Employment

“Silent Spring is the leader in producing high-quality scientific evidence on cancer-causing agents in the environment.” – Dr. Margaret Kripke, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, member President’s Cancer Panel (2003-2011)

Silent Spring Institute is a scientific research organization and one of the nation’s leading authorities on cancer-causing chemicals in our everyday environments, with a particular focus on breast cancer prevention. We are a collaborative, high-energy staff of 20, including 13 scientists. In addition to conducting scientific research, we work with advocacy groups and others to educate policymakers, funders, and the public, and to translate our science into policies that support prevention.

We are always seeking applications from exceptional individuals who want to be part of our team.

 

Positions

Study Coordinator for CDC-funded water contamination and health study

Development Associate

Spanish/Portugese Interpreter for Community Health Study

Senior Scientist

Internships

Internship in Outreach and Special Events


 

Study Coordinator for CDC-funded water contamination and health study

Silent Spring Institute is hiring a study coordinator for a new study of health effects associated with PFAS exposures from drinking water in two communities in Massachusetts.  This study is being conducted as part of the PFAS Multi-Site Health Study, funded and coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).  Silent Spring is partnering with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Eastern Research Group, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), and People of Ayer Concerned about the Environment (PACE). 

For this study, we will recruit 1,000 adults and 300 children in Hyannis and Ayer, Massachusetts.  The study will include collecting blood and urine samples, administering questionnaires, conducting neurobehavioral testing in children ages 4-17, and reconstructing historical PFAS exposures from drinking water.  Blood and urine samples will be analyzed for PFAS, serum lipids, and markers of liver, kidney, thyroid, immune, and other biological function.  In addition to routine PFAS analyses, our study will include measurements of novel and unidentified PFAS compounds through total organofluorine and non-targeted analytical methods.  Participants in the study will receive customized reports with their personal results using Silent Spring’s innovative Digital Exposure Report-Back Interface (DERBI).  CDC/ATSDR will coordinate combined analysis of data from this study and similarly funded studies in six other states in a broader epidemiological study of associations between PFAS exposures from drinking water and health effects. 

The study coordinator will work under the supervision of the study PIs and project collaborators and will be responsible for setting up the infrastructure and implementing the research plan. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Working with PIs to oversee implementation of study protocols.
  • Recruiting and enrolling participants into the study.
  • Responding to participant questions and requests for updates.
  • Collaborating with study partners to oversee recruiters and data collection staff in field offices in Hyannis and Ayer.
  • Standardizing techniques for collecting biospecimens and interview data and training research staff on study protocols, data collection, and sample transfer.
  • Monitoring quality of data being collected and implementing corrective action when needed to meet data quality objectives.
  • Coordinating with CDC/ATSDR staff on establishment of study protocols and attending regular meetings with CDC/ATSDR staff and members of other study teams.
  • Securing IRB approval for modification of human subjects protection protocols.
  • Scheduling and confirming interview and sample collection appointments.
  • Conducting interviews with study participants.
  • Coordinating biospecimen sample transfer to CDC/ATSDR and our research partners, including institutional transfer agreements, shipping, and tracking protocols.
  • Overseeing database development in REDCap and implementation of data entry protocols for chemical and biomarker testing results and questionnaire data.
  • Supporting reconstruction of historical PFAS levels in public water supplies and individual PFAS exposures from drinking water over time.
  • Collaborating on statistical analysis under supervision of the PIs and other collaborators.
  • Preparing annual written reports to CDC/ATSDR on research activities and progress.
  • Assisting PIs as needed with writing manuscripts and with the development of presentations for diverse scientific, policy, and lay audiences.
  • Coordinating regular communications and meetings among members of the study team.
  • Coordinating meetings with community advisory boards in both communities and providing updates to advisory board members.   
  • Coordinating logistics for community events, including some evening and weekend responsibilities.
  • Assisting with developing report back protocols within the DERBI framework and coordinating community-level aggregate report back.

