Senior Social Science Analyst

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

Office of Chief Scientist Overview

The Office of Chief Scientist (OCS) is the nexus of science at EDF, ensuring that the natural and social science that is the backbone for all EDF policy positions is based on the best available information. To be most effective in this role, OCS provides programmatic support for all scientists at EDF and fosters relationships with scientists outside the organization. The OCS team works on projects across all of EDF’s programs, translating basic and applied research into actionable ideas for colleagues who are designing programs and projects.


Overall Function

The Senior Research Analyst will be a key team member in the Office of Chief Scientist, conducting research and analysis for emerging social, cognitive and behavioral science, around environmental issues. In addition, the Senior Research Analyst will also take a leadership role on a variety of smaller projects,  synthesize complex information and translate it for technical and non-technical audiences. The Senior Research Analyst will report to a Senior Social and Behavioral Scientist in the Office of Chief Scientist.


EDF’s social science team translates basic behavioral science findings into actionable ideas that can be put to use in our work and facilitates connection between EDF staff and external social/behavioral scientists with targeted expertise relevant to each program.  EDF’s social science team develop original lines of research that add value to the organization and establish our reputation as a center for high caliber social and behavioral science work. The Senior Research Analyst would serve as the primary support for EDF’s Senior Social Scientist.


Key Responsibilities

  • Participate in the design and development of experiments and studies that will test hypotheses on the mechanisms and processes relevant to the intervention.
  • Program surveys and experiments in platforms such as Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey, or by programming them directly.
  • Conduct interviews, leading focus groups, and then synthesizing and coding the qualitative data obtained during these engagements.
  • Monitor the collection of data from surveys and experiments.
  • Manage and analyzing data using SPSS, R, SAS, or Python.
  • Communicate findings to relevant EDF teams and partners through written reports and presentations.
  • Synthesize empirical and theoretical findings from social and behavioral science research literatures both orally and in writing. This includes assisting staff with notes for internal and external meetings, writing white papers, scientific journal articles, and blogs.
  • Manage small projects, including developing and executing workplans involving both internal and external partners.
  • In conjunction with Development and OCS staff, help develop funding proposals, grants, and interim reports to foundations and major donors.
  • Occasionally serve as an EDF science representative to ensure EDF’s policies,  legal positions, and communications are based on the best available social science.
  • Participate in EDF’s communications, advocacy, and outreach to policy makers, the public, and other stakeholders.
  • Maintain and build ties to research communities, through outreach, presentations at workshops and conferences, informal contacts, etc.
  • Communicate research products across programs and levels of expertise as needed.
  • Occasionally serve as an EDF science representative to ensure EDF’s policies,  legal positions, and communications are based on the best available science
  • Use independent judgment to plan, prioritize, and organize a diverse workload



  • Two or more years of experience with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Sociology, Organizational Behavior, Communication Studies, or a related discipline with a strong emphasis on data collection and experimentation, Required
  • Master’s degree in one of these fields, Preferred
  • Knowledge of the theories, principles, concepts, and methods of one or more of the mentioned scientific disciplines.
  • Experience with quantitative methods in social, behavioral and cognitive science research.
  • Strong communication skills, including experience in presenting at scientific conferences, writing scientific publications, and communicating complex ideas to a general audience.
  • Strong computational and statistical skills. Familiarity with multivariate regression methods and mixed-models to test longitudinal and experimental effect.
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Strong computer proficiency, including experience with Microsoft Office, and Internet research.
  • Intellectual agility and comfort with working across disciplines and learning new skills.
  • Ability to complete small complex projects and research assignments.
  • Ability to work independently, manage time efficiently, and collaborate effectively with diverse colleagues in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent problem solving and multi-tasking skills.
  • High attention to detail.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Project management experience preferred.
  • Passion for environmental protection, equity, and sustainable development.
  • Commitment to rigorous analysis.
  • Commitment to creativity and pragmatism in the real-world application of scientific theory to practice.
  • Fluency in one of the following languages would be a plus, but not a requirement: Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin.


Application Materials

Interested applicants should submit:

  • A cover letter that addresses how the applicant meets the requirements listed above.
  • CV or résumé.
  • A list of relevant coursework.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.