New Opening: Postdoctoral Research Associate Position with PFAS Project Lab – Northeastern University

Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI) seeks a postdoctoral research associate to work in the PFAS Project Lab (, led by Phil Brown (Northeastern) and Alissa Cordner (Whitman College). This is a two-year postdoctoral position based in Boston, MA. The Lab currently has two faculty members, one postdoc, one research scientist, two graduate students, and three undergraduates, and has strong connections through grants and projects with Silent Spring Institute, Environmental Working Group, and Green Science Policy Institute.

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Position Information: The primary responsibility will be on a 5 year NIEHS R01 project, “Assessment of Pediatric Immunotoxicity, Public Education, and Capacity-Building in Communities Impacted by PFAS-Contaminated Drinking Water.” That project has three components: 1) Children’s Immunotoxicity Study evaluates the effects of PFASs on the immune systems of children aged 4-6. in two communities where drinking water supplies have been contaminated with PFASs: Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH, and Hyannis, MA.  2) PFAS Exchange develops an innovative online resource center for communities affected by PFAS contamination which will include a data interpretation tool called MyExposureMap, tap water testing, and educational materials designed to support and connect communities facing the challenge of PFAS contaminated drinking water supplies. 3) Community Exposure Experience Study assesses individual, family, governmental, scientist, and community-level experiences of residents in areas impacted by PFAS-contaminated drinking water, using interviews, media analysis, and ethnographic observation. The postdoctoral research associate will primarily assist with the Community Exposure Experience Study and PFAS Exchange components.

The postdoctoral research associate will also work on other Lab efforts, including an NSF grant on “The New Chemical Class Activism: Mobilization Around Per- and Polyfluoralkyl Substances,” which examines PFAS-related activism across the US and in some other countries. The Lab also maintains a major website (, publishes a quarterly newsletter, provides oral and written testimony to federal and state legislatures, offers comments and other support to state regulators, and works with many nonprofit organizations on diverse PFAS issue.

We seek a social scientist, PhD in hand, with training and research experience in environmental health, community engagement, and the political economy of pollution. Qualitative research experience is necessary. Quantitative analysis, social network analysis, and/or GIS skills are preferred. The postdoctoral research associate will attend weekly SSEHRI meetings and bi-weekly meetings of the “Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health and Social Science” Training Program, benefiting from a thriving space for collaborations between life sciences and social sciences that train scholars for interdisciplinary collaborations that improve the study and remediation of environmental health issues. Additionally the postdoctoral research associate will have access to SSEHRI’s multiple activities which include projects with Silent Spring Institute on  biomonitoring, household exposure, and innovative methods of reporting individual data to participants and studying researchers’ experience of that report-back. The postdoctoral research associate will have a regular mentor, opportunities for collaboration on existing research, involvement with other postdocs, multiple venues for presenting work in progress, the option to audit courses, ample opportunities to participate in grant and article writing, and opportunities for guest lecturing.

Application Information: Northeastern University has a strong environmental health presence, including a Superfund Research Program, a Children’s Environmental Health Center, R01 and R21 research grants, an NIEHS T32 Training Program, an NIEHS R-25 undergraduate Training Program, and several major grants with Silent Spring Institute. This position offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Application will be through the Northeastern University website [Click Here]. Candidates should be prepared to attach a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and writing samples (published or unpublished). Three letters of reference, including one from the dissertation advisor, should be sent to: Professor Phil Brown, Northeastern University, 318 INV, Boston, MA 02115 or by e-mail to The ideal start date of this position is September 2019, but it is possible to start slightly later.  Review of applications will begin immediately and the search will remain open until the position is closed or filled. For additional information write Phil Brown at:

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