Qualifications:

  • Prior work experience coordinating research studies that involve community-engaged components.
  • Prior experience conducting environmental health or epidemiological research.
  • Basic knowledge of data collection methods and analytical methods in public health.
  • Experience conducting in-person interviews to complete study questionnaires.
  • Experience with REDCap or other data entry and storage programs.
  • Outstanding organizational, written and oral communication, and problem solving skills.
  • Experience working thoughtfully and constructively as part of a team.
  • Proficiency in using computer applications for word processing, data entry, spreadsheet preparation, and statistical analysis (such as R).
  • Environmental fate and transport modeling, particularly groundwater systems.
  • Dedication to rigorous science in the public interest.
  • Ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary research team.
  • Bachelor’s degree or MPH/MS in public health, environmental health (or related field) and/or equivalent work experience. Chemistry, epidemiology, and engineering coursework an asset for this role.

To apply, send a cover letter describing your interests and experience related to this job, resume, writing sample, and copies of academic transcripts to Laura Borth at careers@silentspring.org with “ATSDR study coordinator” in the subject line.

Benefits include a competitive salary consistent with academic settings, an intellectually stimulating and friendly workplace with a public interest mission, 4 weeks of vacation and 12 days sick leave per year, funding for classes and conferences to support staff development, and reimbursement for MBTA pass.  Silent Spring pays 75% of health insurance premiums.

Silent Spring Institute is an independent non-profit research organization dedicated to identifying—and changing—the links between the environment and women's health, especially breast cancer.  Our research focuses on breast cancer and environmental pollutants, especially hormone disruptors and animal mammary gland carcinogens.  We develop and apply new technologies to differentiate hazardous and safer chemicals, to measure exposures, and to identify effective exposure reduction strategies.  We are funded by grants from the NIH, EPA, CDC, and other federal and state agencies, as well as private foundations and charitable contributions.  Our publications list is here.

 

Development Associate

Silent Spring Institute is a mission-driven, non-profit, scientific research organization dedicated to uncovering the environmental causes of breast cancer. Based in Newton, Massachusetts, our independent research is empowering a revolution in environmental health to prevent cancers by reducing people's exposure to harmful chemicals where they live, work, and play.

We are seeking an enthusiastic, organized, and collaborative Development Associate to support all aspects of the development department. Reporting to the Director of Development, the Development Associate will be an instrumental part of a small, hard-working and collegial team with exposure to all aspects of the organization’s work.

This position involves assisting with database administration, seasonal appeals, event management and general fundraising efforts to support Silent Spring’s mission. The Development Associate will be comfortable wearing many hats – from database querying, to being the first point of contact for some donors, to managing remote events (we have shifted to virtual events until we are able to safely gather again). If you have development and annual giving experience, are a problem solver with great customer-service skills, and have a passion for our mission, we want to meet you!

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Little Green Light donor database administration
    • Prior experience with LGL preferred, but must be able to learn software readily.
    • With the organization’s Administrative Assistant, manage the donor database including: updating records, processing gifts, keeping contact records, overseeing correct coding of gifts, timely mailing of thank you letters, welcome packets and IRS documentation.
    • Establish monthly and quarterly donor reports to support Director of Development, Executive Director and Board members in their fundraising efforts.
    • Reconcile donor database with finance department records.
    • Provide thoughtful data-based analysis on donor retention, trends and other items to help with fundraising strategies.
       
  • Appeals
    • Manage distribution of two fundraising appeals per year and other mailings as needed.
    • Work with consultants and staff to establish a smooth work plan and timeline, including working with the printers and mail house, segmenting donors, creating mail lists and ask levels, making follow-up phone calls, and tracking all gifts and thank you letters.
    • Drive efforts to increase annual giving by accessing new and creative channels.
       
  • Special Events
    Provide event management for 3-4 small special events and one large gala each year, currently being held virtually. Because of the current COVID19 pandemic, this will be a more limited component of the job until we are able to gather safely again.
    • Coordinate event committee meetings.
    • Seek corporate sponsorships.
    • Manage mail lists and registrations.
    • Coordinate logistics, auction and other activities for large event.
    • Create and oversee the master to-do list for events.
    • Contribute proactive and creative thinking to make each event better than the last.
       
  • Administrative Duties
    • As a part of a small organizational administrative team, there will be miscellaneous duties assigned as needed to support the Leadership Team.
    • Occasional weekend and evening hours will be required.

