BFI Summer 2020 Agricultural Land and Climate Policy Graduate Student Researcher

Berkeley Food Institute Summer 2020 Agricultural Land and Climate Policy Graduate Student Researcher
(Graduate Student Researcher, Step V)

Appointment: 240 hours total, either as 6 fulltime weeks or 12 halftime weeks, between May 18–August 14, 2020.

Compensation: GSR Step V: $4,760/month fulltime ($27.36/hour, paid as monthly FTE equivalent).

Application Deadline: April 27, 2020, 5pm Pacific Time

Applicant must be a matriculated graduate student at UC Berkeley. To apply, submit the following items by email as a single pdf to with the subject line “Summer 2020 Policy GSR”

  1. Cover letter
  2. Résumé
  3. Contact information for 2 professional and/or academic references

About the Berkeley Food Institute:

The Berkeley Food Institute (BFI) at the University of California, Berkeley strives to transform food systems to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. We empower new leaders with capacities to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems. We pursue our mission through interdisciplinary programs in education, community engagement, research, and policy.

About the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment:

The Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) at the University of California, Berkeley works with government, business, and the nonprofit sector to help solve urgent problems that require innovative and often interdisciplinary approaches. Drawing on the combined expertise of faculty, staff, and students across UC Berkeley, CLEE translates empirical findings into smart public policy solutions that better our environmental and energy governance systems.

About the Position:

BFI and CLEE are evaluating how an accelerated switch to regenerative agriculture and increased carbon sequestration can be financed, and the connection between those strategies and land use policy and land ownership. For example, can we use a mechanism similar to a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to improve financing? What are other mechanisms? We are seeking a summer graduate student researcher with knowledge of climate change policy, farming, land use policy, finance, or other related fields. This person will be responsible for helping to prepare for and notetaking during an invitation-only virtual roundtable of experts to be held in June 2020. Following the roundtable, the GSR will conduct additional research and help compile conclusions and policy recommendations into a 5–10 page white paper for public dissemination. The student will critically support the efficacy of the roundtable and subsequent white paper by seeking and evaluating feedback from attendees and non-attendees in key constituencies. This position will report to Nina F. Ichikawa, BFI Executive Director and Ethan Elkind, CLEE Climate Program Director.


Roundtable Preparation and Attendance (20%)

  • Attend preparatory meetings with CLEE and BFI staff.
  • Attend virtual roundtable and take preliminary notes.

White Paper Research and Writing (80%)

  • Together with CLEE and BFI staff, collect proceedings from roundtable and sketch out white paper format, reviewing audio recordings and notes.
  • Follow up with phone interviews to clarify key points. Conduct applicable literature review to fact-check, cite, and make linkages to points made during roundtable.
  • Lead drafting and expert reviews of public-facing white paper.
  • Liaise with professional copyeditor and graphic designer to complete white paper for public dissemination

Required Qualifications:

  • Experience in climate change policy, farming, land use policy, finance or other related fields.
  • Outstanding and professional written communication skills, particularly in regards to communications with elected officials and across diverse groups. Experience creating clear and engaging materials for public consumption.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Ability to work independently and to foresee, identify, and recommend solutions in the position’s areas of responsibility.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Comfort with creativity, innovation, and hard work.
  • Courtesy, persistence, punctuality, and good humor.
  • Interest and experience in public service and social equity, as core tenets of the UC Berkeley experience and the Berkeley Food Institute mission.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Professional experience in farming, finance, and/or public policy.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, see:

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: