Research Projects Manager at Earthwatch

Research Projects Manager

Earthwatch is an international environmental nonprofit organization that engages people in scientific field research and education. To achieve our mission, we offer research expeditions at exciting locations around the globe. Participants on these expeditions assist top scientists as they investigate important questions about how we can better protect our planet.

This position is no longer recruiting!

Location: Boston, MA, United States

Position Type: Full-time salaried

Department: Research


The objective of this role is to support the development of Earthwatch’s citizen-science driven research program. The Research Projects Manager will be responsible for: supporting the development of new research projects that meet Earthwatch research standards; ensuring quality information is known and documented for all Earthwatch research projects; tracking and evaluating the impact of these projects toward our mission; supporting research input into grant proposals; and maintaining relationships with scientists. The Research Projects Manager must have a strong understanding of the biological sciences and the ability to interact collaboratively across internal departments and external audiences. The Research Projects Manager should have an ongoing drive to find better ways to do business and be able to constructively challenge the status quo in order to drive better mission delivery, revenue generation, and results.


Administrative coordination of the Research Department, including the development of more streamlined administrative processes as needed:

  • Maintain up-to-date data about research projects in Athena;
  • Responsible for running reports from Athena; and
  • Organize and manage folders on SharePoint and the Earthwatch Server.

Collaboration with the Operations Manager for the successful management of the research project proposal process, including developing improvements to the process as needed:

  • Work closely with Inventory team to coordinate the portfolio of research projects; 
  • Manage the Research department forms (Pre-Proposal, Proposal, Renewal Proposal, Field Report, etc.) and processes to ensure efficient delivery of project outcomes and successful scientist stewardship;
  • Respond, track, and coordinate inquiries, concept notes, and proposals requesting funding;
  • Coordinate the outreach strategy for recruiting new projects by developing contacts and lists of institutions and organizations that could help identify potential researchers; and
  • Research and solicit appropriate peer reviewers for projects, providing support and information as needed and following up with deadlines and requests.

Development, management, and maintenance of a relational database: 

  • Develop a relational database, the Research Assessment Database (RAD), working closely with interns and with the rest of the Research Department team in its development;
  • Ensure accuracy of data and problem-solving any issues within RAD; 
  • Provide training on RAD to interns and Earthwatch staff;
  • Track the progress made by all project on the portfolio towards the organizational Measures of Success; 
  • Assist in evaluation and visualization of data; and 
  • Complete organizational reports on the progress made towards Measures of Success.

Support initiatives to secure funding for research projects and programs, including: 

  • Developing, managing, and delivering receivables on the Hill-Urbina Marine Conservation Initiative (MCI); 
  • Developing professional and technical skills (e.g., project management, data visualization, GIS, statistics) to enable work on the MCI and other initiatives;
  • Working closely with program manager, program coordinator, and chief scientist to create reporting materials for MCI donors; and
  • Recruiting leading scientists for the MCI.

Function as Research Negotiator for a number of research projects as required by Chief Scientist:

  • Stewardship of PI relationships to ensure each project is meeting Earthwatch standards for scientific research and impacts; and
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of each project while working closely and in complement to the Program Manager for the project in order to provide annual review through PAT process, ensure accurate project representation in print materials and the web.

Support the creation of a strong coalition of partners with NGOs, research institutions, and key decision makers (in Governments and statutory agencies in project locations/regions) to enhance delivery programs.

Support of general Earthwatch science communication, including input for research web pages, production of posters, annual lecture series, and input to specific position papers.

Supervision and hiring of research interns to contribute to research department objectives.

Field delivery or site visits: This person may be called upon to lead or support teams in the field as required and depending on experience. 

Other related duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, environmental science or related field
  • Demonstrated commitment to Earthwatch’s mission and values
  • 3+ years’ experience in non-profit/NGO/science sector, including working globally across regions 
  • Experience with Microsoft Access or other relational database
  • Experience with preliminary analyses, including creating tables and figures in Excel and  other programs
  • Proven track record in managing complex projects and programs
  • Strong interest in learning about and working with scientists
  • Ability to find creative ideas and solutions to overcome obstacles and add value
  • Positive and collaborative attitude
  • Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills
  • Experience in a not-for-profit and international environment preferred 
  • Strong organizational skills to manage multiple priorities in a time sensitive manner
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to interact with diverse internal and external individuals
  • Strong critical thinking skills

Company Benefits

  • Opportunities to field on research projects and staff discounts
  • 401k retirement plan with 5% employer match
  • Health insurance with health reimbursement, dental insurance and flexible spending accounts
  • 100% employer paid life, long term disability and accidental death & dismemberment insurance, employee assistance program, and short term disability insurance
  • Generous paid time off and parental leave
  • Potential for flexible working hours and/or regular work-at-home days
  • Many professional development opportunities, including professional development grant program, mentor program, internal and external training, conferences and more
  • Free breakfast every Friday!
  • Many fun employee engagement/appreciation events

To Apply

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter via the form below.

No phone calls please. Due to limited resources, we are only able to accept applicants who are already eligible to work in the United States. Earthwatch is an equal opportunity employer.


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