Qualifications and skills:

  • College degree plus at least 3-5 years of development experience at a nonprofit organization (will consider other experience with a great explanation).
  • Experience working on a busy development team.
  • Knowledge and experience in a range of fundraising techniques, particularly annual appeals, donor communications, and utilizing events to reach, cultivate and steward donors.
  • Strong time-management skills, with an ability to manage many projects at one time.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, with flexibility, self-confidence and a sense of humor.
  • Positive attitude, concern for people and community, self-confidence, common sense and good listening ability.

Salary and Benefits:

  • This position is full-time, onsite in Newton, Massachusetts, near highways and public transit. During COVID19 we are working remotely and maintaining contact through virtual platforms.
  • Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.
  • Generous benefits including health and dental insurance plans, four weeks of vacation, two personal days and 11 holidays each year.
  • Free on-site parking and public transportation discounts when we return to the office.
  • Work with a collegial and inspiring team that values and respects your contributions to our success!

To apply:

  • Please send cover letter, resume and writing sample to careers@silentspring.org
  • Put "development associate" in subject line.
  • Three recent professional references will be required upon request.

 

Spanish/Portuguese Interpreter for Community Health Study

Job description:  Silent Spring Institute is seeking Spanish and Portuguese interpreters to provide periodic interpretation services for its community health study called PFAS-REACH (Research, Education and Action for Community Health). PFAS-REACH is studying the effects of common drinking water contaminants on the immune systems of preschool-age children, including in Hyannis on Cape Cod.

Interpreters are needed to assist with: recruiting participants, answering participant questions, obtaining informed consent, and administering questionnaires. Printed study materials have already been translated into Portuguese and Spanish. The ideal candidate will have an interest in community public health and a willingness to be available to communicate with study participants on an as-needed basis. The study will begin in February 2020 and will last for around one year. Interpreters must obtain human subjects training through the online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program (time to complete training may be compensated).

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Attending periodic community events and being available to contact participants by phone as needed.
  • Becoming familiar with all study procedures and protocols.
  • Recruiting potential participants via email, by phone, or in person at community events.
  • Obtaining informed consent from parents and guardians by explaining the study and reviewing printed informed consent forms.
  • Administering questionnaires by phone and entering participant responses electronically.
  • Communicating with members of the PFAS-REACH study team regarding participant interactions.

Required skills:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Spanish and/or Portuguese.
  • Ability to use laptop or tablet to enter responses from questionnaire into electronic database.
  • Interpersonal skills to communicate with study participants around potentially sensitive health questions.

Desired skills:

  • Completion of Medical Interpreter Program.
  • Education or work experience in language-related fields such as teaching, translation or interpretation.
  • Familiarity with the Hyannis community.

Hours: Variable, up to 8 hours per week

Location: Mostly remote, with some attendance of community events

To apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to pfas-reach@silentspring.org. Review of applications will begin January 20, 2020. Questions? Email Maia Fitzstevens at pfas-reach@silentspring.org or call 617-332-4288, ext. 230.

About PFAS-REACH: PFAS-REACH is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (Grant R01ES028311) and seeks to understand health effects from exposure to PFAS, a class of toxic, extremely persistent chemicals used in certain firefighting foams and many consumer products. PFAS have been found in hundreds of drinking water supplies throughout the United States, including in Hyannis.  PFAS-REACH is led by Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with Northeastern University, Michigan State University, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, Testing for Pease, and Community Action Works. Learn more at www.pfas-exchange.org/childrenstudy

 

Senior Scientist

Senior scientist applicants should expect to develop and lead an independent research program within our mission. Our scientists publish in high-impact scientific journals, compete for federal grants, and participate in scientific conferences. We collaborate with researchers at Brown, Harvard, and Tufts, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University of Southern California, USGS, and CDC. Senior scientists are supported by outstanding research assistants and access to funds for pilot studies and proposal development. Click here for publications by Silent Spring Institute researchers.

