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The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit whose scientists and engineers work to solve some of our planet’s most pressing environmental and safety problems.
UCS combines technical analysis and effective organizing and advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for global warming, sustainable food policy and agriculture, clean energy and transportation, and reducing the threat of catastrophic nuclear war.
The Global Security Program (GSP) in the UCS seeks outstanding candidates for a Kendall Fellowship to research the adverse impacts of nuclear weapons production on impacted communities and help develop programs to support and expand the capacity of local and/or indigenous advocates in policy and regulatory spaces. This two-year fellowship is open to candidates who will have completed their Ph.D. or other advanced degree in a relevant field before September 2022, or those with equivalent experience.
The GSP will host the Kendall Fellow role. GSP works to reduce the risk of nuclear war by changing US policy, highlight the injustices of nuclear weapons development, and increase and diversify the seats at the table of nuclear weapons decision making.
As a Kendall Fellow, you will work with UCS staff, impacted community members, and partner advocacy organizations to develop a proposal for a two-year position that examines the environmental and health impacts of radiation and nuclear weapons development on affected communities, biases and politicization of research on those impacts, and builds community capacity for scientific advocacy in policy and regulatory spaces.
Two areas of particular interest, where GSP also has established community contacts, are:
- The impacts of uranium mining in the Navajo Nation, and supporting Indigenous capacity for advocacy in the cleanup of uranium mines
- The impacts of plutonium production at the Hanford Nuclear Site, including impacts on birth outcomes and understanding broader health impacts in the region.
While the specifics of the project will be developed in collaboration with the chosen candidate, we envision that the fellow will engage with one or both of these topics.
Possible areas of work could include literature reviews and other exploration of existing work in the space, understanding and emphasizing Indigenous and community knowledge and science related to these topics, building relationships with local scientists, advocates, and community groups, developing educational and training materials/ programs for community advocates, supporting advocates in implementing scientific knowledge in their advocacy, organizing or participating in events and briefings on the project topics, working with communities to develop policy and research recommendations, and if possible, carrying out new research related to these topics. An important aspect of this role will be identifying ways to ensure the work is sustainable and able to be continued after the end of your Fellowship.
Qualifications and Experience
The Fellow should have a technical background—likely a PhD or other advanced degree, or equivalent experience in a field such as public health, epidemiology, the environmental sciences, physics, biology, etc. —that will allow an analysis of technical issues related to radiation exposure and health and environmental outcomes of uranium mining and nuclear weapons production. Knowledge of biostatistics is a plus. You should have strong research skills, be able to identify key policy-relevant questions, and write and speak clearly for technical, policy and non-technical audiences. Some experience with communications, messaging, and/or community organizing is preferred, but not required. An advanced degree of PhD (or equivalent experience) in a relevant field must be completed before September 1, 2022.
A sensitivity to working with frontline communities and an understanding of the inequities inherent in the scientific and policy fields is needed for this work. All candidates should have a demonstrated interest in Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, especially as it relates to the fields of science, grassroots advocacy, and environmental justice. An interest or personal experience working with frontline communities and/or Indigenous communities is a plus.
You may spend extended periods at a computer. Depending on COVID-19 circumstances, occasional travel may be considered. Your safety and the safety of others is our first priority.
UCS is an equal opportunity employer continually seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We've adopted this commitment because we believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. We are actively seeking people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work.
Because part of this work could involve working with frontline communities and/or Indigenous communities, we are especially interested in reviewing applications from impacted and/or Indigenous community members.
About the Kendall Science Fellows Program:
The Kendall Science Fellows Program was established to honor Nobel Prize winning physicist Henry Kendall who was with UCS from our beginnings and was the long-time chair of our board. Kendall was known for his unique ability to shake up the status quo and catalyze new thinking, and UCS looks to Kendall Fellows to do the same.
Priority is given to innovative and forward-looking proposals that are primarily scientific, technical, or analytic in nature but also show interest in the application of science to policy. Fellows will benefit from the opportunity to learn from the UCS approach to science and policy, and UCS will benefit from the new approaches and expertise of the Kendall Fellows.
More about the team:
Our team is made up of a dedicated group of researchers, scientists, communicators, campaigners, and advocates from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team and a collaborative and supportive work environment where all staff can thrive. We continually strive to create an environment which is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, parents, empty-nesters, and people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.
Compensation, Hours and Location
This is a full-time, up to two-year position. Ability to work at least partially in one of UCS’s offices preferred, but open to discussion. Fellowship will begin fall 2022. Kendall Fellowship salaries follow a special structure and are set at a fixed rate with less than 3 years relevant post-Ph.D. experience and an alternate rate for those with 3-8 years of post-Ph.D. experience. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment.
- A note on the pandemic: During the coronavirus pandemic our staff are working from home. We will resume working from our offices, travel, and in-person meetings when it is safe to do so.
- Check out our website for more Information about UCS.
We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.
Please submit a cover letter, a statement of interest (up to 2 pages, including relevant background and experience and a brief description of your interest in working with UCS on these projects), curriculum vitae, and two references.
In the cover letter, please include your salary expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls please.
Following an initial screening, the candidate will develop a more specific fellowship proposal in cooperation with UCS staff and impacted community groups for submission to the Kendall Science Fellows Program Advisory Committee by May 6, 2022.
UCS acknowledges the omission of pertinent salary information in our job ads. This is due to efforts to enhance our pay equity practices while conducting an organizational wide compensation analysis. Please refer to the market salary range for this position (consider industry, experience, skills, education, and other factors) when applying to this job.
COVID Mandate for New Hires:
For in office roles, UCS employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees are considered fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC. All new hires who will be reporting to an office location must provide notice of their vaccination status and vaccination documentation, on or before their first day of work. For all others, UCS strongly encourages full vaccinations among its employees, up to and including booster shots, even if working remotely.
All new employees must comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements outlined in UCS policies as soon as practicable. Union of Concerned Scientists will notify candidates for employment of the requirements of this policy before the start of employment.
Deadline: Until Filled