Research Scientist, Data Fusion (Climate TRACE)


Location: Remote,None,None

Accepting applications on a rolling basis March-April 2024



WattTime is seeking to hire a Research Scientist or Senior Research Scientist to help lead data fusion, and potentially scientific outreach, efforts for the Climate TRACE coalition. 


About WattTime and Climate TRACE

WattTime is a non-profit tech startup. We conduct and coordinate original research into emissions datasets with unusual potential to rapidly drive emissions reductions at scale, then help implement those reductions. Our best known innovation is Automated Emissions Reduction (AER), the technique currently used by over 600 million devices daily (e.g. all Nest thermostats, U.S. iPhones, Toyota EVs, etc.) to slash their carbon footprints.

WattTime is also the secretariat of Climate TRACE, a joint initiative of over 100 nonprofits, tech companies, universities, and individual researchers pooling their expertise in AI, remote sensing, and emissions data to collectively build a highly advanced comprehensive open global greenhouse gas measurement system.


About the Role

Climate TRACE works by aggregating dozens of individual global sector-specific emissions inventories, each developed separately by a collaborating organization. The new data fusion team will focus on optimally integrating these models with each other, along with many external datasets and estimates extrapolated from first principles, to develop the best possible consensus global emissions estimates. The work will be highly iterative, applying a Bayesian updating framework to integrate a rapidly growing list of constituent datasets.

The role of the Research Scientist will include validating and synthesizing different estimates of the same values; determining or estimating data uncertainty, including correctly applying error propagation; extrapolating from current estimates to reason about data-sparse areas; and potentially spearheading outreach to the broader emissions scientific community. Particularly senior candidates for this role will be considered for Senior Research Scientist, which would include managing this new team.


Key Responsibilities

  • Data assimilation

    • Evaluate, quality control, and assist with formatting and integration of new datasets on emissions and other variables, to produce a first pass integrated view of what we know

  • Quality assurance

    • Develop, and support your Data Scientist colleague(s) in automating, rigorous validation and quality control processes flagging logical inconsistencies in these input datasets 

    • Work with contributing teams to iterate on any inputs thus flagged

  • Data extrapolation and data fusion

    • Help develop and implement strategies for extrapolating from the existing partially complete Climate TRACE inventory to fill gaps and create a comprehensive estimated emissions dataset

    • Using Bayesian updating or similar techniques, iteratively improve these estimates by integrating more and more datasets to produce a successively more accurate view

  • Science support to Climate TRACE members

    • Support member organizations with weaker scientific backgrounds (but stronger software and AI backgrounds) in reasoning about error propagation, etc.

  • Scientific outreach

    • Coauthor papers explaining Climate TRACE methodologies

    • Potentially represent Climate TRACE to collaborating senior scientists at the highest levels of groups like NASA, the World Meteorological Organization, etc.

  • (If hired as a Senior Research Scientist)

    • Lead a small team of WattTime scientists and coordinate a number of other Climate TRACE contributors in achieving the above



Required technical skills

  • Ph.D. in physics, neuroscience, quantitative finance, statistics, or other stats-heavy field

  • Publications demonstrating knowledge of Bayesian or similar iterative statistical methods

  • Minimum 2 years work experience in applied physics, data science, finance, consulting, or other highly quantitative field  

  • Experience programming in Python

  • Experience or interest in working within a tech start-up, evolving as the organization grows

  • Ability to work effectively from a remote environment across regular U.S. work hours through tools like Slack, Zoom, GSuite, and others 


Required soft skills

  • Precise, clear communicator who can accurately articulate what they do vs. don’t know 

  • Iterative thinker who thrives while moving fast despite imperfect data. Perfectionists, this role is not the one for you!

  • Excellent problem-solving skills, particularly in breaking problems into component parts

  • Ability to take initiative and collaborate in a low-hierarchy, fast-moving environment 

  • Collaborative, respectful, and kind 

  • Willingness to travel to team collaborative sessions a few times a year

  • Above all, a deep-seated commitment to stopping climate change and a willingness to place that above all other goals, even when that’s messy and hard.


Nice-to-have, particularly for Senior Research Scientist

  • Deeper experience in any of the above

  • Management/leadership experience and skills

  • Experience with scientific outreach, e.g. presenting at conferences

  • Experience with one or more relevant subject matter areas (greenhouse gas emissions inventories, remote sensing, climate science)

How We Measure Success at WattTime

  • Doing the work: you stay on-task and prioritize whatever climate impact requires

  • Productivity: hard work, grit, and completing ambitious deadlines on time

  • Quality: subject matter knowledge

  • Judgment: you always work backwards from making impact-focused decisions

  • Helping others: you cultivate trust, lead with respect, and practice self awareness


  • This is a full time, remote position - work from anywhere in the U.S. 

  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.

  • For those authorized and located in the U.S., WattTime is open to U.S. visa sponsorship. As an H-1B cap-exempt, non-profit research organization, WattTime can sponsor employees for H-1B status throughout the year.

  • Salary:

    • Research Scientist: $160,000-$175,000

    • Senior Research Scientist: $175,000-$195,000


Hiring Process

  • Resume screening 

  • Initial phone screening

  • Technical interview #1

  • Skills assessment to see your work in action - you will most likely do well if you have:

    • Experience thinking in matrices and n-dimensional space, and breaking down complex problems into different forcings/drivers

    • Experience with formal statistics

    • Ability to resist perfectionism and not get bogged down in the details

    • Some python experience

  • Technical interview #2

  • Half-day of interviews with the team at large

  • Reference checks and offer

Read more about what this process is like on this LinkedIn post from one of our software engineers.

Why Work with WattTime

  • World-class opportunity to save lives at scale, fast

  • Competitive salary

  • Full medical, dental, vision, life insurance packages for employees and 80% coverage for dependents

  • Paid parental leave 

  • Flexible time off

  • Professional development support 

  • Home office support and employee choice technology 

  • 403b with up to 5% matching contribution

What we’re like: We’re obsessed with driving practical, results-driven change. We’ve seen that nothing has more potential for fast, world-changing impact than the right software. We embrace change. We are lean and rapid prototypers. We never confuse organizational growth with impact. We are all personally, fiercely committed to our mission. We are quietly radical in unexpected ways. We don’t believe in competition; anyone else doing what we do is our ally. Our deep bench of expert volunteers helps us routinely punch above our weight class. We trust in data and everyone’s voice being heard. We know diversity is central to success. We consider respect non-negotiable; there are no jerks here.


How to Apply

You can apply for this position on our website at From the “About” tab, select the “Careers” page, then select the job for which you want to apply.  

Please attach your resume and a cover letter. We will prioritize applicants whose cover letters include exactly one separate paragraph, of any length, discussing your experience in data fusion and/or extrapolating data.


Equal Opportunity Policy 

WattTime is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, creed, pregnancy, marital status, family care status, age, appearance, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental ability, medical condition, military or veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information or characteristics or any other consideration protected by federal, state, or local laws. We encourage all individuals to apply and are committed to a diverse workplace where every person is treated with respect and dignity. 

Apply to this job
Apply now Apply later
  • Share this job via
  • or

Tags: Bayesian Consulting Finance Physics Python Research Statistics

Perks/benefits: Competitive pay Conferences Flex hours Flex vacation Health care Medical leave Parental leave Startup environment

Regions: Remote/Anywhere North America
Country: United States
Job stats:  72  7  0

More jobs like this

Explore more AI, ML, Data Science career opportunities

Find even more open roles in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computer Vision (CV), Data Engineering, Data Analytics, Big Data, and Data Science in general - ordered by popularity of job title or skills, toolset and products used - below.