Job Opening: Science Director, Earth Commission

We’re looking for a scientist to lead the scientific synthesis of the Earth Commission, the scientific component of the Global Commons Alliance, and hosted by Future Earth.

The Science Director leads the scientific work of the Commission in collaboration with the Co-Chairs, Commissioners and scientific secretariat.

(S)he has an excellent academic track record, and experience of leading complex interdisciplinary research projects. The successful candidate will lead the synthesis work of the Earth Commission to produce an expert assessment to underpin science-based targets for the global commons.

The Earth Commission is supported by a small secretariat with the core team based at Future Earth’s Global Office in Stockholm. Additional supporting research staff are based at research institutes around the world co-located with Commissioners.

The secretariat is led by an Executive Director who is responsible for the overall strategy of the Earth Commission as well as collaboration with Global Commons Alliance and Future Earth.

The Science Director will collaborate closely with the Executive Director and the Program Manager, who coordinates people and processes within the Earth Commission program. The Science Director position is a 70-100% full-time equivalent.

This position is based at the Future Earth Global Hub in Stockholm and reports to the Global Hub Director.

Tasks/Job responsibilities

  • Lead the academic synthesis work of the Earth Commission, a group of ca. 20 international scientific experts appointed to define safe and just Earth system boundaries, review translation methods for those boundaries and levers of transformation
  • Design the assessment report outline, coordinate writing tasks, contribute to writing and ensure the report has a coherent narrative
  • Support the Co-Chairs to advance the scientific framework in line with the objectives set out in the Terms of Reference
  • Coordinate the Commissioners and secretariat to ensure that the Earth Commission delivers on its scientific goals and objectives, in close collaboration with the Executive Director and Program Manager.
  • Establish guidelines and oversee progress and performance of Commissioners and secretariat staff (in collaboration with Co-Chairs and Working Group leads)
  • Lead the scientific secretariat staff, including defining roles and delegating tasks
  • Lead the publication process (contact with journals etc)
  • Co-design Earth Commission workshops to achieve the above goals
  • Act as a spokesperson for the Earth Commission science with stakeholders in GCA and beyond


Minimum requirements

  • PhD in a field of sustainability science and 15 years experience conducting relevant research
  • Experience of leading collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects.
  • Good knowledge of Earth System science, research on boundaries and tipping points concepts.
  • Knowledge of social sciences, transformations research and modeling is an advantage.


Required skills

  • Experience in interdisciplinary research synthesis and/or assessments
  • Leadership skills including proven experience in interdisciplinary research teams in an international context
  • Excellence scientific writing skills and presentation skills, in English
  • Excellent project management skills,
  • International and intercultural sensitivity and capacity to work effectively with diverse, international teams.
  • An initiative taker, and a diplomat, with a capacity for creative human-centered problem solving
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective and trusting working relationships with directors, high-level experts and colleagues in research and administration.


Desired qualifications

  • Experience in leading synthesis or assessment efforts
  • Experience of international collaborations involving underrepresented geographies
  • Experience of workshop design and moderation
  • Experience of funder engagement and budget management
  • Experience working with communities outside of academia (private, public, NGO etc).
  • Experience in successful proposal writing and reporting to funders

International travel, and willingness to lead and participate in regular international virtual meetings, some outside of normal working hours, are required for this position.


About Future Earth

Future Earth is a global research network to advance research on sustainability science. The Swedish Global Hub forms part of the distributed secretariat with global hubs in 9 locations around the world.

Future Earth Sweden is host to the Earth Commission, an expert assessment to define the conditions for a safe and just planet to underpin the setting of science-based targets for governments, cities and businesses. The Earth Commission is part of the Global Commons Alliance.

This is a permanent position based at Future Earth’s Global Hub located at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.

Permission to work in Sweden is required.



Applicants are requested to submit a curriculum vitae together with a cover letter describing their motivation for the position and how their skills and experience match the role.

Applications should be sent via email with ‘Science Director’ in the subject line to

Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis and at the latest by 30 June 2023 with a start date as soon as possible.