Company:  Confidential

Job Title: Principal Scientist, Action Science Initiative

Job Number: 80815

Location: San Francisco, CA, US

Job Description

The Action Science Initiative (ASI), a new program of Environmental Health Sciences, is
looking for an outstanding environmental scientist to serve as Principal Scientist. We are
looking for someone with a background in, and familiarity with, 1) the conduct of research
studies that examine health impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), 2) awareness of
the disparities in the impacts of these exposures and, 3) the social/political impacts of this
science.

The Principal Scientist (PS) will work directly with Shanna Swan, Director of ASI on the three
components of the ASI, described below. We are looking for someone adventurous,
entrepreneurial, and agile who can commit 30 hours a week to this position and who is available
to meet regularly in San Francisco. The PS should have experience in writing grant proposals,
conducting studies on environment and health and in effective science communication.

Who we are
Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news and science
organization. EHS aims to drive good science into public discussion with the goal of informing
policy on environmental threats to health. EHS’ mission is to both stimulate and conduct new
science investigations and to see that accurate, impactful, nonpartisan information reaches the
public to bring about change. EHS exists in the rare space between journalism and science.
For 20 years EHS has advanced science, supporting environmental health and developing
communication resources to support the EHS Fellows training program in which junior scientists
are trained by experienced EHS communicators. EHS embraces individuals from diverse
professional and personal backgrounds in an ongoing effort to create a comprehensive and
collaborative team supporting not only our mission but one another. The Action Science
Initiative, launched in June 2024, is a new program that will add an “action arm” to EHS’
Science Division.

The Director of ASI, Shanna Swan, is a widely recognized environmental and reproductive
epidemiologist, whose work examines the impact of environmental exposures on human health,
particularly on reproductive health and neurodevelopment.  In 2021 Dr. Swan and her co-author
Stacey Colino published: Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts,
Altering Male and Female Reproductive Health, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race which has been translated into ten languages. Dr. Swan is committed to broadening the impact
of this science to protect public health and the environment and has received funding to conduct
impactful interventions and provide training in communication skills to further those goals.

The opportunity
The PS will work with the Director of ASI, to develop and manage the three components of
ASI:

1) Interventions to Promote Action (IPA)
IPAs are rapid, highly focused, science-based research studies, each typically completed within
12 months and costing no more than $75k. These studies are designed to evaluate health risks
to endangered groups (e.g., “front line” communities, workers engaged in production or
utilization of harmful chemicals (e.g., fire fighters), self-identified affected (groups such as
infertile couples). This program will engage those groups in the design and conduct of the
research, whenever possible, encourage group leaders to communicate study results to their
community, media, and regulators and follow-up to evaluate impact.

The Principal Scientist will, together with the ASI Director, support these interventions by:
● Developing Request for Proposals (RFPs) informing researchers of the opportunity to
conduct an ASI-funded intervention.
● Posting RFPs for these funding opportunity on appropriate websites and screen
applications.
● Evaluating responses to the RFPs and select the winning proposals with advice from the
ASI Advisory Committee.
● With the PIs of the selected interventions: developing study protocols, obtaining IRB
approval, selecting study populations, tracking budgets, monitoring sample collection and
analyses, writing up and publishing results of the intervention.

2) Communication for Effective Action (CEA)
The goal of CEA is educating, and generating interest in, and action around, new EDC science
that directly impacts the lives of affected communities. In this program, junior scientists (ASI
Fellows) will be given media and other relevant training on effective science communication,
through the ongoing EHS’ Communication Fellows Program.

  • The PS will:
    Work with the ASI Director and Advisory Committee to select ASI fellows, junior scientists
    who will receive media and communication training on effective use of science
    communication methods, including print, social media, and film.
  • Monitor the progress of ASI Fellows and help direct them to appropriate speaking
    opportunities.

3) ASI Strategies
ASI Strategies will provide scientific resources (speakers, fact sheets, references, etc.) to
support the work of those seeking to increase awareness of EDCs and increase their regulation.
ASI Strategies will work with environmental advocacy groups (such as Beyond Plastics, Breast
Cancer Prevention Partners, Safer Made) to support and inform legislative change aimed at
reducing exposures whose harms have been demonstrated by good science, including –but not
limited to—those conducted by the ASI.

The PS will:

  • Provide resources (e.g., fact sheets, info graphics, published statements by EHS scientists)
    to support proposed legislation on EDCs and health.
  • Facilitate meetings between state and federal governmental committees/staff and EHS
    scientists and fellows who can provide testimony about health impacts of specific EDCs
    being considered for legislation.

What you will bring to this job:
The PS will have an opportunity to work with leading scientists who are studying the impacts of
environmental toxins and human health –international experts in green chemistry, endocrine
disruption, obesity, reproductive health, children’s health, environmental epidemiology.
Experience working on environmental health issues, particularly those related to toxicity and
human health, is essential. We are looking for someone who has been actively involved in
environmental/public health research at multiple levels and is comfortable with study design,
population selection, subject follow-up, exposure assessment, risk communication and political
strategy. Basic communication skills are a must, along with commitment, professionalism,
punctuality, and organizational skills. Computer skills and attention to detail are also essential
as is familiarity with epidemiological methods, database design and management (RedCap and other), reference management (e.g., Endnote), statistical software (SAS, R or other). Some
knowledge of environmental chemistry and/or toxicology is a plus.

Important details
You’ll need to live in Northern California, preferably near San Francisco, or be able to travel
there easily. While EHS works (largely) remotely, the ASI Director and her Executive Assistant
live in San Francisco, and we expect frequent in-person meetings and interactions, although
most of your work will be done remotely. Hours will be flexible. As described above, this is a 30-
hr/week job.

If the PS is available for a 40hr/week position, there will be an opportunity to also work with the
newly formed electro-magnetic field program, under the Director of the EMF program. Work in
the EMF program will require a 10hr/week commitment, making this a full-time (40hr/week)
position, with a salary range of 115-125,000. The PS would then share time flexibly between the
ASI and the EMF Programs. Under either option, a range of EHS benefits are listed below. We
expect a start date in August 2024, although this is somewhat flexible.

EHS values diversity and is committed to giving back to the journalism, research, and nonprofit
communities. EHS is an equal opportunity employer, and we’re actively seeking to increase
diversity in our operation and across the fields of science, communications, and journalism. We
encourage applications from communities traditionally underrepresented in science and news
media.

EHS Benefits include:
Employer-paid dental insurance
Employer-paid health insurance
5% retirement contribution
Employer-funded health reimbursement account
Paid time off
Parental leave and childcare assistance
Vision benefits

Application Deadline: 2024-07-20

 

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