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Staff Scientist

Job Location

New York, NY or Washington DC


Type of Job



$103,300- $120,800

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Sep 18, 2023

About the job

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization.  We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country and around the world.  We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change.  We partner with thousands of groups, supporters and citizens to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change.  We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.


Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections.  We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco, with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.


The Toxic Exposure and Health Program plays a vital role in Earthjustice’s mission to defend the right of all people to a healthy environment. This Program’s work focuses on addressing the many ways that people are exposed to and harmed by toxic chemicals, with a special focus on federal regulatory programs like the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The Program’s work also intersects with broader efforts to promote healthy communities by addressing issues related to clean air, clean water, pesticides, drinking water, and waste, as well as related issues at the intersection of other areas of programmatic work (like climate and energy and biodiversity).



The Scientist will help develop and execute innovative strategies designed to identify and reduce exposures to toxic chemicals (like lead, PFAS, petrochemicals and pesticides). These include, for example, strategies to: develop the factual basis for obtaining stronger regulation of toxic substances in consumer products and the environment; ensure scientifically rigorous assessments of hazard, exposure, and risk under environmental and public health laws (like TSCA, FIFRA, and the CAA); support the elimination of toxic chemicals and additives in food, food packaging, and consumer products; identify hazards and exposures from petrochemical production and use; and pioneer development of leading-edge laws and policies that can serve as models for states and the federal government. The Scientist will help advance these policies through litigation and policy advocacy at the federal and state levels. 

This position would be based in New York, NY or Washington, DC, and would involve a hybrid work schedule.   


  • Evaluates:the scientific and technical bases for potential new cases or issues, developing research strategies
    studies and scientific materials for rigor and soundness of scientific methodology (including statistical analysis)
    consistency of inputs, analysis and underlying assumptions of scientific materials with accepted methodologic approaches and epistemological principles
  • Reviews, analyzes, summarizes, and synthesizes case-related scientific documents and information, as well as more general environmental planning documents, technical support documents, scientific studies, and other scientific and technical information to support legal strategies
  • Drafts:formal requests to agencies for public records;
    or assists colleagues, experts, clients, or partners to prepare and present, declarations, testimony, and scientific and technical portions of pleadings;
    scientific and technical information in fact sheets, comment letters, press releases, blogs, news articles, slides, reports, and other materials for internal use or external use with clients, coalitions, the media, and others
  • Builds scientific and technical records on rulemakings that may be subject to Earthjustice litigation, including drafting comment letters
  • Conducts detailed scientific and technical research, literature reviews and quantitative data analyses to support litigation and guide policy advocacy
  • Contributes to and participates in strategic planning and internal team-building and coordination efforts
  • Identifies, collaborates, develops, and manages relationships with individuals and organizations in the scientific and academic communities
  • Assists litigation operations team with coordination and maintenance of key research databases and scientific resource needs
  • Conducts outreach or engages with potential and existing client or partner groups, including from diverse and/or under-served communities
  • Collaborates both internally and externally on science communication
  • May testify on proposed legislation
  • May sign or cosign advocacy comments or other non-litigation documents in consultation with relevant program staff
  • May present at scientific and academic conferences and meetings, and in university courses
  • May conduct internal trainings on scientific and technical issues relevant to Earthjustice cases, e.g., quantitative risk assessment
  • May engage in original research and writing for publication in scientific journals
  • May supervise one or more science fellows or interns
  • Manage scientific and technical consultants


  • Requires a Master’s degree or Ph.D in environmental health, epidemiology, toxicology, exposure sciences, or a related scientific field., or the equivalent level of primary research and analytic experience
  • 3+ years of experience conducting scientific research and analysis
  • Has significant level and depth of knowledge on specific subject area(s)
  • Experience with human health and/or ecological risk assessment preferred.
  • Exceptional scientific ability and capacity for penetrating critical analysis of primary research and other scientific data and materials
  • Excellent ability to understand factual, scientific, technical, economic, historical, and policy aspects of issues and quickly transfer this knowledge to attorneys in a coherent and non-technical fashion.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Deep technical expertise in analytical and quantitative methods relevant to subject matter area
  • Strong statistical analysis abilities
  • Excellent Internet and traditional research and computer skills, including advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel and ability to conduct computer-based statistical analyses.
  • Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Ability and commitment to contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive. We also offer a congenial, flexible, hybrid work environment and a casual dress code. As a 501(c)(3) organization, Earthjustice is a qualifying employer for purposes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.


Salary depends on experience and location.

Salary range in New York, NY: $108,700 - $120,800
Salary range in Washington, D.C: $103,300 - $114,800


To Apply:

Interested applicants should submit the following via Jobvite:

  • Resume.
  • Cover letter that addresses: (1) your interest in, and qualifications for, serving as a Staff Scientist(2) why you are drawn to Earthjustice’s mission and whether there are particular legal, environmental, or social justice issues that inspire you; and (3) aspects of your background that demonstrate competence to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in work with clients and colleagues. Also, please include the earliest date you would be available to begin work.

Applications should be submitted by October 10, 2023. Professional references will be collected for finalist candidates later in the process.

Please reach out to if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.


Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are given equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.


For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


For positions located within the City of Los Angeles: We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

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