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Researcher / Analyst / Writer

Cross-Organizational | Portland, ME | Full Time

Job Description

Help make the persuasive case that all people deserve equal access to safe food and drinking water, healthy homes, and products that are toxic-free and climate-friendly. Help us end plastic pollution and environmental injustice.

We need someone who can conduct compelling investigative research on a diversity of issues, and then translate the technical complexity into well-written, persuasive plain language communications. Your action research will inform our solutions-focused campaigns to persuade government and industry decision makers to make positive change.

What You’ll Do:  You will generate compelling, science and fact-driven written material to help advance Defend Our Health’s programs. You will synthesize and summarize information from sources ranging from scientific studies and industry fact sheets to government databases in order to generate reports, fact sheets, blogs, and other content that is easily understood and appealing to audiences with moderate to non-existent technical background. You will work directly with raw data and perform basic statistical analyses and matching with other data sets to help uncover trends or identify new avenues for our advocacy work.  The topics you work on will change rapidly and regularly as you work across all of our program areas. Over time, the position could grow into a high level position with supervisory responsibility as we seek to develop a research team.

Who We Need: We’re looking for someone with both the analyst skillset of being able to dive into the minutia of regulations, scientific studies, and government databases to pull out the key elements as well as the advocacy sensibility and writing skills to succinctly present the key information in a way that grabs attention and interest.  The successful candidate will not be afraid of a blank sheet, and will be a prolific generator of quality written material under tight deadlines. We need an individual who is familiar with basic data manipulation and analysis, able to take a comma delimited download from a state database and combine it with other data sources to develop insights helpful to our work using basic tools such as Access, Excel, or R. In addition to having a passion for our mission and topic areas, we look for individuals who are committed to progressive values and social change.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Action Oriented Research – Help to ask and answer the questions that will inform our work, drive our programs forward, and make change.
  • Analysis and Synthesis – Summarize information from scientific studies, government publications, and other sources. Utilize basic data analysis tools to generate relevant information from data sets.
  • Persuasive Communications – Develop thoroughly researched and documented memos, reports, and presentations that convey complex technical information in ways relevant and persuasive to key audiences and decision makers.
  • Information Monitoring – Develop subject matter expertise in our program area topics and share with program staff key developments and emerging trends.


  • Minimum three years directly relevant professional experience, preferably in a closely related topic area.
  • Exceptional written communication skills with proven ability to generate technically informed persuasive writing under deadline.
  • Adept at science communication and translation for lay audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to master complex technical and scientific information and synthesize information across multiple disciplines, with exceptional ability to summarize and translate it to a lay audience.
  • Experience in data analysis and ability to use general tools such as R, Access, or even Excel to combine multiple data sets and extract relevant information.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with basic statistical concepts.
  • Strongly self-motivated and directed, with the capacity to work effectively in a team with extensive amounts of feedback and revision to work products.
  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, with a masters or higher preferred.

Defend Our Health works to create a world where all people are thriving with equal access to safe food and drinking water, healthy homes, and products that are toxic-free and climate-friendly.

We're a dynamic, creative, growing 20-year-old nonprofit organization that advances public policy at the state and federal level, and leads national market campaigns in collaboration with groups across the country.  In the workplace and in the world, we are committed to diversity, inclusion, and environmental justice.

Location: This position may be remotely located anywhere in the United States, though we encourage you to join our headquarters team in Portland, Maine, a Northeast gem where food is fab, local music is great, craft beer is flowing, and the city is growing! In a state known as “vacationland,” you’ll find hiking, biking, skiing, boating, and beautiful beaches are all close by.  

Salary: $48,000 to $58,000, depending on experience over minimum requirements.

Benefits:  Medical, dental, and vision insurance; 401K; four weeks paid vacation, a generous number of paid holidays, as well as sick leave; potential for flexible schedule.

For more information:  A full job description is available on our website at

To Apply:   Please submit a cover letter highlighting your fit to this position, your current resume, and a writing sample that reflects the nature of writing this position demands on this portal.

Application Deadline: Application review will take place as applications are received and until a hire is made.  If the posting is still on this portal, we are still accepting applications.

Defend Our Health is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status, disability, age, or national origin.