Pro Tem Research Assistant/Associate/Postdoctoral Scholar

Eugene, OR, US

Department Summary:

The purpose of this announcement is to identify highly motivated researchers from a variety of social science disciplines such as political science, sociology, human geography, and the human dimensions of forestry who are interested in joining the Institute for a Sustainable Environment to assist with or lead nationally relevant natural resource, environmental, and sustainability research. The Institute is the University of Oregon’s oldest sustainability-oriented research center, and has an interdisciplinary faculty with interests in sustainable rural development, natural resource and environmental policy, green jobs, biodiversity conservation, land use and management, collaboration, conservation practices, ecological restoration, geography, green building design, renewable energy, health policy, climate change, and other related issues. The successful candidate will support and enhance a diverse learning and working background. Additional information about the Institute for a Sustainable Environment can be found at

Position Summary:

Positions are non-career, non-tenure track, and may be full or part-time. Research Assistant and Research Associate positions are limited duration appointments potentially renewable for up to a total of three years. In limited circumstances, there is the possibility of renewal beyond three years based on programmatic need, funding, and performance. Postdoctoral Scholars hired through the applicant pool process may be renewed for up to a total of five years depending on performance, funding, and need. 
The applicant pool will be used to identify highly motivated, high-quality candidates interested in contributing to applied research and technical assistance projects. Job duties will vary depending on the particular position and the available funding, and can include: 

  • Research, assessment, and monitoring including all phases of literature reviews, data collection, data analyses (including quantitative, qualitative, spatial) and writing to prepare scientific papers, reports, and presentations for scholarly and lay audiences. 
  • Implementation of public service and technical assistance projects, such as organizing and/or facilitating meetings and delivering presentations. 
  • Leadership and participation on research teams. 
  • Writing and contributing to grant applications. 
  • Communicating with the public and diverse stakeholder groups. 
  • Coordinating, editing and monitoring work of UO students. 
  • Traveling locally, regionally, or nationally as needed for data collection or conferences.

Minimum Requirements:

Research Assistants should have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a relevant field, such as political science, sociology, human geography, and the human dimensions of forestry. Significant professional experience may substitute for a Master’s degree for highly qualified individuals. 
Research Associates must have a PhD in a relevant field, work independently, and work with less supervision than research assistants. 
Postdoctoral Scholars must have a PhD in a relevant field, will train under the sponsorship of a research faculty member, and will participate in a mentoring plan. 
Other requirements for all three ranks: 

  • Two years of experience with some combination of natural resource policy and management, community-government relations, collaboration, climate change, sustainable rural development, forestry, ecology, land use policy, or a related field. 
  • Knowledge and experience with a variety of quantitative and qualitative social or natural science research methods and a willingness and ability to learn new methods as needs arise.

Professional Competencies:

  • Communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated self-motivation and leadership capacity. 
  • Strong organizational skills. 
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and maintain overall program mission. 
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a team environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of and familiarity with western U.S. natural resource issues and concerns, including federal land management, rural development, wildfire management and policy, or water management and policy.
  • A record of publications for both lay and academic audiences.
  • A record of successful fundraising and grant/budget management.