JOB – Brown Postdoc Research Associate

Environmental Change Initiative
Voss Postdoctoral Research Associate
Providence, RI, USA

DescriptionEnvironmental Change Initiative

Brown University’s Environmental Change Initiative (ECI) seeks candidates for one or more distinguished postdoctoral positions in interdisciplinary environmental science. Established in 2004, ECI catalyzes collaborative research among 15 affiliated academic units and over 50 individual researchers. Particular strengths include remote sensing and spatial analysis, earth systems history, population studies, environmental sociology, coastal and marine ecology, biogeography, and climate change adaptation. Emerging areas of emphasis include the intersection of climate change with human health, well-being, and culture. Brown University also maintains a research and education partnership with the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, including the Ecosystems Center and the Josephine Bay Paul Center in Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution. 

Appointments will be in the Environmental Change Initiative and cooperating departments, with an expected term of two years. Associates receive a salary of $50,000, plus benefits and a discretionary fund of $5,000/year in addition to any research funds that may be directed to the project by mentors.


Brown UniversityRequirements for the positions include a Ph.D. in an environmentally related discipline, the intellectual flexibility to reach across fields, ability to take initiative and work independently, and demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary environmental study. To apply, each candidate must contact two Brown or MBL mentors working in different fields, work with mentors to develop an independent research project that advances the research interests of both mentors and candidates; and secure a letter of support from both mentors.  A list of ECI-affiliated researchers can be found on the ECI web site. In addition, any Brown or MBL faculty member doing environmentally-related research is eligible to mentor a project. Proposed mentors not already familiar with ECI and the postdoc program should contact Leah VanWey ( for further information.

Application Deadline: Jan 31, 2014

Application Instructions

To apply, please submit the following items

  • Cover letter describing your interest in the position and how this position relates to your career goals;
  • Current CV;
  • Required project proposal (1500 words maximum, excluding references):  Proposals will be judged on scientific merit, potential for building cross-disciplinary bridges, and an achievable research plan, given time and budgetary constraints. The project proposal is an essential component of the application package and applications without proposals will not be reviewed. Format is not prescribed, but proposals should briefly address the following points:
    • Title and brief abstract
    • Project background and importance: What is known and what is new about this question? Why does it matter?
    • How does this project fit with your own previous work and your proposed mentors’?
    • Project plan: What will you actually do? Include a timeline or workplan if appropriate. If additional resources will be needed to complete the work, do you have options for funding them?
    • Potential outcomes: What do you see resulting from this project?
    • References (not included in 1500 word limit): What is the basis in the literature for this work?
  • Three letters of reference from advisors or colleagues who know the applicant’s work well. Letters should describe prior research experience and evidence of applicant’s  interest, capability, and potential in interdisciplinary environmental research. Referees should submit letters directly through Interfolio, which will supply a direct link when contact information is entered.
  • Two letters of support from proposed mentors, describing the mentor’s interest in the applicant and the proposed project and evaluating the preparation of this applicant  to work effectively in an interdisciplinary environment and complete the proposed work.

Please contact Bernadette Horta, ECI Manager of Administration and Finance for administrative questions.

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