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Intern – Research Assistant

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy development. We serve Oregon customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas, Avista and SW Washington customers of NW Natural. In 2018, Energy Trust was recognized as one of the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.

Energy Trust is committed to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a culturally attentive organization by reaching out to diverse candidates who will contribute a range of perspectives, experiences, skills and ideas to how we work, our programs and our services to best serve, reach and reflect the rich diversity of the customers we serve.


The Intern – Research Assistant will support the Executive Director, alongside partners in Minnesota and Vermont, in developing a proposal for a project aimed at understanding the barriers to and success stories about adoption of clean energy (energy efficiency, renewable energy, building and vehicle electrification, and distributed energy resources) in states that currently have low rates of program and market activity. This effort will focus on profiling target states to better understand their needs, opportunities, current policies and regulations, clean energy efforts, potential partners, and key stakeholders.  It will culminate in the delivery of a proposal to the Executive Director outlining next steps and recommendations for a “listening and learning” tour within these states in an effort to understand where they have been successful and where barriers may still exist in supporting the adoption of clean energy, with a focus on engaging under-served and rural communities to better inform the work we do in our own states.


  • Based on an analysis of various factors including energy usage, energy intensity, carbon intensity, and ACEEE’s national rankings, identify the 10 lowest performing states regarding their promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions.
  • Research key policies, individuals, organizations, utilities, regulators, and consumer and advocacy groups active within these states.
  • Research potential partner organizations, with a focus on community organizations and groups representing underserved populations, in the target states.
  • Identify a subset of these 10 states that represent a variety of success stories and a diversity of interests.
  • Develop an itinerary for a “listening and learning” tour across this subset of states.
  • Draft a discussion guide and interview questions for participants to use during the tour.
  • Research potential funders to support this project, including the listening and learning tour. This should include recommendations for philanthropic organizations who are the best prospects for funding, along with a description of their funding priorities and proposal process and timeline.
  • Prepare a draft proposal that would be used to seek funding from outside groups to support the project.
  • Support the Executive Director and Executive team with additional research or special project work on program initiatives, as necessary and depending on the applicant’s interest and skill set.
  • Perform all duties of the job in a safe manner.


  • This position has no supervisory responsibility.


  • High school diploma, or equivalent, required. Candidate preferrably in the final two years of an undergraduate degree, enrolled in a graduate degree, or a recent college graduate.
  • Outreach or community organizing experience – especially in conservative, rural or racially-diverse communities – is preferred.
  • Strong skills in research analysis utilizing internet, phone interview and literature platforms.
  • Experience with systems and critical thinking.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite software applications, including Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint and SharePoint.
  • Must be able to interact with a diverse workforce and be comfortable working in culturally diverse settings and groups.

The above information is designed to outline the functions and position requirements of this job. It does not identify all tasks that may be expected, nor address the performance standards that must be maintained.


  • This is a temporary, part time, position and is expected to continue for 3 months duration (not to exceed 1000 hours).
  • This position is not eligible for company benefits.


Qualified individuals please submit cover letter, resume and application (found on Energy Trust’s website to

Attn: Intern – Research Assistant

Energy Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer that highly values diversity and inclusion
in the workplace.