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 25, including 20 scientists with expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, chemistry, social science, and communications. We lead National Institutes of Health-funded research*, collaborating with investigators at Harvard, UC Berkeley, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Silent Spring also partners with environmental justice groups, documenting racial disparities in exposures to pollutants, and supporting impacted communities. In addition to conducting scientific research, we work to educate policymakers and the public, and to translate our science into policies that support prevention.

Silent Spring Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage applicants from groups who are traditionally under-represented in STEM. We value diversity and an inclusive work culture, and we do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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

* Silent Spring's policy and procedures on financial conflicts of interest in public health service funded research

 

Positions

Research Assistant

Study Coordinator and Research Assistant

NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow

Senior Scientist

Internships

Internship in Outreach and Special Events


Research Assistant

Environmental Health –Environmental Justice – Community-Engaged Research

We seek a versatile research assistant to contribute to innovative environmental health studies in a community-engaged context. We study chemicals linked to breast cancer, which often disproportionately affect marginalized communities.

Great opportunity to learn about public interest science! We are proud to train a new generation for careers in environmental health.

Silent Spring Institute is a scientific research organization and one of the nation’s leading authorities on cancer-causing chemicals in our everyday environments. We are a collaborative, high-energy staff of 25, including expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, chemistry, social science, and communications. We lead National Institutes of Health-funded research, collaborating with investigators at Harvard, UC Berkeley, US EPA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Silent Spring partners with environmental justice groups, documenting racial disparities in exposures to pollutants, and supporting impacted communities.  We seek candidates whose research, service to the community, and life experiences have prepared them to contribute meaningfully to our commitment to equity and justice. In addition to conducting scientific research, we work to educate policymakers and the public, and to translate our science into policies that support prevention.

Responsibilities:   

Our research assistant positions require great versatility in support of the Institute’s transdisciplinary research and our communications, community engagement, and policy programs. Specific responsibilities are tailored to the particular qualifications of each individual.  Examples of activities:

  • Support ongoing community-engaged studies: develop and follow study protocols, operate environmental sampling equipment, develop sample tracking systems, interact with co-investigators, community partners, and study participants, schedule meetings, and prepare meeting summaries.
  • Provide research support, including literature review and assistance in preparation of presentations and manuscripts.
  • Contribute to a community-based research study of consumer product use among women of color. 
  • Help to prepare presentations, manuscripts, and proposals for federal and foundation grants.
  • If you have data analysis skills: Use R for data management and quantitative analysis for environmental exposure data and environmental health literacy studies
  • If you have software engineering skills: Use Python to support AI projects to discover chemicals that match the biological activity of endocrine disruptors, or use Ruby on Rails or React to develop tools for exposure science.
  • For applicants with chemistry and biology skills: Compile and analyze toxicity information from a variety of sources.
  • If you are an excellent science writer: Develop individual exposure reports for study participants using the Digital Exposure Report-Back Interface (DERBI).
  • Opportunities to author peer-reviewed articles.
  • Speak about environmental health issues with community audiences. 

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher with excellent academic record in a relevant field.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • High energy, creativity, curiosity, 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.

Additional Qualifications:

  • Lived experience and knowledge of environmental injustice.
  • Relevant work experience. 
  • Coursework in statistics, biology, chemistry, and epidemiology. 
  • Statistical programming such as R, SAS, Stata.
  • Computer science and programming experience (Python, Ruby, React).
  • Fluency in Spanish.

Benefits: 

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. We are currently working in hybrid mode.  Silent Spring offers generous benefits including health and dental insurance, four weeks of vacation, 12 sick days, two personal days and 12 holidays per year, and professional development support. Free on-site parking or reimbursement for MBTA pass. Join an engaging, multi-disciplinary, and highly-experienced team of professionals that values and respects your contributions to our success!

Silent Spring Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage applicants from groups who are traditionally under-represented in STEM. We value diversity and an inclusive work culture, and we do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

To apply, send cover letter describing your interests and experience related to this job, resume, writing sample, and copy of academic transcript (photocopy is fine) by email to careers@silentspring.org with “research assistant” in subject line.

For more information, visit our web site at www.silentspring.org

 

Environmental Health Study Coordinator and Research Assistant

Organization overview:

Founded in 1994, Silent Spring Institute is the nation’s leading scientific research organization dedicated to uncovering the environmental causes of breast cancer and other disease, with a focus on prevention. Our groundbreaking studies produce new knowledge about the health risks associated with cancer-causing chemicals where we live, work, and play. Since the Institute’s founding, our science and scientific leadership have played a pivotal role in strengthening policies to protect consumers from dangerous chemicals, empowering communities to take action to reduce their exposures, and making breast cancer prevention a national research priority.

