American University of Beirut

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT - Research Assistant

​Job Announce​ment

​Research As​sistant
Climate Change and Environment Program

Starting date: July 15, 2021

Position: A full-time Research Assistant to work on a research study titled “Oil spill of 2021 – Assessment of roles and responsibilities”, which assesses oil spill preparedness and response, to ultimately provide recommendations and policy reforms related to this topic. The Research Assistant will work with the Climate Change and Environment Program at the AUB Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) for a period of 4 months.

The Research Assistant will be actively involved in research, coordinating events, interviews, and meetings, as well as other administrative activities under the supervision and support of the Project Coordinator.

  • About the Climate Change and Environment program:
The Climate Change and Environment Program (CC&E) was launched in 2008 as part of the Issam Fares Institute's (IFI) strategy of utilizing the American University of Beirut’s (AUB) significant research and analytical capabilities to inform and guide public policy-making in the Arab world. 

  • About the Project: 
Most recorded oil spills took place in the sea and ocean, polluting and deteriorating the marine environment. Oil spills are mainly due to workplace accidents involving tankers, barges, pipelines, drilling rigs, etc. But they can also be the result of human activities. 

During the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, a major oil spill struck Lebanon’s shore after the Jiyeh power station was bombed. This released more than 30,000 tons of oil into the Mediterranean Sea, leading to an environmental disaster. Beaches along the coast and rocks were covered in black sludge, extending to the North of Lebanon into Southern Syria. The slick killed a lot of fish and jeopardized the endangered sea turtles. 
In 2021, an oil tanker off the Israeli coast caused an oil spill that reached the south of Lebanon, depositing tar along wide areas of the Lebanese coast. The purpose of this study is to assess oil spill preparedness and response, and to provide relevant recommendations and policy reforms. 

  • Principal Responsibilities:
The researcher will have an important role to play in the successful completion of this study through a variety of activities that are listed, but not restricted to those, below:

1. Conduct desktop research and literature reviews related to the project including review of institutional and regulatory frameworks related to oil spills and their management.
2. Attend and prepare for round tables and discussions with stakeholders.
3. Prepare and conduct interviews with stakeholders.
4. Conduct the assessment of the response to the oil spill.
5. Identify gaps, lessons learned, and recommendations.
6. Coordinate with project partners.

  • Qualifications:
1. A master’s degree in environmental sciences, environmental policy, urban studies, development studies, public administration, or a relevant field.
2. A minimum of three years’ work experience.
3. Excellent command of English and Arabic is a must (spoken, read, and written).
4. Knowledge of the Lebanese municipal context and development processes and institutions.
5. Knowledge of oil spill contingency plan and management.
6. Knowledge of climate change, mitigation, adaptation.
7. Proficiency in writing reports, case studies, and other related documentation.
8. Ability to work under pressure.
9. Good administrative and organizational skills
10. Ability to work pro-actively, independently, and efficiently.

  • Application Procedure: ​
Applicants must send a cover letter, a CV, and the names of three references with full contact information to the Project Coordinator (e-mail:, no later than June 30, with the subject, “Researcher – Oil spill”.

Kindly note that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.​​

Within the framework of Lebanese Law, the American University of Beirut is an equal opportunity employer.

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