About Project Drawdown

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.

See The Drawdown Review—2020 for the latest update to our work.

Project Drawdown Research & Fellows

Project Drawdown’s research program seeks to determine whether reaching Drawdown is possible using existing, well-proven climate solutions. To uncover that answer, we review and evaluate the potential performance of diverse technologies and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or increase carbon sequestration from the atmosphere. All of these climate solutions are financially viable and already scaling, at least in some places.

Drawdown research fellows analyze solutions, drawing upon years of advanced study, experience, and a wide range of backgrounds. For each technology or practice, we review extensive literature and data describing its potential scale, impact, and cost. We then build analytical models to estimate how many gigatons of carbon dioxide (or equivalent amounts of other greenhouse gases) a given solution could avoid and/or remove over time, as well as the cost of implementing and operating it.

Project Drawdown conducts an ongoing review and analysis of climate solutions, to provide the world with a current and robust resource. We are recruiting more sector experts and data modelers to contribute to our ongoing research, which continues to expand in scope and depth.

The Research Fellowship program is a part-time or full-time commitment starting November 2020. Initially, opportunities will be available for a three- to six-month period with possibility for further extension. Opportunities to continue working beyond this period may be available and considered on a case-by-case basis. Fellows will be expected to work 20-40 hours per week.

Fellowship Subject Areas

We are looking for individuals with knowledge and expertise in the following areas:

  • Avoided Methane: technologies or agricultural practices that reduce methane from entering the atmosphere.
  • Health & Education: rights-based solutions that can reduce estimated future demand through access to health resources and education.
  • Demand-Side Food Systems: supply-chain solutions that prevent food loss and waste from occurring; and, shifts in diets and behaviors that limit the production and consumption of high-emitting commodities.
  • Engineered Sinks: technological solutions that sequester carbon from atmosphere.
  • Transportation: mobility solutions that reduce fuel combustion and/or reduce demand from passengers and shipping.


  • Master’s degree required, PhD or equivalent work experience preferred.
  • 5+ years of experience in subject area (see above).
  • Experience in quantitative analysis, data modeling, or econometrics required.
  • Strong research, analysis, and writing skills. Demonstrated ability and commitment to conduct research and produce scholarly work.
  • Experience preparing clear, compelling, and high-quality reports and presentations.
  • Project management skills, capable of meeting deadlines.
  • Interest in and ability to work remotely, yet in collaboration with a team of researchers in different time zones.
  • Comfort with teleconferencing. Able to participate in videoconferences between 9:00am–12:00pm Pacific Time.


Remote work only.


Research fellows will be compensated between $600-1200 per week, depending on hours designated. Fellows also benefit from professional development opportunities, networking with other climate leaders, and attribution in all materials produced from their research. Travel and accommodation costs will not be compensated.

How to Apply

Please complete our online application form. All candidates should upload a cover letter, their most recent resume or CV, two references, and two recent writing samples (see below for details). We will also consider letters of support from supervisors or institutions.

Writing Samples

All applicants should submit two writing samples, including:

  1. A 500-1000 word argumentative essay or op-ed on a subject of your choice that demonstrates an ability to make a focused argument in a clear, convincing, and accessible way. This writing sample is evaluated for evidence of critical thinking and general writing skills.
  2. A research paper of up to 10 pages. This does not need to have been published, but should demonstrate an ability to research and analyze a subject in more depth. It is recommended, but not required, that the topic of the research paper be relevant to the Project Drawdown’s mission. Papers utilizing quantitative and qualitative analysis of climate solutions are particularly encouraged.


Priority deadline for all applications: September 15, 2020

Applications accepted on a rolling basis until filled.

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 worldwide to apply for this position. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and the organization’s need.

Position Description PDF

For more information contact us at fellows@drawdown.org

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Mamta Mehra

Mamta Mehra, Ph.D. is an environmental professional with expertise in climate change, agriculture, and natural resource management. She has more than ten years experience working in these sectors.

Dr. Mehra joined Project Drawdown in 2015 as a Senior Fellow focusing on Drawdown solutions in the Land Use and Food sectors. She presents Project Drawdown's work at various conferences, creating awareness of climate change solutions. She also serves as an independent consultant to various national and international organisations on climate change issues, and is one of the analysts of the Keeling Curve Prize. 