 

Internships

We seek applicants with skills and interests in environmental health science and policy and non-profit management. Responsibilities will be tailored to the skills and interests of the applicant. Each intern will work directly as an assistant to a supervising staff member, and interns are encouraged to develop an independent project to be completed during the internship as well. Responsibilities may include literature searches, interviewing, environmental sampling, data management, and writing, among other possibilities. Undergraduate and masters level interns are expected to spend approximately 20% of their time on office support tasks (telephones, etc.). Interns are expected to maintain regular work hours, with some flexibility to accommodate major assignments and exams. Examples of previous and projected intern activities:

  • Identify from chemical engineering references the consumer products that are likely sources of exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds
  • Using GIS, map likely air pollutant exposures on Cape Cod
  • Assist in developing web site capabilities and content
  • Help maintain and expand the Institute’s 6,000-item special library
  • Using interviews and published literature, identify the best models of community based participatory research
  • Interview breast cancer activists about environmental attitudes

We are actively seeking to fill a summer-long internship designed for an undergraduate or graduate student with a strong science background and interest in public health. The candidate will have the opportunity to assist with variety of projects ranging from reviewing epidemiological literature to upgrading our digital app. The candidate will benefit not only from working closely with Silent Spring's research team, but will also come away with an understanding of how non-profits operate.

Requirements: Excellent academic record. Chemistry, biology, statistics coursework an asset for research interns. Energetic, flexible, constructive outlook. Excellent attention to accuracy, ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary team. Commitment to careful and impartial research in a context of partnership between scientists and the public. To apply, send cover letter describing your interests and experience related to this internship, resume, writing sample, and copy of academic transcript (photocopy is fine) to Diane Czwakiel, Administrative Manager, Silent Spring Institute, 320 Nevada Street, Suite 302, Newton, MA 02460, or email to careers@silentspring.org with 'Internships' in the subject line. Please designate the time period you are interested in.

 

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition/Silent Spring Institute Lead Intern in Special Events and Outreach

MBCC Outreach & Communications Internship

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is dedicated to preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy, and changes to public policy. Our annual fundraising events and educational outreach allows us to continue to work towards this goal. Our interns will assist with building and promoting special events and projects for the organization and occasionally for MBCC's sister organization, Silent Spring Institute (SSI). This internship involves frequent communication with Cheryl Osimo, Executive Director. 

OUTREACH & COMMUNICATIONS INTERNSHIP

The flexibility of this internship is substantial given its work from home nature. Phone and internet will be the primary communication tools for assignments. Interns must commit to at least 15 hours per week. Travel is minimal except for on-site assistance required the day before and the day of the following major events:

  • Against the Tide in Hopkinton in June 2019
  • Against the Tide in Brewster in August 2019

Additionally, there may be other events that will require on-site support.

Responsibilities include:

  1. Media & Communication:
    • Proofing and distributing press releases and calendar listings to news media outlets including print and online newspaper, radio, and television. This includes finding up-to-date contact information for media.
    • Interviewing event participants/supporters and composing feature stories and other articles for media. This may require phone and/or email contact of a sensitive nature, since some contact will be required with those who have been touched by breast cancer. Phone interviews are critical for obtaining information used in press releases and media coverage.
  2. Marketing & Outreach:
    • Initiating contact with local community businesses and individuals to encourage community sponsorship and individual or team event participation.
    • Posting event materials in various locations. This responsibility includes targeting high traffic locations that will increase event participation.
    • Assisting with social media event promotion campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and more.
  3. Administrative:
    • Database building, management, and maintenance to ensure accurate and thorough records of progress in communications and marketing responsibilities.
       

Qualifications: College and Graduate students with minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
 

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Detail-oriented, organized, the ability to work independently and manage multiple tasks simultaneously with competing deadlines.
  • Proficiency with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media outlets. Prior experience with social media campaigns is preferred.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Word and Excel.

Compensation: All positions are unpaid but we are willing to work with institutions to offer students academic credit.

How to apply: Interns are needed for the following time periods:

  • January 2019 through August 2019 (Spring/Summer Internship)
  • September 2019 through December 2019 (Fall Internship
  • January 2019 through December 2019 (Full year)
     

Start dates and durations are negotiable.

Please send a cover letter, resume, references, and a writing sample to Cheryl Osimo at cherylosimo@comcast.net. Please use “MBCC Outreach & Communications Internship” in the subject line of your email.

To learn more about MBCC and our sister organization, Silent Spring Institute, please visit www.mbcc.org and www.silentspring.org. Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is an Equal Opportunity Employer.