Research Fellow – Water, impacts and trade


Stockholm Environment Institute


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Start Date

Monday, January 3, 2022

Join our international non-profit research organization and help create a sustainable and prosperous future for all! SEI HQ is a dynamic, expanding workplace that employs around 110 people from 28 different nationalities in an activity-based office in central Stockholm (Garnisonen), with an additional 200 employees in centres around the world.

Trase is a data-driven transparency initiative that is revolutionizing our understanding of the trade and financing of commodities driving deforestation worldwide. Trase is jointly led by SEI and Global Canopy, with many additional partners and close collaborators. The Trase team is made up of over 25 individuals, of which approximately half are employed by SEI, located in nine countries and brought together by enthusiasm, curiosity and drive to help solve one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time. Trase’s unique supply chain mapping approach brings together disparate, publicly available data to connect consumer markets to deforestation and other impacts on the ground.

Trase’s freely available online tools ( and actionable intelligence enable companies, financial institutions, governments and civil society organizations to take practical steps to address deforestation. The Trase approach draws on vast sets of production, trade, customs and financial data, for the first time laying bare the flows of globally-traded commodities – such as palm oil, soy and beef – at scale (, as well as the flows of capital used to finance this trade ( Trase is a direct response to the ambitious commitments made by leaders across sectors to achieve deforestation-free supply chains and the urgent need this creates for a breakthrough in assessing and monitoring sustainability performance.

The role

SEI HQ is recruiting a highly motivated Research Fellow to work on a new project, TraseH2O, within the Trase initiative in collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The successful applicant will have a strong background in water science with experience in water accounting, water footprinting and modelling with focus on crops and livestock.

TraseH2O aims to investigate trade-offs between water use, deforestation and greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions associated with Brazilian soy and beef commodity exports. The project will bring water resources into the Trase offering alongside the already available trade information, deforestation risk and GhG emissions from deforestation risk. TraseH2O focuses specifically on water use for agriculture and livestock in Brazil, as well as the trade-offs between land and water use for agricultural production, including the interplay between deforestation, irrigation and moisture recycling. The project is also meant as a steppingstone to scale water use and scarcity in Trase more broadly. For more details on the TraseH2O project, visit the project page.

You will be part of a leading multinational, multidisciplinary and multilingual team of experts, working across the Trase initiative while also delivering on an exciting and fun project! We value diversity, inclusivity and creativity at the core of what we do and we welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply. Through the TraseH2O project, you will also contribute to the exciting new phase of Trase’s strategy for 2021–2025 to mainstream the deployment and uptake of Trase data to help transform the sustainability of commodity trade.

The Research Fellow will work in collaboration with experts in GIS, water resources management, water footprinting and atmospheric moisture recycling modelling to support the objectives of the project. Key tasks include:

  • using novel methods and datasets to estimate water use for soy and beef in Brazil
  • applying existing and new methods to perform water footprint sustainability assessments in Brazilian river basins
  • presenting research and project results in meetings and international conferences
  • supporting engagement activities related to the project and
  • leading the publication of communication pieces, including blog posts, insights, policy briefs and peer-reviewed articles.