Job overview:

We are a collaborative multi-disciplinary team with expertise in exposure science, epidemiology, toxicology, chemistry, social science, and communications. We lead studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and collaborate with investigators at Harvard, UC Berkeley, the Environmental Protection Agency, and elsewhere. Our current research initiatives focus on drinking water contamination, environmental links to breast cancer and asthma, exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds, high-throughput chemical toxicity testing, and community-engaged research. This study coordinator/research assistant position will focus on study coordination, data management, data analysis, and community engagement for novel studies of chemical exposures and toxicity. This position will also involve public communications and proposal development. Our research positions require great versatility in support of the Institute’s transdisciplinary research. 

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate recruitment and data collection for study of PFAS health effects in young children in communities with a history of water contamination: develop and follow study protocols, develop sample tracking systems, and interact with study participants.
  • Provide support for other ongoing studies on household exposures.
  • Conduct data management and quantitative analysis for environmental exposure data in a range of environmental media, for instance to support a crowdsourced biomonitoring study and novel metabolomics analyses.  
  • Compile and analyze results from nationwide drinking water data to evaluate environmental justice disparities in contaminant exposure related to drinking water quality.
  • Compile and analyze toxicity information from a variety of sources.
  • Develop novel approaches to data exploration and visualization and help develop web applications to communicate findings.
  • Provide research support, including literature review, assistance in preparation of presentations and manuscripts.
  • Opportunities to author peer-reviewed articles.
  • Speak about environmental health issues with community organizations. 
  • Support proposal preparation for federal and foundation grants.
  • Some travel.  Some evening and weekend responsibilities, for example, at public events.

Qualifications and skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree or MPH/MS in public health, environmental health (or related field) and/or equivalent work experience.
  • Proficiency in using computer applications for word processing, data entry and storage (such as REDCap), spreadsheet preparation, and statistical analysis (such as R).
  • Excellent academic record; math, statistics, biology, chemistry, and public health coursework an asset. 
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • High energy, creativity, curiosity, attention to accuracy, and ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary team. 
  • Commitment to careful and impartial research in a context of partnership between scientists and the public.

Benefits: 

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Silent Spring offers generous benefits including health and dental insurance, four weeks of vacation, two personal days and 12 holidays per year. Free on-site parking and reimbursement for MBTA pass. Join an engaging, multi-disciplinary, and highly-experienced team of professionals dedicated to addressing environmental factors that affect women’s health!

How to apply:

Send a cover letter describing your interests and experience related to this job, resume, writing sample, and copies of academic transcripts to careers@silentspring.org with “Study coordinator/research assistant” in the subject line.

Silent Spring Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage applicants from groups who are traditionally under-represented in STEM. We value diversity and an inclusive work culture, and we do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

For more information, visit our website at www.silentspring.org.

 

NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow

These postdoc positions are currently filled, and the next available opening is for July 2023.

We are seeking a candidate with doctoral training in one or more of the following areas: endocrinology, developmental biology, cancer biology, epidemiology, toxicology, chemistry, or informatics, with a focus on environmental health. Applicants should demonstrate an excellent academic and research record and an interest in understanding the roles of chemicals in carcinogenesis and hormonally-mediated toxicity.  Experience with breast cancer biology, computational toxicology, epidemiology, or statistics are assets.

Work in a multi-disciplinary mission-driven team with experts in epidemiology, toxicology, chemistry, computer science, and community-based research, all focused on impartial research to identify and reduce environmental hazards to human health. See Silent Spring Institute’s publications here and staff bios here to see the range of projects.

Collaborate with investigators at Harvard, Northeastern, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, University of Illinois, US EPA, US CDC, and other top-tier research institutions, as well as with diverse environmental and health advocacy groups.

The postdoc will work on one or more of the following projects:

  • Develop Adverse Outcome Pathway or similar causal models for breast cancer. This research is part of an international effort using computational biology, toxicology, and systematic review approaches to identify biological pathways in cancer etiology
  • Combine experimental and computational approaches to develop novel chemical safety screening methods that capture biological mechanisms related to endocrine disruption and carcinogenesis.  Many questions can also be addressed using publicly available data, for example from US EPA’s ToxCast testing program.
  • Contribute to data collection and analysis for ongoing health studies of exposed communities in projects funded by NIEHS and ATSDR.
  • Review mechanisms of immunotoxicology, including from PFAS, and contribute to research about the role of immunotoxicology in carcinogenesis and autoimmune disorders.
  • Apply novel approaches in biomonitoring and exposure assessment, including metabolomics and other omics techniques to identify early effect markers associated with chemical exposures.
  • Report-back of biomonitoring and household exposure data to participants in 4 NIEHS-funded cohorts through 3 NIEHS grants.