Previously, Dr. Mehra worked in different research capacities for Swiss Aid, UNDP-Australian Aid, and World Bank on projects involving community-based agriculture insurance, capacity-building of civil servants on climate change issues, resource conservation, and diversified farming systems. 

Dr. Mehra is very passionate about application-based research and has started working on a restoration project for the revival of the abandoned croplands through agroforestry practices in her native state in India. In the next phase of work she wants to work on the implementation of Drawdown solutions at various scales.

Dr. Mehra has a master's degree in Water Resource Management and Ph.D. in Sustainable Resource Use Management from TERI University, India.

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Robin Pelc

Robin Pelc, Ph.D. is a marine scientist whose interests lie at the intersection of science and policy with a focus on environmental and social sustainability. She has a Masters of Science in Earth Systems from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she studied the effects of Marine Protected Areas.

 Robin is an adjunct faculty member at California State University Monterey Bay, where she teaches marine science and biology service learning and scientific writing. Robin also works on greenhouse gas verification projects and collaborates with leading organizations in the sustainable seafood movement, providing technical writing, data analysis, project management, and scientific review for fisheries sustainability projects.

Prior to starting her position at California State University, Robin was the Fisheries Program Manager at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program. In this role, she developed the scientific criteria used to assess the sustainability of worldwide fisheries operations, and oversaw the scientific reports that form the basis of the program’s wild seafood purchasing recommendations. She has also conducted field research in Marine Protected Areas in South Africa, worked as a Coastal Resource Manager for the Pacific island nation of Palau, and published an analysis of renewable energy from the ocean for the Environmental Defense Fund. 

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Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward, Ph.D. is an ecologist and oceanographer, who studies carbon cycling in coastal habitats and landscapes. Specifically, she studies the ability for natural coastal habitats to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration.

Melissa recently graduated from University of California, Davis with a Ph.D. in marine ecology, where she continues to work as a scientist and a marine science instructor. Her research assesses:

  1. carbon storage in seagrass and salt marshes sediments (Blue Carbon) across the U.S. West coast, and
  2. the ability for seagrasses to ameliorate the impacts of ocean acidification through photosynthesis.

This work brings together a network of stakeholders including academics, resource managers, and aquaculturists, each of which are invested in the research as a means to reach sustainable climate solutions. Simultaneously, Melissa is working with policymakers as a consultant to encourage and pass policies that support the protection and restoration of key coastal habitats. Melissa plans to broaden her work on climate solutions through her science fellowship with Project Drawdown and through developing collaborations with the Blue Carbon Lab in Melbourne, Australia.

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Emilia Jankowska

Emilia Jankowska, Ph.D. is an oceanographer focusing on marine benthic systems and their functioning under human pressures such as habitat disturbances, climate warming, and microplastic pollution. Her expertise includes organic carbon cycle and sinks, benthic biodiversity, and food web reconstruction with the use of trophic markers. Emilia's Ph.D. project evaluated the effects of seagrass recovery on the functioning of the benthic communities. She was a principal investigator of a research project founded by Polish public sector, a member of two COST (European Association of Science and Technology) working groups - 'Development and implementation of a pan-European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System' and  'Seagrass productivity - from genes to ecosystem management.'  She also participated in projects funded by the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme evaluating climate warming effects in the European Arctic. 

After receiving her Ph.D. she collaborated with NGOs in Malaysia and Indonesia and directly applied conservation practices in mangroves restoration, reducing plastic pollution, and environmental education. For the last year, she worked for the SYSTEMIQ Ltd. in London in a project run together with the PEW Charitable Trust that aimed to develop and provide tools for businesses and policymakers to solve the global marine plastic pollution problem. Emilia led microplastic pollution workstream modeling microplastic pathways and solutions to cut their emissions to the oceans. Currently, she is evolving towards sustainable use of ocean resources.  

Emilia received her Ph.D. at the Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences and the University of Gent. Emilia is author of 17 peer-reviewed publications (h-index of 6), and has participated in international conferences and science popularization campaigns.

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Chautauqua Institution


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