Postdoc: Northeastern University Social Science & Environmental Health Research Institute


Research Associate – Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute


University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI), in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of Health Sciences, seeks a postdoctoral research associate who studies ethical issues concerning emerging environmental contaminants and technologies. This one-year appointment is part of a Research Training Program, “New Directions in Environmental Ethics: Emerging Contaminants, Emerging Technologies, and Beyond,” funded by NSF’s Science Technology and Society (STS) Program, which currently funds three doctoral students. The Training Program synthesizes three areas on the cutting edge of STS research: 1) emerging contaminants and technologies, 2) public participation in science, and 3) reflexive research ethics. These areas are tied together by a commitment to developing and implementing research and methods that make science and technological innovation more accountable and responsive to public needs and wellbeing. In addition to developing their own research, the postdoctoral research associate will participate in the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute led by Dr. Phil Brown, a long-standing research group that originated with the Contested Illnesses Research Group at Brown University. With existing faculty and students, plus five new students and two new postdocs coming in September 2014, SSEHRI has 23 members. Complementary to the Training Program’s goal of developing innovative social study of emerging contaminants and technologies, SSEHRI builds a thriving space for collaborations between life sciences and social sciences for training scholars in interdisciplinary collaborations that effectively improve the study and remediation of environmental health questions. SSEHRI has many funded projects. The postdoctoral research associate will have a regular mentor, opportunities for collaboration on existing research, assistance in developing new research, involvement with other postdocs, multiple venues for presenting work in progress, the option to take or audit courses, and opportunities for guest lecturing. A laboratory and community component will provide for the postdoc to observe scientific practices and public engagement, and to connect with scientists and social movement leaders, by visiting laboratories and community-based organizations.

Northeastern University has a strong environmental health presence, including a Superfund Research Program, and several major grants in collaboration with Silent Spring Institute. The Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute maintains many relationships with research organizations and community groups. The postdoctoral research associate will have a unique opportunity to develop STS theoretical approaches and research directions for the study and practice of environmental monitoring, environmental health communication, community-based participatory research, health social movements, public participation in science, and research ethics.

This position offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

To apply, go to p.brown

The position ideally starts September 1, 2014 but it is possible that a person earning their PhD mid-year could have a January 1, 2015 start date. Review of applications will begin immediately, and the search will remain open until the position is closed or filled. For additional information write to Phil Brown at p.brown.


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