This research fellowship represent a unique opportunity to develop new skills in social sciences and community based participatory research in addition to pursuing research on chemical carcinogenesis.  The candidate should have an interest in public health, community-based participatory research and the social context of environmental health. This two-year appointment is part of the NIEHS Training Program, “Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health Science and Social Science” (EH+SS), co-directed by Silent Spring Institute and Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI). This training program prepares scientists for successful research careers at the nexus of environmental health, social science and policy. Fellows will be expected to publish and develop proposals within their scientific area of expertise and will also have opportunities to contribute to interdisciplinary publications and projects related to environmental justice, communications, science policy, and ethics.

The postdoctoral fellow will spend 2/3 time at Silent Spring Institute and 1/3 at Northeastern University. The fellow will collaborate with Silent Spring Institute scientists on one or more ongoing research projects and will have access to cutting edge resources and technologies at Northeastern University and other collaborating institutions.

Silent Spring Institute

Situated just outside Boston with a staff of about 25, we recently celebrated our 27th anniversary as the nation’s leading scientific research organization focused on breast cancer prevention through environmental research and outreach programs. Our research focuses on women’s health and environmental pollutants, especially hormone disruptors and carcinogens. We develop and apply new technologies to differentiate hazardous and safer chemicals, to measure exposures, and to identify effective exposure reduction strategies. Funding is from the NIH, EPA, and other federal and state agencies, as well as private foundations and charitable contributions. This is an opportunity to be part of a nationally recognized, innovative, mission-driven team. 

Northeastern University

The Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, at Northeastern since 2012, continues the legacy of the Contested Illnesses Research Group at Brown University, which began in 2000, in training graduate students and postdocs in community-based participatory research aimed at transforming and improving environmental health.  By linking environmental health science, sociology, science and technology studies, and work with CBOs, SSEHRI develops novel approaches to studying environmental health questions. It currently has 6 core faculty8 affiliate faculty, 2 postdocs, 8 doctoral students, 1 MPH student, and 6 undergraduates. Both the Silent Spring Institute and Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute have extensive collaborations with many breast cancer, environmental health, and environmental justice organizations.  Our website is here: northeastern.edu/environmentalhealth/

This position is appointed through Northeastern University and offers an NIH stipend and benefits package.

To apply, please do ALL of the following:

  1. Send an application packet containing a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, writing samples (published or unpublished), and graduate and undergraduate transcripts to Professor Phil Brown by email at p.brown@northeastern.edu AND to careers@silentspring.org (put “T32 postdoc” in subject line).
  2. Send three letters of reference, including one from the dissertation advisor, to Professor Phil Brown by email at p.brown@northeastern.edu AND to careers@silentspring.org

We are currently seeking applicants for one position to start in September 2022. Please note that NIH requires recipients to be US citizens or permanent residents. Review of applications will begin immediately, and the search will remain open until the position is closed or filled. Questions? Write to Ruthann Rudel at rudel@silentspring.org.

 

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

Undergraduate and graduate students with skills and interest in environmental health science, science communication and translation, and chemicals policy are invited to join in Silent Spring Institute’s research through our internship program. Responsibilities may include literature searches, interviews with study participants, environmental sampling, data analysis and management, and writing, among other activities. Specific 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 most interns will complete an independent project. 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, review, and summarize toxicological data for chemicals used in consumer products, including chemicals marketed as safer.
  • Inventory local and online retailers to evaluate accessibility of safer consumer products.
  • Systematically review literature about chemical exposures in various occupations, geographies, or demographic groups.
  • Use R programming to organize and visualize different types of measurement data, for example, chemical exposure measurements.
  • Review scientific literature to gather parameters needed to develop fate and transport groundwater models for persistent PFAS compounds.
  • Contribute to systematic reviews of epidemiological studies of environmental contributors to breast cancer or other outcomes.
  • Contribute to blog post on the implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its implications for public health.
  • Create an instructional video on how to use Silent Spring’s online tool for helping private well owners interpret their water test results.
  • Interview breast cancer activists about their concerns related to chemical exposures.
  • Develop scientific web servers using the Django framework.
  • Use python programming to organize big data, for example, develop tools that cross chemical features with biological activities and exposures.
  • Develop structural QSAR models using AI and machine learning to predict chemical biological activities from structural properties.

We are seeking to fill a 10-week summer-long internship designed for an undergraduate or graduate student with a strong science background and an interest in environmental science and public health. We also consider interns during the school year for academic credit. The candidate will benefit not only from working closely with Silent Spring's research team, but also will come away with an understanding of how a non-profit organization operates. Due to COVID-19, all staff are currently working remotely and actively collaborating through virtual platforms.

Requirements: 

  • Excellent academic record
  • Chemistry, biology, bioinformatics, statistics coursework and R/Python programming an asset
  • Energetic, flexible, constructive outlook
  • Ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary team
  • Attention to accuracy and 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 careers@silentspring.org with 'Internships' in the subject line. Please designate the time period you are interested in and the hours/weeks you would be available to work, if not full time.

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.

 

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
  • Against the Tide in Brewster in August

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 through August (Spring/Summer Internship)
  • September through December (Fall Internship
  • January through December (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.