Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation: Environmental Research Fellow

Apply here (Applications due Friday, January 13, 2017)

Non-U.S. citizens are not eligible to apply for this position.

Website: http://www.drkfoundation.org/


Fellowship Position 

Position title: Environmental Research Fellow

Department:  Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Reports to: Chief of Staff, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Address of fellowship placement: 1600 El Camino Real, Suite 155 Menlo Park, CA 94025

Department Description

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early stage, high impact social enterprises. We believe that with early funding and rigorous support, exceptional social entrepreneurs, tackling some of society’s most complex problems, can make the world a better place. We find, fund and support exceptional entrepreneurs and partner with them to help them reach their full potential and build their organizations to scale. We invest in early stage organizations in a wide variety of sectors — our portfolio includes organizations working both domestically and internationally, helping to provide critical access to healthcare, education, food security, social justice, water and sanitation and the environment. Our model is borrowed from our venture capital legacy. We seek entrepreneurs who exhibit characteristics of extraordinary leadership: vision, intelligence, empathy, ambition and follow-through. Since we started in 2002 we have invested in 108 entrepreneurs. We are launching our third fund of $65 million to support 100 next generation social entrepreneurs in the next six years. Our entrepreneurs are making lasting change in the world and our portfolio reflects some of the most impactful new organizations in the social sector. 

Position Description

The Environmental Research Fellow will work with DRK’s deal team to help us deepen our knowledge and networks in the environmental space in order to find the most impactful investments in the sector. The Fellow will research the issues, challenges and solutions to create a systems map. The Fellow will also help DRK to develop our investment thesis for how our model can best maximize our impact in this area.

Examples of specific responsibilities, projects, tasks, and/or duties of the Fellow include:

Research projects include:

  • Perform a landscape analysis of the sector and develop a systems map on the environment space
  • Deep analysis on the issues and help DRK better understand the challenges and solutions that exist
  • Research and analysis on which issues are the biggest levers for DRK to make an impact
  • Perform research as part of the diligence process for specific investment opportunities
  • Research ways for DRK to continually learn and be more connected in the sector


This position would benefit from a Fellow with some background or coursework in environmental policy, and strong writing, research, analytical and organizational skills.

Professional Development

  • The Fellow will have opportunities to participate in team discussions on investment opportunities and join in some entrepreneur pitches. 
  • The Fellow will work with our small and collaborative team and see how investment decisions are made for new innovative solutions for the environment. 
  • The Fellow will have opportunities for mentorship from the leadership team at DRK.