023 – August 2023


Full-Time (35 hours per week)


This internship would involve compensation for work paid at a rate competitive with leading non-profits at $22/hr.

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their CV to the EDF application, together with a cover letter describing their interest in this program and how they envision advancing research in this topic.

Hiring Range

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.

The pay range for this role is 22 - 22 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.