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Associate Director for Actionable Science

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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. 


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.

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. 

Minorities and women are strongly encouraged to apply.  

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 below for consideration. For questions, please email research@sesync.org.

Please upload the following as a single PDF: Cover letter, resume, and three professional references