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.

Positions

Environmental Health Research Assistant

Senior Scientist

Internships

Internship in Outreach and Special Events


 

Environmental Health Research Assistant

We seek a versatile research assistant for dual roles supporting Silent Spring Institute’s research and serving as the Node Coordinator for the Health & Science Node of the Cancer Free Economy Network. This position offers an opportunity to contribute to innovative science and to work with environmental health and justice leaders across the country.

The Cancer Free Economy (CFE) Network is a national network of nonprofits, researchers, sustainability-oriented businesses, community leaders, and grassroots groups committed to lowering the incidence of cancer by shifting our economy away from creating toxic chemicals to healthier alternatives. CFE takes a systems approach to change, working with stakeholders towards a collaboratively-developed goal: Within our generation, we will lift the burden of cancers and other diseases by driving a dramatic and equitable transition from toxic substances in our lives, communities, and economy to safe and healthy alternatives for all. The Network does its work via working groups, or “Nodes,” one of which focuses on health/science issues and constituencies.  As a leading member of CFE’s Health and Science Node, Silent Spring Institute has been involved with the Network from the initial stages, and this is an important commitment for the Institute.

Key Responsibilities:   

A successful candidate will have excellent time management and communication skills, must be able to work independently with minimal supervision, and be a self-starter capable of working on multiple projects with competing deadlines. As part of the research team at Silent Spring and a staff member with CFE, this person will need to be in communication with supervisors at both organizations. The position will offer opportunities for leadership development and mentorship within Silent Spring and CFE, as well as opportunities to author peer-reviewed articles. Some travel, and evening and weekend responsibilities will be required, for example, at public events or in-person convenings. 

Silent Spring Research Assistant:

Specific responsibilities are tailored to the qualifications of each individual. 

  • Diverse tasks to support ongoing studies: develop and follow study protocols, operate sampling equipment, develop sample tracking systems, interact with study participants, schedule meetings, and prepare meeting summaries.
  • Conduct data management and quantitative analysis for environmental exposure data.
  • Develop individual exposure reports for study participants using the Digital Exposure Report-Back Interface (DERBI).
  • Provide research support, including literature review
  • Help to prepare presentations, manuscripts, and proposals for federal and foundation grants.
  • Speak about environmental health issues with community organizations. 

CFE Network Node Coordinator:

  • Collaboratively engage in the strategic thinking of the Node and Network (Node Coordinators serve on the Network Council), building relationships with Network staff and participants.
  • Champion the Node’s strategies and projects within the context of the CFE Network systems map, the strategies/activities of other Nodes and Hubs, and cross-Node projects.
  • Play a key role in carrying out the Health & Science Node’s strategies and projects.
  • Provide administrative support to the Node, including scheduling calls, developing and tracking project timelines, maintaining the Node’s presence on CFE’s internal member site, organizing in-person meetings, on-boarding new members into the Node, creating summaries of Node activities for the monthly CFE newsletter, and supporting fundraising and grant reporting.
  • Attend regular calls and meetings with other Node Coordinators and Network Strategic Director to share updates, align work, and assess progress.
  • Serve as a liaison between CFE and Silent Spring Institute.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree will be considered. Excellent academic record; math, statistics, biology, chemistry, and informatics coursework an asset.
  • Demonstrated skill, calm, and follow-through in managing multiple concurrent workflows and timelines.
  • Strong communications skills and ability to engage effectively with diverse constituencies; make presentations, facilitate meetings, and conduct one-on-one check-ins. 
  • Competent with Google Suite and web conference tools.
  • Commitment to careful and impartial research in a context of partnership between scientists and the public.

Desired Experience and Skills

  • Relevant work experience with non-profits, foundations, and/or organizing.
  • R programming an asset.
  • Highly organized, with strong attention to detail. Understanding of basic research quality assurance practices. Willingness to thoroughly review materials for accuracy.
  • Ability to identify trusted sources and perform scientific literature searches.
  • Patient with process but also committed to follow through to complete projects. 
  • Proactive – enjoys being a driver of a process so others’ busy schedules don’t slow progress. Ability to play point person on projects, support others in their work, and coordinate processes for completing deliverables (rounds of document comments, meeting preparation, etc.).
  • Ability to take initiative, think strategically, work cooperatively with a diverse group of people, and share responsibility and credit.
  • High energy, creativity, curiosity, ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary team.
  • Outstanding writing and communication skills –ability to communicate complex topics and technical information to a range of audiences from advocates to scientists. 
  • Experience, sensitivity and commitment to addressing equity issues.

For more information, visit our web site at www.silentspring.org or the Cancer Free Economy at www.cancerfreeeconomy.org

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

 

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.

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, statistics coursework and R 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 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.