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Senior R&D Consultant International Energy and Climate Strategies and Policy

  • Genk, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium
R&D & Engineering

Job description

VITO is an independent research institute that operates in today's economic and societal reality. Our main drivers are turning fundamental research into solutions and creating value for other companies and governments.

In VITO/EnergyVille, we are currently seeking a motivated and skilled Senior R&D Consultant to join our SESAM (Sustainable Energy Systems Assessment & Modelling) team within our Water & Energy Transition unit. SESAM is part of EnergyVille, a collaboration between the Belgian research partners VITO, KU Leuven, IMEC and UHasselt. Our research is applied to renewable energy technologies focusing on the energy transition and includes power-to-X, carbon capture and sequestration, batteries and solar cells technologies.

Our team has a long lasting experience in advising decision makers and governments on their energy and climate policies and strategies. Within the framework of the Paris Climate Agreement, we are accelerating our international ambitions to support developing countries in energy & climate projects. This involves international technical research support and capacity building trajectories in the field of national climate and energy planning, developing long term strategies, decarbonization pathways, governance and policy support.

Does the above sounds interesting?

Are you a dynamic project manager with 10 years’ experience working in a global context? And perhaps looking for a new challenge? As a senior R&D Consultant you are responsible for coordinating and conducting large international projects with global & local research partners dealing with governmental and non-state stakeholders.

Some of your responsibilities:

  • You advise policy makers operating at international level (focus on Africa, but not limited to), on the development of their national energy and climate strategy in the framework of the 2030 and 2050 climate ambitions.
  • In cooperation with our business development manager, you will take the lead in writing client offers, research proposals and seeking funding opportunities.
  • You identify and coordinate international funding and project opportunities and support market engagement to ensure the right project partnerships (including consultants, research groups and local partners) are being set up.
  • You work in a team of experienced energy experts, and contribute to the further development of optimization and simulation models of the energy/water system.
  • You will interpret the model results and formulate scientific recommendations tailored to the client's needs. You will report the research results to our clients (government authorities as well as industry). You will bridge highly advanced scientific results with the client situation, which might sometimes be rather under-developed.
  • You will continue expanding your knowledge of energy system/strategy/models based on literature, courses and on-the job experience. Within your area of expertise involving energy modelling, ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ and Long term & Low Emission Development Strategies, you will be an active follower of the trends and the studies carried out by other research institutions, universities or consultants.
  • You will work in a team, but will also be responsible for carrying out consultative assignments independently. You will identify routes for new developments, playing an active role in exploring research questions for international decision makers and governments.

Job requirements

  • You have 10 years of experience in consultative assignments for governments, policy makers and/or industry on energy and climate strategies in an international context.
  • You can present some credentials from experiences in developing countries. This enables you to rely on an international network of public and private players (in the field of energy and climate policy). Acquaintance with African countries is a plus.
  • You have excellent organizational skills and you are experienced in operational coordination of consultative assignments and in reporting to clients. You are an independent problem solver, not afraid to get your boots on the ground.
  • Entrepreneurship, commercial flair and initiative are characteristics that describe you.
  • You have a passion for international energy and climate strategy and have the expertise necessary to approach the issues from a systemic (quantitative) perspective. You can synthesise results into implementable (policy) recommendations for authorities and industry clients.
  • You have knowledge of environmental/energy economics and/or environmental/energy technology and mathematical optimisation methods.
  • You have a high degree of personal resilience, flexibility and ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • You have good communication skills both in writing and speaking and can communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders at different levels of seniority.
  • You have excellent knowledge of the English language (C2, technical and formal language). High proficiency in French is a plus (C1/C2).
  • You are willing to operate in an international context, travel and work abroad for 10% of your time.


  • You have a real impact as you look for innovative solutions for today's and tomorrow's challenges.
  • You are supported by helpful and fun colleagues who are eager to share their expertise in the field.
  • You will be part of an organization where we show integrity and strive for mutual benefit in close cooperation with all parties involved.
  • VITO/EnergyVille is an international organization: 40 different nationalities work with us. Our working language is English.
  • We work 'activity-based': our activities determine our workplace. On average, we meet 2 days a week in our EnergyVille office in Genk. For the other days, you can choose to work remotely from home or at one of our satellite offices (for example, Antwerp-Berchem), depending on the needs of the activity.
  • You will learn life-long and develop your skills further by using the newest of the latest technologies.
  • At VITO, work-life balance is paramount. We are open to discuss your needs at any time and are flexible in our approach to finding solutions.