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15 Nov 2019

Full-Time Science Policy Research Impact Lead

The Pew Charitable Trusts – Posted by [email protected] Washington, District of Columbia, United States

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Job Description

Full Job Title: Officer, Environmental Research and Science


The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. For more than 70 years, we have focused on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. Through rigorous inquiry and knowledge sharing, we inform and engage public-spirited citizens and organizations, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause. We are a dedicated team of researchers, communicators, advocates, subject matter experts, and professionals working on today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our home town and the majority of our staff located in Washington, DC, our U.S. and international staff find working at Pew personally and professionally rewarding.

Wise stewardship of resources allows Pew employees to pursue work that strategically furthers our philanthropic mission in significant and measurable ways. We collaborate with a diverse range of philanthropic partners, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society. Pew attracts top talent, people of integrity who are service-oriented and willing to take on challenging assignments. We provide competitive pay and benefits, a healthy work-life balance, and a respectful and inclusive workplace. Pew employees are proud of their colleagues, proud of where they work, and proud of the institution’s reputation.

The Research and Science Portfolio in Program
The research and science portfolio includes both programmatic, functional, and outreach elements. It spans all of Pew’s programmatic work with a focus on advancing quality research and science and deploying research expertise to further the goals of ongoing projects. The portfolio reviews the design of new research projects across the institution to ensure they are high-quality, unbiased, and methodologically sound. The programmatic elements of the portfolio include specific projects related to biomedical science, environmental science, fiscal federalism, and Philadelphia public policy research. In addition, research and science has a role in communicating timely, accurate information on state issues to the general public as the Pew daily news publication, Stateline, is part of our organization. The portfolio also includes an operational aspect working to ensure effective management systems across the program department and coordinating with key partners across the institution.

Environmental Research & Science
Environmental research and science programs at Pew work to generate and synthesize scientific research to inform conservation policy and frame solutions to global environmental challenges. There are currently three ER&S programs: the conservation science program, which collaborates with campaigns to develop scientific and economic research that helps to guide Pew’s policy objectives; the Lenfest Ocean Program, which supports independent, peer-reviewed scientific projects to inform selected marine conservation priorities; and the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation, which allows respected experts to develop and implement solutions to marine conservation problems through three-year fellowships.

The research impact team works across these programs to enhance and assess the policy relevance of supported projects. To accomplish this, the research impact team works with each program to develop strategies to understand and track outcomes of supported research, provides training support for researchers to engage more effectively with those who might use project results, convenes scholars, practitioners, and others on ways to improve the connections between research and policy, and develops and disseminates analyses of this work.

Position Overview
The officer is responsible for three main activities: (1) assessing, synthesizing, and communicating the impacts of program-specific ER&S research investments; (2) supporting the conservation science program to work with Pew’s environmental programs to develop and implement impact pathways for connecting research to policy objectives, including developing outreach plans and technical outreach materials; and (3) supporting the research impact project director in convening researchers, practitioners and others on topics relevant to improving the connections between research and policy, and synthesizing and communicating lessons learned about our approaches to facilitating evidence-informed policy. The officer also supports strategy development for expansion of the research impact team’s scope of work. The position, based in Pew’s Washington, DC, office, reports to the project director, environmental research and science, and has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support.


  • Develop and implement program-specific strategies for tracking and assessing the impacts of ER&S research investments, including drafting “impact narratives” for each program.
  • Coordinate cross-program implementation of impact assessment approaches.
  • Support the work of the conservation science program by:
    • Developing and implementing strategies for improving the connections between conservation science research projects and Pew environment policy objectives, including through impact pathways, outreach planning, and impact tracking.
    • Developing and implementing strategies for tracking the impact of the CS program.
    • In collaboration with CS and environment staff, drafting technical outreach materials for selected conservation science research projects.
  • Support the work of the research impact project and project director by:
    • Supporting the project director and consultant to develop a network of those working on ways to support the policy-relevance of research.
    • Supporting the project director to develop a series of workshops on understanding the use of research in policy.
    • Identifying new lines of work and partnerships for the research impact project.
    • Identifying opportunities to raise the profile of the research impact project, including writing for external publications and presenting at relevant meetings.
  • Stay informed of current and emerging approaches to research impact and connecting science and policy.
  • Contribute to and participate in tasks of ER&S, as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in natural or social science is strongly preferred.
  • At least eight years of specialized experience in working with both science and policy required. Experience understanding or analyzing research impact is highly desirable, as is knowledge of conservation issues.
  • Demonstrates critical thinking and analytic rigor in framing problems, synthesizing information, and proposing solutions
  • Organizes and effectively manages multiple tasks and projects, meets regular deadlines with consistency and accuracy, and works effectively within and across teams.
  • Contributes thought leadership to help advance the overall strategic framework of the research impact project
  • Ability to identify key opportunities for amplifying program work and outcomes
  • Superior initiative and entrepreneurial skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including clearly articulating complex ideas, thoughts and concepts for different audiences.
  • Experience drafting outreach materials a plus.
  • Ability to work with internal and external partners to identify partnership and other growth opportunities ER&S.
  • Political awareness, with a non-partisan perspective and approach. Experience with national and/or intergovernmental institutions preferred.

Occasional domestic and international travel required for conferences and meetings.

Total Rewards
We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

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Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time.

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