Chief Scientist, Senior Scientists, and Associate Scientists (Multiple Hires)

About Project Drawdown

The World’s Leading Resource for Climate Solutions

Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “drawdown”— the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. Since the 2017 publication of the New York Times bestseller Drawdown, the organization has emerged as a leading resource for information and insight about climate solutions. Cities, universities, corporations, philanthropies, policymakers, communities, educators, activists, and more turn to Project Drawdown as they look to advance effective climate action. We aim to support the growing constellation of efforts to move climate solutions forward and move the world toward drawdown—as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible

Position Summary

Project Drawdown is hiring a “dream team” of leading scientists to join our stellar staff to conduct top-quality research and provide world-leading insights on climate solutions and strategies at the global scale.

We intend to hire one Chief Scientist to oversee the broader science team and conduct their own research, and a group of 4-5 full-time Senior / Associate Scientists (the title will depend on the level of previous work experience) who will work with the Chief Scientist. These are all full-time, ongoing staff positions.

We are looking for scientists who have experience working cross-sectorally and at a global scale with deep expertise in climate mitigation, solutions, and strategies related to the following areas:

  • Electricity (generation, storage, distribution, use, efficiency)
  • Food, Agriculture, and Land Use (deforestation, land use, crop & livestock systems, fisheries, diets & food waste)
  • Industry (steel, cement, chemicals, plastics, other materials, waste)
  • Transportation (road, aviation, shipping, and rail systems, plus alternative transit)
  • Buildings (domestic, public & commercial buildings, built environments, efficiency)
  • Carbon Removal (terrestrial, freshwater, and marine nature-based; technology-based)
  • Environmental Co-Benefits (co-benefits of climate solutions to biodiversity, natural resources, etc.)
  • Data Science (novel methods to analyze, model, and assess climate strategies – especially geospatial analysis, remote sensing, and process-based modeling)

We seek experts who use scientific tools and empirical evidence to examine climate solutions (the “what” we need for effective climate action) as well as climate strategies (the “who”, “when”, “where”, and “how” of effective climate action).

We are looking for experts with high-level scientific and technical training (with a Ph.D., postdoctoral work, and at least 5-10 years of full-time research experience) in the physical science, biological science, and engineering foundations of climate solutions and strategies. Relevant disciplines include (but are not limited to) atmospheric science & oceanography, carbon cycle science, energy systems analysis and engineering, materials science & engineering, transportation systems, mechanical / chemical / electrical / civil engineering, land use / land cover change, crop science & agronomy, soil science, and ecology. Beyond Ph.D.-level scientific and engineering credentials, experience working with economics, behavioral science, or other quantitative social sciences would also be helpful.

These individuals must also be experienced in conducting and managing high-level cross-disciplinary scientific research, publishing their methods and results in top journals in the international peer-reviewed literature, presenting original results at key scientific conferences, and communicating the impact of their results in oral and written formats. In addition, we seek candidates who are highly proficient in the latest scientific research tools, and can help lead technical innovations in data science, geospatial analysis, and computer simulation modeling. The ideal candidates will also have considerable experience writing successful research proposals to science funding agencies like the National Science Foundation, NASA, EPA, DOE, etc. We especially seek candidates with proven abilities of working collaboratively, effectively, and efficiently in ways that prioritize and center empathy and equity.

Successful candidates will have a body of high-quality scholarly work that is comparable to scholars nominated for tenure at a major research university.

Together, these individuals will collaborate on original research, be subject matter experts inside and outside the organization and provide the world with leading insights and analysis on climate solutions and strategies. We seek individuals who are good collaborators, deeply value partnerships, and thrive in a team setting. The team will embody a culture of research excellence, collaboration, transparency, research integrity, mentoring, and high-quality writing and speaking. Individuals with professional experience outside the US, particularly in low- and middle-income countries is a plus given our global focus. 

The Chief Scientist role will report to the Executive Director of Project Drawdown and collaborate closely with other senior leaders in the organization. The Senior Scientist and Associate Scientist roles will report to the Chief Scientist.

Project Drawdown values the way each member of our team enriches our diversity by adding perspectives brought about by different backgrounds and experiences and believes that this is essential to making sure the world reaches drawdown safely, quickly, equitably, and justly. We are a 100% remote organization based in the U.S. Candidates currently authorized to work in the United States (U.S. citizens, green card holders, and work visa holders), who reside anywhere within the U.S. may apply.

Essential Responsibilities

The new scientific staff will be responsible for four things:

  • serve as a group of public-facing, world-class “subject matter experts” on effective climate strategy, providing thought leadership on climate issues globally, while helping us respond to media inquiries, partnership requests, collaborative projects, etc.
  • provide deep expertise about climate solutions and strategies to the whole organization (e.g., the Drawdown Labs, Drawdown Lift, and Drawdown Learn programs) and collaborate with all of our teams on a myriad of projects
  • conduct world-class, peer-reviewed research (as well as other writing, speaking, media engagements, etc.) on topics related to climate solutions
  • conduct and prepare assessments of effective climate solutions and strategies, building upon Project Drawdown’s previous work, and using new methods – such as integrated assessment modeling, geospatial analysis, remote sensing, etc.

