Application Due Date: November 7, 2022

Please forward to potentially interested candidates and email me at with any questions!

Position Description

Dr. Elizabeth Koebele
 is seeking a graduate research assistant (GRA) to join her research group at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR, a Carnegie R1 University) in Fall 2023. The GRA will work on a project funded by the National Science Foundation concerning the evolution and impacts of collaborative water governance in the Colorado River Basin. Specifically, the GRA will collaborate with Dr. Koebele to investigate how collaborative approaches to governing water resources can improve basin-scale, polycentric governance through both theoretical and applied avenues. GRA duties include the collection, analysis, and synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data on water governance for peer-reviewed and public-facing publications.

This position is for an interdisciplinary social scientist; applicants seeking to primarily study physical hydrology or water resources engineering will not be considered. Preference is for an individual who already holds a master’s degree and seeks a PhD, though highly qualified applicants seeking a master’s degree may be considered. The position is located in Reno, Nevada, “the biggest little city,” located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, about 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe and 4 hours from San Francisco.

The assistantship will fund the student for 20 hours/week, 12-months/year, for four years (annual renewal contingent on performance). Funding includes a competitive stipend, tuition for 9 credits/semester of graduate course work, health insurance, and travel support. Dr. Koebele will also support the student in applying for and earning additional funding as needed. Students from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Application Process

Interested individuals must submit a CV, statement of interest (max. two pages), and contact information for three professional references to Dr. Koebele by email ( by November 7, 2022. The selected candidate MUST then apply, be accepted to, and enroll in a graduate degree in either the Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences or Political Science or at UNR, for Fall 2023, to be eligible for the GRA position. Please review the program websites for admission deadlines and eligibility requirements, as these vary by program and degree.* You are also encouraged to review the UNR Graduate School’s webpage, which includes additional information about university admissions and assistantships. Please indicate your graduate program of interest in your application statement.

*GPHS is currently developing a revised hydrology degree track with fewer prerequisites and core courses to allow for more individually tailored study of water sciences, including water social sciences. If you are interested in GPHS but do not have the current pre-requisites, you are still encouraged to apply for the GRA.

Required Qualifications for the Assistantship

  • A previous degree in a social science or interdisciplinary environmental field (political science, policy, environmental studies, natural resource management, etc.), or a closely related field of study.
  • Strong interest in working on issues of water governance and policy, specifically in the Colorado River Basin.
  • Strong writing skills and desire to author academic publications.
  • Experience or desire to work with both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Desire to take interdisciplinary coursework across the social sciences, public policy, and hydrologic sciences.

Preferred Qualifications for the Assistantship (please state in the cover letter which of these, if any, apply)

  • master’s degree in a social science or interdisciplinary environmental field (political science, policy, environmental studies, natural resource management, etc.), or a closely related field of study.
  • Previous research experience, including academic publication experience.
  • Experience with any of the following social science data collection and analysis methods: network analysis, surveys, stakeholder interviews.
  • Desire to write the thesis/dissertation on Colorado River governance issues; specifics will be designed by the student, with support from Dr. Koebele.
  • Desire to communicate one’s science through public-facing and educational avenues.

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