Location: Bogota, Colombia

Application deadline: 10 July 2020


Join the SEI Latin America Centre and be part of the continued development of our Institute’s presence in this dynamic region. For many years, SEI staff from around the world managed project engagements in the region working in thematic areas as diverse as air quality, environmental governance, trade in agricultural commodities, energy systems, and water management. Since January 2018, with the full commitment of its Board of Directors, SEI has implemented policy focused sustainable development research from a permanent base in Latin America. Current staffing levels include 15 colleagues conducting policy research on water management, Agenda 2030 implementation, just transitions away from fossil fuel production and consumption, and the development of sustainable and equitable bioresource based economic development efforts. We seek to continue building a team of talented and committed environmental and development professionals to generate further growth within and greater impact by our center.


We are recruiting a Research Associate to work on projects related to including environmental sustainability and social equality objectives within emerging bioresource-based economic developing initiatives. In the Colombian context these include Green Growth and Circular Economy Policy Initiatives, although similar policy initiatives exist in other Latin America countries. Within the broader SEI, this work will align with the Institute’s own Governing Bioeconomy Transitions Initiative. Given the timeliness of this work in terms of ongoing sustainable development planning in Colombia and Latin America, pursuing this work from a base in SEI’s growing office in Bogota is compelling. If you agree, this opportunity might be for you!


Your main responsibilities

  • Contributing new and unique research and analysis capacities to SEI’s global team implementing research and policy engagement on efforts to promote bioeconomies based on the sustainable and equitable use of bioresources as engines for economic development.
  • Contribute to providing the Latin American perspective within the global SEI bioeconomy team as part of the development of new internal research initiatives and externally funded projects.
  • Implement assigned tasks within internal research initiatives and externally funded projects related to sustainable and equitable use of bioresources and engines for economic development, in Latin America primarily but potentially in other regions of the world where SEI works.
  • Contribute to developing and implementing new and independent research and analysis related to promoting sustainable and equitable use of bioresources as engines for economic development to guide decision-making and investment related to the bioeconomy in Colombia, and perhaps in other countries in Latin America.
  • Work with and inspire other staff within the SEI-Latin America Centre working on internal research initiatives and externally funded projects related to sustainable and equitable use of bioresources as engines for economic development.
  • Contribute consistently to a culture of innovation, collegiality, and productivity within the SEI-Latin America Centre.
  • The Research Associate will report to the Bioeconomy Line of Inquiry Lead Researcher within the SEI Latin America Centre.


Who you are

We are looking for a colleague who has a broad understanding of policy initiatives and commercial practices related to the development of bioeconomies in Colombia, and preferably across Latin America. Our particular interest is in someone with good understanding of the three pillars of sustainably managing natural resources: society, environment and economy, and the important role of governance in their achievement. This understanding can be associated either with academic work carried out on the topic or with direct participation in the formulation and implementation of the policy and/or commercial strategies related to bioresource based economic development in Latin America. While the successful candidate will have a deep understanding of public policy and commercial activity related to bioresource based economic development, we expect that this person will recognize that transitions towards the new patterns of economic activity need to be both environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.


In addition to the professional profile presented above, you will possess the following qualifications:

  • A passion for pursing a vision for a more sustainable future for our planet.
  • A graduate degree in Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Development Studies, Geography, Agricultural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or Biological Sciences, or a related field, complemented by substantial professional experience related to bioresource based development in Colombia, or across Latin America. We define substantial professional experience as at least 5 years of bioeconomy related activity.
  • Past contributions to efforts the formulation, funding and implementation of research projects. Candidates with fund-raising experience are preferred.
  • Experience carrying out appropriate research methodologies. Leadership and management experience with research teams is desirable.
  • The ability to speak and write both Spanish and English with a high level of professional competency. The ability to speak and write Portuguese would be a plus.


How to apply

We expect to meet, interview and hire a colleague in the SEI-Latin America Centre to lead efforts related to transitions towards green growth and sustainable bioeconomy over the course of July and August 2020. As such, please submit your application no later than 10 July 2020 so that we can consider your application as we develop a short list of promising candidates. Please apply through the SEI website and include:

  • Cover letter highlighting relevant qualifications and experience
  • Curriculum vitae


About SEI

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) is an independent, international research institute founded in 1989. Its mission is to support decision-making and induce change towards sustainable development around the world by providing integrative knowledge that bridges science and policy in the field of environment and development. SEI is ranked as the most influential environment think tank in the world in the Global Go To Think Tank Report 2019, compiled by the University of Pennsylvania's Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.

SEI has about 250 employees working at research centres in seven countries around the world. Our Headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden with other centres in Estonia (SEI Tallinn); the United Kingdom (SEI York and SEI Oxford); the United States (office in Boston, Seattle and Davis); Thailand (SEI Asia Centre); and Kenya (SEI Africa Centre).



Inquiries concerning the content of the position should be directed to:

  • David Purkey, Centre Director, SEI Latin America (david.purkey@sei.org)
  • Juanita Gomez Gonzalez, Operations Manager (juanita.gomez@sei.org)

Contact person