Summer Research Assistant

Forest Trends is an international not-for-profit environmental conservation organization based in Washington, D.C. that works to achieve sustainable forest management and conservation by capturing the value for ecosystem services, and expanding the value of forests and other natural ecosystems to society.  For more information visit

We are seeking a research assistant to support Forest Trends’ partnership with the Government of Peru to develop a strategy for achieving improved agricultural outputs alongside verified environmental conservation, specifically in support of achieving Peru’s 2021 goal of achieving net zero deforestation.

Research Assistant Description:
The research assistant will support the preparation of a report documenting business and finance models that have successfully engaged smallholder agricultural producers and resulted in improved livelihoods, agricultural outputs, and forest conservation. The report will draw on cases worldwide and will be analyzed to extract relevant lessons for the Peruvian context.

The research assistant will work closely with experts from Forest Trends’ Public-Private Co-Finance Initiative and partners in Peru to produce the report.

The work will span approximately 3 months, from mid-May to mid-August. Exact start and end dates are flexible. This is a temporary full-time assignment.

Roles and Responsibilities include:

  • Desk research to identify and catalogue relevant smallholder business and finance models;
  • Interviews with individuals familiar with most relevant cases and experts on the subject matter to inform analysis;
  • Refinement of analytical framework for assessing case studies, with Forest Trends staff, other partners, and external experts;
  • Application of analytical framework to specific cases to produce key findings and assess relevance to Peruvian context;
  • Drafting of report and revisions to incorporate comments from expert reviewers;
  • Contributions to relevant programmatic activities as needed;
  • Other duties as assigned.


Skills and Qualifications

  • Excellent research, organizational and writing skills;
  • Good verbal communication skills, ideally with prior experience conducting telephone interviews;
  • Highly motivated self-starter; ability to work independently;
  • Demonstrated ability to apply analytical frameworks to specific cases; demonstrated writing skills
  • Familiarity with issues relating to smallholder agricultural business and finance models, especially in developing countries;
  • Interest in forest conservation issues and environmental incentives;
  • Undergraduate degree in relevant field; Masters degree or coursework in a relevant field preferred.
  • Fluency in English or Spanish required, with proficiency in Spanish or English desired.
  • Ability to commute to Washington, DC office preferred.



Hourly, negotiable rate based on level of education and experience. Employer benefits are not provided.


Forest Trends office in Washington, D.C. Home-based work schedule may be negotiable.


Submit your resume and a cover letter by April 15, 2016. Please send your materials, with subject line “Research Assistant,” to:

Gena Gammie, Associate Director,