Undergraduate Research Assistant Positions with Environmental Frontiers Campus

Opportunity Description

The Environmental Frontiers Initiative invites applications for EFCampus Research Assistants beginning Summer Quarter 2024. EFCampus brings together students, faculty, and staff to collaboratively explore and implement sustainability practices on campus. It is a unique, educational research opportunity forstudents interested in environmental issues and broader climate change goals.

Research assistant positions are full-time roles over Summer Quarter, June 10 to August 16, and are paid $16/hour. This is a hybrid opportunity, with an expectation of working 2-3 days per week in the office and the option to work remotely the remaining days. RA positions may have the opportunity to extend into the 2024-2025 academic year, which will be determined upon completion of summer work.



Primary Responsibilities

EFCampus student research assistant positions are full-time for the 10 weeks of Summer Quarter 2024, with potential to extend into the 2024-2025 academic year on a part-time basis. Undergraduate RA’s will work in teams on structured projects identified by the Office of Facilities Services, faculty, and staff, with mentorship provided by a graduate student lead. Student work will align with the goals outlined in the University’s broader Sustainability Plan, including a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the University operations by 2030. The projects for Summer 2024 have not been finalized yet, but current EFCampus projects include: 1) Lab Building Energy Analysis and Design, and 2) Business Air Travel Emissions Analysis with Booth. You can review past projects on our program page to get a general sense of the type of research involved. We are also planning to pilot a project extending into neighboring communities this summer.

Student teams will meet regularly with the EF Graduate Student mentor, who will ensure that communication across units keeps all partners abreast of student work and any issues arising with campus data collection and dissemination. Undergraduate RA tasks will include: quantitative analysis; best practices research; gathering stakeholder input; identifying optimal sustainability interventions; documenting project progress; and presenting key findings to EFCampus faculty and staff.


Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be current undergraduate students at the University of Chicago in Summer 2024. Students who graduate in June 2024 are not eligible.

Preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated ability in/knowledge of some or all of the following:

  • Environmental issues/challenges, including energy systems
  • Data visualization and management
  • Community outreach and surveying
  • Coding, programming, and/or statistics
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Professionalism, reliability, and ability to work as part of a team



About Environmental Frontiers Campus

EFCampus is the campus-based component of the Environmental Frontiers initiative, enabling students to use campus data, operational systems, and community behaviors as a case study for understanding a path to a more sustainable future, on campus and beyond. EFCampus provides undergraduate students opportunities to advance research on applied projects that explore campus sustainability, with an eye toward transferable knowledge to inform strategies in neighborhoods and whole urban areas. These data-driven projects will analyze campus data, engaging students in using rigorous quantitative methods to understand campus energy use and opportunities to increase efficiency. Working closely with faculty and staff from Facilities Services, students will think critically about what the data suggests are the most effective interventions to create energy-savings and reduce unnecessary consumption.

Environmental Frontiers is a partnership between the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, the Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization (CEGU), the Center for Robust Decision-making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP), and the Offices of Facilities Services and Campus Planning + Sustainability at the University of Chicago.


Applications are closed

Applications are currently closed. For questions about the program, please contact Emily Padston at padston@uchicago.edu