The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life prepares Tufts students to become active citizens and community leaders. As the only university-wide college of its kind, its mission is to engage Tufts students in meaningful community building, public service experiences, and transformational learning. It conducts and supports groundbreaking research on civic and political participation and forges innovative community partnerships. Tisch College is a national leader in civic education, whose model and research are setting the standard for higher education’s role in civic engagement.
The Rita Allen Foundation invests in early-stage research and practice in biomedicine, Civic Science, and philanthropic practice. In its work on Civic Science, the foundation fosters networks that expedite learning, promote inclusion, and generate impactful outcomes to ensure that science and evidence help to inform solutions to society’s most pressing problems.
The Tisch College Civic Science initiative, led by Dr. Peter Levine and Dr. Samantha Fried, aims to reframe the relationships among scientists and scientific institutions, institutions of higher education, the state, the media and the public. It also asks about the relationships and distinctions among those institutions, historically and today.
What You'll Do
This position is in Civic Studies for the 2023-24 academic year (September 1, 2023- August 31, 2024) with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. This is a grant funded position and is not eligible for severance pay.
This position is offered in partnership with the Rita Allen Foundation in Princeton, NJ and involves remote work with the Rita Allen Foundation, the Civic Science Fellowship, and their partners as well as full-time employment at Tufts. Some in-person work in the Boston area is preferred. The position is open to PhD candidates who are in their final year.
They will be supported to complete their dissertations while working for the Civic Science initiative.
The Civic Science program, an initiative of the Rita Allen Foundation and philanthropic partners, is committed to positioning emerging leaders of diverse backgrounds within organizations that operate at the intersection of science and society. The Assoc. Researcher is entrusted with a range of multidisciplinary projects that link Civic Science research to evidence-based practice and facilitate the interaction between scientists and communities.
Such projects may entail the creation of innovative media, the design of strategies for community engagement, and/or the exploration of optimal practices for collaboration with specific demographic groups. Additionally, you will contribute to strengthening the culture of Civic Science across various networks by forging connections and creating shared resources. With this context in mind, the Assoc. Researcher will focus on issues of concern in the emerging field of Civic Science including but not limited to:
- Fostering more and better connections between scientific research and civic life, promoting a more integrated and cooperative approach to problem-solving
- Engaging critically with complex issues that are both scientific and political in nature in ways that thoughtfully connect with a plurality of values, beliefs, and relationships across society.
- Defining and advancing the public good in science and seeking to understand the effects of science for the public good, thereby finding ways for scientific institutions to better serve communities.
- Asking what it would mean to earn the trust of communities that scientific institutions have historically marginalized, and what science might instead look like if this was a priority.
- Emphasizing the historical and current inequities in participation and benefit from scientific research and decision-making, creating awareness and motivation for change.
- Providing balanced solutions to societal issues that have scientific aspects, ensuring both scientific and social challenges are viewed within larger systems and contexts.
- Prioritizing processes and outcomes that are representative, transparent, and equitable, ensuring fairness in both scientific and societal decision-making.
- Leading expert and lay civic participants to broader understandings of the role of science in society, helping people to see how social systems and institutions influence scientific and civic opportunities.
- Establishing beliefs that diverse viewpoints and information sources can lead to more rigorous, equitable, and effective solutions, promoting inclusion and diversity in scientific and civic life.
- Developing approaches to democratic governance that are attuned to the role of the scientific enterprise in society, and that seek to understand and clarify that role.
Applicants must expect to complete a Ph.D. by July 1, 2024.
Applicants must also demonstrate a strong interest in investigating the intersections of science and civic matters as the focus of their postdoctoral position.
Civic Science is interdisciplinary, and this fellowship is open to specialists in any relevant field. A cover letter the includes a description of your dissertation in Civic Science must be submitted with application. You must also submit a writing sample and your CV.
The researcher will conduct research related to Civic Science, both independently and in collaboration with Peter Levine, Samantha Fried, and the Rita Allen Foundation. The Fellow may teach or co-teach one course to undergraduates in the Civic Studies and/or Science, Technology, and Society (STS) programs at Tufts University. The researcher will attend orientation and meetings with the Rita Allen Foundation as requested. The researcher will also assist in developing and managing aspects of the Civic Science position. The researcher will work on completing their dissertation.
What We're Looking For
- Knowledge and experience in Civic Science.
- A Ph.D. candidate in any relevant Civic Science discipline – completing degree by July 1, 2023.
- 5 years experience in the field.
- A background, degree, or certificate in one or more of the following:
- A STEM—or STEM-adjacent—field, OR
- Political science or political theory, OR
- Science, technology and society (STS), OR
- History and/or philosophy of science and/or technology, OR
- Critical theory, media studies, rhetoric, or related field.
- Previous work bridging across disciplines, particularly the sciences and the humanities, OR
- Previous work on strengthening, designing, or evaluating democratic processes, OR
- Previous work in community organizing, activism, non-profits, or civic engagement.
The ideal candidate may have more than one of these backgrounds.
Special Work Schedule Requirements:
Must be able to work occasional weekends and nights and travel between campuses.
Minimum $46,700.00, Midpoint $58,450.00, Maximum $70,200.00
Salary is based on related experience, expertise, and internal equity; generally, new hires can expect pay between the minimum and midpoint of the range.