In addition, they will:

  • work very closely with other teams at Project Drawdown, including our communications & marketing team, Drawdown Labs, and Drawdown Lift – among others
  • work with outside partners, including research collaborations, media, stakeholders, and others
  • fulfill other tasks as requested

Education and/or Experience

Candidates for all of these roles must have the following: 

  • deep experience working in science-based climate solutions and strategies, based on original scientific and/or engineering research
  • a Ph.D. and postdoctoral experience in relevant physical science, biological science, or engineering field(s)
  • over 5 years (Associate Scientists) or over 10 years (Senior Scientists, Chief Scientist) of post-Ph.D. experience conducting high-quality climate-focused research
  • an accomplished publication record in the international scientific literature – e.g., with 10-30 highly-cited publications presenting original results and methods in top scientific journals
  • deep experience with computational methods (including building complex models and datasets), geospatial data analysis, remote sensing, or scientific visualization
  • be an internationally recognized “thought leader” in their discipline
  • have a body of high-quality scholarly work that is roughly comparable to scholars considered for tenure at a major research university
  • be highly regarded among peers for working collaboratively and cooperatively with internal and external colleagues

The Chief Scientist role must also have the following:

  • at least 3-5 years of experience leading thriving cross-disciplinary research teams
  • a track record of leading impactful, engaged, and thriving teams, balancing individual creativity and research with team-focused research efforts
  • a track record of successful public engagement (speaking and writing to larger audiences) and fundraising (especially with science funding agencies)
  • a track record of successful grant writing and fundraising for cutting-edge climate research

Ideal candidates for all of these positions will also have the following attributes:

  • experience working on policy-relevant issues, engaging a wide variety of stakeholders
  • experience working with business, non-profit, community, and government leaders at the national and international level
  • beyond Ph.D.-level scientific and engineering credentials, experience in working with economics, behavioral science, or other quantitative social sciences
  • experience working in international climate science organizations (e.g., IPCC)
  • strong communication skills, including technical / scientific writing, writing for public audiences, and giving highly engaging public presentations 
  • being a team player, building and fostering strong collaborations across the organization
  • experience in collaborative projects, working across internal teams and outside partners
  • strong organization skills, thoroughness, and the ability to multitask in a fluid remote-work environment
  • understanding of and commitment to centering equity and diversity in climate solutions

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The qualifications listed here are necessary to perform this job successfully. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • ability to develop and enhance the reach, impact, reputation, and value proposition of a non-profit organization
  • excellent collaborative skills, and the ability to work with others seamlessly – without conflict, ego, or silos
  • excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to manage multiple workflows on deadline
  • excellent written, speaking / presentation, and interpersonal communication skills to engage effectively within the organization and with external collaborators / stakeholders
  • flexibility, creativity, and tenacity
  • fluency in English; fluency in additional languages is valued
  • experience working internationally on climate solutions is a plus


As with all positions at Project Drawdown, this will be 100% remote. Employees can work anywhere within the United States. Candidates currently authorized to work in the United States (US Citizens, green card holders, and work visa holders), who reside anywhere within the US may apply.


These are all full-time positions with benefits. The salary range for Associate Scientists is $110,000-140,000 / year. The salary range for Senior Scientists is $130,000-$160,000 / year. The salary range for the Chief Scientist is $160,000-$190,000 / year. In addition, Project Drawdown provides exceptional benefits including 4 weeks PTO in your first year plus 6 sick days, 13 holidays, and a paid holiday closure December 26–30, health/dental/vision insurance (employee premium 100% paid), a 401k program with company match, a parental leave benefit, a professional development program, and a home-office connectivity stipend.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete our online application form here. 

All candidates will need to upload a cover letter, their most recent resume, as well as publications as described below:

  • Cover letter that clearly communicates who you are and your interest in this role. In particular, the cover letter must include information on the following:
    • Role(s) You’re Applying For – please indicate whether you are interested in the Chief Scientist, Senior Scientist, or Associate Scientist roles. Please be mindful of the qualifications required for each.
    • Specialized Experience – please clearly indicate in your cover letter which specialty  (electricity; food, agricultural, and land use; industry; transportation; buildings; carbon removal; environmental co-benefits; data science) you have the most experience in.
  • A detailed CV explaining your professional and educational background in scientific research, including peer-reviewed publications, research experience, technical skills, broader engagement and communications experience, experience working with stakeholders, etc.
  • Publications samples – please submit 5 examples of your peer-reviewed research publications, and 3 examples of your public-facing communications (op-Eds, thought pieces, presentations, media interviews, etc.)

We will ask finalists for a list of 3-5 references.

Applications will be reviewed beginning Monday June 13, 2022. The application process may be closed at any point after that date.

Project Drawdown is an equal opportunity employer committed to having a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. Project Drawdown does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by law, and we will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. We strongly encourage all qualified persons to apply for this position. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and the organization’s need.

If you have questions, contact us at Please, no phone calls.