Markets and Food Research Fellow - 18086 | WWF
Markets and Food Research Fellow - 18086

Posted on 10 May 2018


World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization, seeks (2) Markets and Food Research Fellows, one based at WWF-US Headquarters in Washington, DC, and the other based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS – in Santa Barbara, CA. This position is funded through December 219. WWF’s half-century of conservation success is rooted firmly in science; it informs and underpins everything we do. WWF’s goal is to ensure that people live in harmony with nature. Traditionally our strategies focused on species, their numbers, the habitat that is critical to their survival, illegal trade in biodiversity, the creation of protected areas and the identification and protection of corridors that are essential to the migration of movement of many species. Traditionally we worked with local communities and NGOs as well as governments and international bodies to build support for local to global strategies to protect biodiversity and critical ecosystem functions. We have also identified specific threats to the species and places we care about (e.g. dams, roads, mines, etc.) and worked with others to reduce or eliminate those threats. And we have developed certification programs that establish standards for the sustainable harvest of wild species (e.g. the Forest Stewardship Council for timber and the Marine Stewardship Council for wild seafood).


More recently, we have come to realize that some of the biggest threats to our mission are global and systemic. They cannot be addressed one place, one company or even one country at a time. WWF has worked in Markets and Food for over a decade with the acknowledgement that the biggest threat to our mission has long been where and how we produce food. Now those impacts are being exacerbated by increased populations, increasing income, shifts in consumption patterns and climate change. And, within food, the single biggest threat to WWF’s mission comes from the production of animal protein.


The Markets and Food Research Fellows will work together to help lead and guide a strategic global protein research project that aims to carry out a comparative analysis of the impact of global protein production systems on the environment, livelihoods, and human health. This research project will be carried out in close collaboration with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), based at the University of California Santa Barbara, which will support a research working group approach and convene a global panel of scientific experts to carry out the research. Working group meetings will be convened over the next 18 months at NCEAS facilities in Santa Barbara as well as in different regions of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The Research Fellows will co-lead the project with considerable oversight, guidance and support from management and support teams within WWF and NCEAS. Through an analysis and synthesis research approach, this work will:

  • Describe the macro context for protein production and consumption globally and regionally, including plant-based and animal-based systems;
  • Identify and quantify the range of environmental impacts using key social and environmental metrics;
  • Describe and quantify the major global, regional and local drivers affecting protein production and consumption;
  • Describe issues and challenges related to livelihoods and nutrition, especially by key geographies;
  • Develop global/regional/national projections or scenarios of potential future global protein supply and demand to 2050, using data, insights and modeling approaches from key geographies;
  • Describe risks, opportunities, and tradeoffs for scaling up different protein production systems, including issues such as yield gaps, sustainable intensification, land use change, and climate change, as related to potential impacts on livelihoods, nutrition and the environment.


The Markets and Food Science Research Fellows report to the WWF-US Vice President for Markets and Food or the Executive Director of NCEAS.


  • Provides project management and executive-level research and analysis support for the global protein research project, specifically as part of a Research Working Group approach
  • Works with Senior Vice President, Vice President of Markets and Food, the Executive Director of NCEAS and other key staff to conduct innovative research and modeling, data analysis, and literature reviews to synthesize findings, develop recommendation and deliver practice- and policy-relevant information
  • Stays abreast of relevant scientific literature and shares important findings with team
  • Conducts and supports colleagues in conducting research, analyses and synthesis, providing compelling written and visual information to convey key results
  • Serves as a radar function to identify opportunities and emerging science issues, especially related to protein
  • Drafts reports and papers suitable for peer-reviewed publications, supports high quality distribution of research and analysis and liaisons closely across the global science team, especially the WWF Lead Scientist for Agriculture and Food
  • Undertakes drafting and editing of Working Group project reports, findings, and proposals
  • Performs other duties as assigned 
  • A PhD obtained in a discipline in environmental science, agroecology, or related field (a must), expertise, experience and interest in terrestrial or marine protein and feed production is a plus
  • Considerable research and analytical experience required, preferably in an environmental or agricultural discipline
  • Knowledge and understanding of relevant, current research methods are a must
  • Experience in science communications, analytical and synthesis, and report writing preferred
  • Strong leadership, project management skills, and excellent organizational and multi-tasking skills
  • Excellent verbal, written, visual and interpersonal communications skills in English, French or another language a plus
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a decentralized network with a culturally diverse and international team 

Please Note: The application deadline is Tuesday, May 22nd at 12:00am EST.

To Apply:

  • Submit cover letter and resume through our Careers Page,  Requisition #18086 
  • Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone

As an EOE/AA employer, WWF will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Related links