Project Director, Pew Marine Fellows Program

The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts

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See open jobs at The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Administration, Product, Data Science · Full-time
Washington, DC, USA · Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation

Pew annually provides three-year fellowships to scientists and other experts from around the globe to support original, research-based marine conservation projects. The program invests in mid-career scientists to generate high-quality research that informs decisions related to ocean health. Since the 1990s, the program has supported about 200 fellows. Alumni and current fellows are invited to an annual meeting to build new collaborations and foster a community of conservation-oriented experts focused on bringing data and research to bear on ocean protection. The program also hosts training workshops and program support for new fellows to strengthen the connections between their research and conservation policy and practice. Learn more here:

Position Overview

The project director leads the Pew Marine Fellows (PMF) program, providing strategic, technical, and operational leadership. Key aspects of the position include a) overseeing the nomination and selection processes to award fellowships to outstanding, diverse experts from around the globe who are committed to bringing evidence to bear on marine conservation; b) advancing peer-to-peer learning among fellows and alumni with varied expertise and perspectives; c) furthering the ability of individual fellows and the larger fellows’ community to inform conservation-decision making; d) ensuring the program’s scientific and grant-making integrity; and e) embedding the concept of research equity in program-supported activities.

The position, based in Pew’s Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia offices, reports to the director, Environmental Science and will participate in Pew’s core in-office days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will have flexibility to work from home the remainder of each week.

Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the country for which they are seeking employment without visa sponsorship.


  • Lead the marine fellows program, including efforts to enhance the technical and conservation skills of individual fellows and build an intellectually vibrant and supportive community of fellows and program alumni.
  • Manage and mentor PMF staff, including day-to-day leadership and ongoing professional development, and fostering a work environment that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible.
  • Guide the annual selection process for Pew marine fellowships, including the nomination and application cycle, application review by an external selection committee, and management of fellowship grants.
  • Maintain knowledge of ongoing fellowship research projects in marine conservation. Continually refine and lead activities that enhance new fellows’ skills, including to connect research with conservation decision-making.
  • Act as the primary convener for the PMF annual meeting. Oversee planning of a topically diverse and engaging meeting agenda, as well as logistics, budget, and coordination with Pew staff in other units.
  • Foster opportunities for fellows and alumni to build professional relationships and develop new research collaborations, such as through working groups or research seed funding.
  • Oversee outreach activities, including events to disseminate fellows’ research. Coordinate with communications staff on the program’s communications strategy.
  • Represent the program to internal and external audiences, including Pew’s other conservation programs and external funders.
  • Lead planning, reporting, and budgeting, both internally and with external funders. Identify opportunities to improve activities, operations, and outcomes. Ensure ongoing monitoring, learning, and evaluation.
  • Maintain familiarity with marine conservation research and issues, current thinking about connecting research with conservation outcomes, and grant-making and research principles.


  • Excellent judgement, including capacity to think strategically, be reflective, accept and respond to input, justify recommendations, and make informed decisions.
  • Inclusive, collaborative outlook. Keen interest in fostering the capacity and equitable contributions of people from a variety of countries, cultures, and backgrounds. Capable of moving a diverse group forward with focus and grace, including as a group facilitator.
  • Skilled at assessing the quality of research projects and their potential to inform conservation policies and practices.
  • Recognized experience meeting multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization and attention to detail.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including ease in communicating the essence of issues in a clear, effective manner.
  • Effective interpersonal skills, including skill in developing and maintaining productive relationships with internal and external colleagues, including, fellows and alumni, external donors, and others who contribute to the effectiveness of the Program.

Key attributes and preferred experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent required; advanced degree or equivalent experience in natural or social science with a conservation focus strongly preferred.
  • Generally ten years of professional experience working with the research community, including experience managing staff, projects, consultants, or other individuals.
  • Experience managing research fellowships, other experiential learning programs or professional networks preferred.
  • Specific knowledge of and experience with marine conservation research and issues is preferred.
  • Comfortable with delegating responsibilities to a highly capable staff in different geographic locations.
  • Willingness to engage in hands-on operational work and be available for international calls outside typical work hours.


This position requires occasional domestic and international travel, including for at least a week for the program’s annual meeting.

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.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer.

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at The Pew Charitable Trusts.