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Research Associate-Fixed Term

Back to search results Apply now Job no: 899216
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Communication Arts Sciences
Department: Journalism 10010494
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Research/Scientific, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union, Remote-Friendly

Working/Functional Title

Postdoc/Research Associate

Position Summary

This position is part of a National Science Foundation-funded project designed to apply intercultural communication theory to the development of science communication training, with the goal of developing and testing an intersectional science communication training curriculum. This project, Science Communication Identities Project (SCIP), is a joint effort of University of Rhode Island Metcalf Institute and the Michigan State University Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. The postdoctoral position will support a scholar from an underrepresented group in STEM who is interested in developing social science research skills and applying this research to the development and evaluation of the new science communication training curriculum.

The SCIP Postdoc/Research Associate will receive mentorship and have the opportunity to connect with other postdoctoral fellows at MSU and throughout Michigan as part of the university’s MSU POSTDOCS office and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

While the area of expertise is open, candidates whose research show promise in engaging with one or more of the following subfields will be given priority: science communication, community engagement, intercultural communication, and evaluation of informal science learning. As a participant in an interdisciplinary project designed to engage pre-tenure faculty science communication trainees from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, candidates from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives will be considered.

We seek a scholar-trainer-evaluator who is committed to Knight Center’s mission. The ideal candidate would be adept at engaging and supporting trainees from a variety of backgrounds, with the potential to bring to their academic research and science communication training the critical perspective that comes from their understanding of the experiences of groups that are and have been historically underrepresented in U.S. higher education or underserved by academic research generally. In addition to their primary field of interest in environmental science or communication fields, the ideal candidate will have the potential to make research contributions to our understanding of how science communication training and education can better serve members of groups who have been historically underrepresented in these fields in U.S. higher education.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Facilitate coordination with SCIP project partners
  • Engage and lead research efforts 
  • Work closely with the Metcalf Institute and Michigan State University teams to co-create the novel training curriculum and project assessment instruments
  • Train a graduate research assistant to manage ongoing project research efforts under the guidance of project Co-PIs Menezes and Takahashi.
  • Lead or co-lead SCIP workshop sessions.
  • Lead the development of at least one manuscript of publishable quality about the SCIP project.
  • Present SCIP project research at one or more conferences per year.
  • Up to 20% of the f’s time may focus on their personal research agenda, which may or may not be related to the SCIP project.

A doctoral degree is required. Candidates who have a satisfactory completion of Ph.D. dissertation defense/orals with minimal revisions needed that are expected to be completed within three to six months of anticipated start date may be appointed up to 9-months until degree is completed. Anticipated start date is January 2024.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -environmental science/studies, journalism, communication or related fields

Minimum Requirements

  1. Evidence of, or potential for, research excellence, as shown by publications, works in progress, and/or presentations, engaged with science communication-oriented questions.
  2. Demonstrated engagement with the principles of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  3. Demonstrated interest in inclusive and equitable approaches to science communication.
  4. Demonstrated alignment with the goals of the SCIP Project. 
  5. Demonstrated proficiency in oral and written communication skills.
  6. Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the US on a full-time basis. 

Desired Qualifications

  1. Demonstrated experience teaching, advising, and/or working with people from diverse backgrounds.
  2. Demonstrated experience with science communication training.
  3. Successful engagement with the broader academic community.
  4. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively across disciplines and lead independent research projects
  5. Demonstrated ability to supervise and mentor student research assistants

Required Application Materials

Submit a CV, a Research Statement, and an Education & Background Statement. The Research Statement of 500-700 words should describe your research agenda and how it relates to the SCIP project. The Education & Background Statement of 500-700 words should describe how your educational and lived experiences have informed your approaches toward research, generally, and science communication, specifically. Applicants should also submit a letter of reference from the dissertation advisor.

Special Instructions

Direct questions to: Bruno Takahashi, PhD, 

Review of Applications Begins On


Remote Work Statement

MSU strives to provide a flexible work environment and this position has been designated as remote-friendly. Remote-friendly means some or all of the duties can be performed remotely as mutually agreed upon.



Department Statement

The School of Journalism at MSU is more than a century old but has crafted a reputation for innovation and creativity. The ACEJMC-accredited program has two undergraduate majors (Journalism and Digital Storytelling, each with multiple concentrations), a Masters program, and a shared doctoral program. Over 30 faculty serve more than 400 undergraduate, 30 graduate, and 15 doctoral students. The School houses a state-of-the-art newsroom and two centers, the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and the new Center for Journalism Studies. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are integral to our practice as communicators, storytellers, and innovators. We believe it is our responsibility to foster an open and welcoming environment that aspires to attract, recruit, and sustain diverse students, faculty, and staff. Diversity is among the main drivers of institutional excellence, and we are proud to embrace and promote broad communities of knowledge, backgrounds, and experiences. Our efforts to advance DEI are guided by a shared vision grounded in a culture of caring, belonging, transparency, and accountability. In alignment with the University's DEI plan, we commit to actively challenging, disrupting, and dismantling systems that reinforce and/or maintain historical and contemporary social inequalities. We are dedicated to ongoing dialogue to strengthen our commitment to social justice, advocacy, and activism. We strive to be DEI thought leaders who inspire, influence, and cultivate progress in our College and throughout the MSU community.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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