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.
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 and community organizations. The results of this study will be combined with results from six other states. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to a major public health study that will advance our understanding of PFAS health effects.
- Play a leadership role on a committed, multidisciplinary team as we investigate the health effects that may occur in communities with PFAS drinking water contamination.
- Contribute to and oversee recruitment of 1,300 participants (adults and children) and data collection in field offices in Hyannis and Ayer.
- Standardize techniques for collecting biospecimens and interview data and training research staff on study protocols, data collection, and sample transfer.
- Conduct interviews and neurobehavioral assessments with study participants.
- Oversee database development in REDCap and implementation of data entry protocols for chemical and biomarker testing results and questionnaire data.
- Support reconstruction of historical PFAS levels in public water supplies and individual PFAS exposures from drinking water over time.
- Collaborate on statistical analysis under supervision of the PIs and other collaborators.
- Assist PIs with securing IRB approvals, writing progress reports, writing manuscripts, and developing presentations for diverse scientific, policy, and lay audiences.
- Coordinate regular communications and meetings among members of the study team and with community advisory boards, and help organize community events.
This is a full-time role based in our Newton office and will include frequent travel to Hyannis and Ayer, including some evenings and weekends. During COVID19 we are working remotely and maintaining contact through virtual platforms.
The ideal candidate would be a team player with demonstrated leadership skills, well-organized, detail-oriented, comfortable with diverse types of people, have excellent written and oral communications skills, and share a dedication to rigorous science in the public interest. Specific qualifications we’re seeking:
- Experience coordinating environmental health or epidemiological research studies.
- Experience with community-based participatory research.
- Basic knowledge of data collection methods and analytical methods in public health.
- Experience conducting in-person interviews to complete study questionnaires.
- Proficiency in using computer applications for word processing, data entry and storage (such as REDCap), spreadsheet preparation, and statistical analysis (such as R).
- Bachelor’s degree or MPH/MS in public health, environmental health (or related field) and/or equivalent work experience.
- Candidates whose research, service to community and life experiences have prepared them to contribute meaningfully to our commitment to equity and justice.
- Chemistry, epidemiology, engineering, and environmental fate and transport modeling coursework an asset.
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 email@example.com 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. Silent Spring Institute is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we strongly encourage applicants from groups who are traditionally under-represented in STEM.
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.
- 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.
- 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. Review of applications will begin January 20, 2020. Questions? Email Maia Fitzstevens at
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Database building, management, and maintenance to ensure accurate and thorough records of progress in communications and marketing responsibilities.
- 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 email@example.com. 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.