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Two Positions: Associate Director for Actionable Science and Associate Director for Research

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Deadline: 
Mar 30, 2017
Location: 
Annapolis, MD

 

Titles (two positions):                      Associate Director for Actionable Science

                                                      Associate Director for Research         

Category Status:                             Faculty Specialist

Applicant Search Category:             Staff

Salary:                                            Commensurate with experience

 

Justification:              

In 2011, the University of Maryland was awarded a $27.5M grant by the National Science Foundation to establish the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC: www.sesync.org), located in Annapolis, MD.  The University of Maryland has recently been awarded an additional $28.2M to continue funding the Center. SESYNC is led by a diverse group of scientists from the University System of Maryland and regional, national, and international partnering institutions.

SESYNC engages participants from a large and highly interdisciplinary community of scientists, representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to undertake synthesis research on complex environmental issues.  SESYNC uses a service-based approach to foster interdisciplinary interactions that lead to technical outputs and knowledge relevant to decision makers at many levels. Given the scale of work, SESYNC’s leadership seeks two staff members to join the scientific support team at the Center in Annapolis, MD.

 

Position Summaries:

 

Position 1

Associate Director for Actionable Science

Reporting to the Director of Social Science and Policy, the Associate Director for Actionable Science will provide support for interdisciplinary synthesis research teams conducting long-term (2-year) projects, workshop participants, and individual visitors. He/she will work with SESYNC participants across the lifespan of their projects and be responsible for helping them with both scientific aspects and identification of potential decision contexts for the problems being addressed. She/he will: provide direct feedback and advice regarding opportunities to develop actionable products and outcomes from the research conducted; help link participating researchers to existing and new networks of decision makers as appropriate; and help identify relevant strategies to engage individuals from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector in SESYNC’s research teams and other activities. As research products emerge he/she will work closely with researchers to determine how scientific products may be conveyed into ongoing or new decision-making contexts. The Associate Director for Actionable Science is expected to maintain and expand an extensive network of contacts in the policy arena to learn about key science needs across the spectrum of socio-environmental problems. The incumbent will also write and edit materials for a variety of venues, participate in the review of projects and the overall evaluation of Center programs, and routinely brief the rest of the SESYNC leadership on researchers’ progress.

Minimum Qualifications:

MS or MA with a background in environmental decision-making and policy and a minimum of 2 years’ experience in a position focused on bridging scientific knowledge to audiences outside the research community. A background in environment-related social or natural science and the ability to understand complex scientific problems and approaches needed to address them.  Experience serving groups of researchers as a liaison, sounding board, and connection to other disciplines and audiences. An existing network of relationships in environmental agencies, NGOs, and business groups – and willingness to expand those networks. Strong organization skills and the ability to initiate and manage a portfolio of multiple and diverse projects. A professional demeanor, exceptional written and oral communication skills, and desire to actively engage with a wide variety of individuals both at the Center and in wide ranging policy and decision-making networks.  Demonstrated ability to deliver timely outcomes as a member of a support team (and independently). The successful applicant should be able to work in a dynamic environment and have the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of research teams.

Preferences:             

Ph.D. in a relevant discipline. Experience working outside of academia and/or a research environment. Experience with group facilitation and experience in program evaluation. Examples of specific written (print and/or web based) products developed to translate complex scientific outcomes for non-peer audiences.

 

Position 2:

Associate Director for Research

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Associate Director for Research will provide support for interdisciplinary synthesis research teams conducting long-term (2-year) projects and other participants who come to the Center for single workshops and individual scholarship.  He/she will provide scientific support during the development and implementation of projects. The incumbent will learn about the scientific basis of projects with an emphasis on helping teams with the integration of natural, social and computational science. She/he will work with teams to refine proposals as they progress through the SESYNC review process and will participate with the SESYNC Review Committee during panel deliberations and by summarizing reviewer and panel comments. The incumbent will provide feedback and advice to research teams regarding strategies for overcoming interdisciplinary challenges including links to other SESYNC support services, and will help teams link to existing and new networks of researchers as appropriate.  She/he will consult with teams on a continuing basis as research is conducted to identify any new needs that arise and to gather information on team progress for SESYNC evaluation and reporting purposes.  The Associate Director for Research will maintain and expand an extensive network of contacts in the scientific community in order to identify individuals who might effectively participate in SESYNC programs, as well as expand the Center’s community of practice. He/she will act as a facilitator for teams as needed, with a specific emphasis on helping foster effective interdisciplinary synthesis processes. The incumbent will be an active contributor to SESYNC’s center evaluation and will be expected to support a variety of special projects the Center undertakes to advance its mission of engaging the scientific community in socio-environmental synthesis research.

Minimum Qualifications:

Ph.D. and minimum of two years experience (post PhD) working on natural, social or computational environmental science problems relevant to the link between humans and the environment.  Strong interpersonal and speaking skills as well as experience working with teams of researchers and publishing in scholarly outlets.  General knowledge of the socio–environmental/ecological literature and research methods.  An existing network of relationships in natural, social, or computational science and willingness to expand that network. Experience with proposal writing and review processes are required. Strong organization skills and the ability to initiate and manage a portfolio of multiple and diverse projects. A professional demeanor and exceptional written and oral communication skills are essential as is a desire to actively engage with a wide variety of individuals in various settings

Preferences:             

Preference given to individuals who have demonstrated experience with synthesis methodology and computational approaches. Experience serving as a facilitate or, liaison, or sounding board for research teams. A demonstrated ability to understand interdisciplinary problems with an appreciation of the role of teamwork in achieving desired outcomes.  Demonstrated ability to work both as a productive member of a support team and independently to deliver outcomes in a timely manner. The successful applicant should be able to work in a dynamic environment and have the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of research teams. Experience with research program management. Some experience with program evaluation and interest in, or experience with network and/or bibliometric analyses.

Diversity Statement:

The University of Maryland, College Park, actively subscribes to a policy of equal employment opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, gender, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, national origin, or political affiliation.

How to Apply: 

 

Preference will be given to applications received by March 30, 2017. Please submit cover letter, resume, and three professional references to the webform(s) linked below to apply for each position. For any questions, please contact research@sesync.org.

Associate Director for Actionable Science

Associate Director for Research

The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Minorities and Women Are Encouraged to Apply .

Career Type: