Research Assistant

Job Type

Full Time




United States


Environmental Health – Chemistry – Data Science – Public Interest Science


Silent Spring Institute, a non-profit research center leading innovative studies of the environment and health, seeks a research assistant for projects related to environmental chemical exposures and health effects. Current research focuses on environmental links to breast cancer and asthma, exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds, high-throughput chemical toxicity testing, drinking water contamination, and community-engaged research. 


We are a collaborative multi-disciplinary team 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 Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 



This position will focus on data management, analysis, and visualization for novel studies of chemical exposures and toxicity. Our research positions require great versatility in support of the Institute’s transdisciplinary research. Staff are also involved in public communications and proposal development. Specific responsibilities are tailored to the particular qualifications of each individual. Examples of activities:


  • Conduct data management and quantitative analysis for environmental exposure data in a range of environmental media, including crowdsourced biomonitoring study and metabolomics.
  • Develop a mass spectra chemical database for non-targeted biomonitoring of potential breast carcinogens.
  • Compile and analyze results from nationwide drinking water data to evaluate environmental justice disparities in contaminant exposure related to drinking water quality.
  • Compile and analyze toxicity information from a variety of sources.
  • Develop novel approaches to data exploration and visualization and develop web applications to communicate findings.
  • Conduct geospatial analysis to identify proximity between pollution sources and drinking water supplies.
  • Perform quantitative and qualitative analyses of the effectiveness of environmental policies (e.g., Proposition 65) in reducing population-level health exposures and industrial releases of endocrine disrupting compounds.
  • Provide support for ongoing studies: develop and follow study protocols, operate sampling equipment, develop sample tracking systems, interact with study participants.
  • Provide research support, including literature review, assistance in preparation of presentations and manuscripts.
  • Opportunities to author peer-reviewed articles.
  • Speak about environmental health issues with community organizations. 
  • Support proposal preparation for federal and foundation grants.
  • Some travel. Some evening and weekend responsibilities, for example, at public events.


Additional requirements: Applicants with a bachelor’s degree will be considered. Excellent academic record; math, statistics, biology, chemistry, and informatics coursework an asset. R programming an asset. Relevant work experience an asset. High energy, creativity, curiosity, attention to accuracy, ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary team. Commitment to careful and impartial research in a context of partnership between scientists and the public. For more information, visit our web site at 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Send cover letter describing your interests and experience related to this job, resume, writing sample, and copy of academic transcript (photocopy is fine) to Laurel Schaider, Silent Spring Institute, 320 Nevada Street, Suite 302, Newton, MA 02460 or email with “research assistant” in subject line.