Director of the New Boston University Sustainability Research Institute

Boston University is embarking on a bold initiative to bring together over 100 faculty in nearly all of its 17 Schools and Colleges to enhance BU’s ability to contribute pioneering research and leadership at the intersection of energy and the environment—one of the greatest interdisciplinary challenges of our time. The initiative focuses on the science, social science, communications, business/economic/financial, and policy dimensions of this complex, interwoven set of challenges.

Boston University is now seeking to create an overarching structure which will build on the success of the BU Institute for Sustainable Energy, as well as the work of many other departments, projects, and existing programs at Boston University. The Institute for Sustainable Energy was founded in January 2016. Since its inception, the Institute has experienced substantial growth in size, scope, and impact and is gaining a national reputation for its research that spans nearly all of BU’s schools and colleges. Faculty affiliated with the Institute currently work on topics such as smart grid technology, sustainable water management, sustainable urban systems, city climate strategies, green supply chains, electric vehicle adoption, carbon footprints and green bonds. The Institute played a crucial, leading role in the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s work on the City of Boston’s Climate Action plan. The Institute has an extremely impressive external advisory board composed of industry and scientific leaders in the field and has embarked upon a significant fundraising campaign.

The new Institute will build on the university’s current initiatives and strengths in sustainability and climate change research and action and incorporate them into an umbrella organization grown out of the current Institute for Sustainable Energy. It will serve to unite our efforts in this area, as well as spawn related activities at the intersection of technology, society, business, and policy relating to energy and the environment. While continuing to direct the ongoing work of the ISE, the director will lead the final stages of planning as well as the transition and operation of the broader institute during the next academic year.

The Director, who reports to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research (reflecting the function of the Institute as a university-wide research center), takes primary responsibility for the strategic direction of the Institute and for all of its executive decisions. The Director of will continue the work of establishing the Institute as an internationally recognized Center of Excellence by:

  1. Building on the Institute’s success in fostering collaborative research that connects faculty across the University
  2. Supporting the faculty in undertaking major research initiatives and cutting-edge research
  3. Working with the faculty and the Deans to further develop those areas in which we have a reputation for excellence and the potential for carrying out ground-breaking work that would significantly expand our current impact.

Successful candidates will have a distinguished record of professional achievement as a scholar, teacher, and leader. Additionally, the successful candidates will have:

  • Excellent scholarly credentials;
  • Experience in a significant administrative role that includes budgetary oversight;
  • The ability to articulate a compelling vision for the Institute;
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with colleagues from different academic fields and with administrative units around the University; and
  • A commitment to creating and sustaining a vibrant, diverse community of students, staff and faculty.

The Director of the Institute will have either the appropriate background and experience to meet the criteria to be appointed as a full professor with tenure or exemplary skills and experiences that would qualify them to hold a position as professor of the practice in one of the Schools or Colleges engaged in the initiative. The Director will have a reduced teaching load in his or her College and will teach in their area of expertise at the undergraduate or graduate level. The appointment as Director is for a five-year renewable term, beginning Fall 2021. 

Nominations and expressions of interest should be sent to: Gloria Waters, Vice President and Associate Provost for Research (Chair),, or ISEE Search Advisory Committee, c/o Office of the University Provost, Boston University, One Silber Way, 8th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02215. Prospective candidates should include a letter expressing interest and a current curriculum vitae. Candidates will be asked to provide references after preliminary review and screening. Nominations and applications will be accepted until a new Director is selected.

Boston University is committed to fostering a diverse University community within a supportive and respectful environment. We believe that the diversity of our faculty, students, and staff is essential to our success as a leading research university with a global reach, and that diversity is an integral component of institutional excellence. Boston University is an equal opportunity employer and gives consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military service, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

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