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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 596257
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Social Science
Department: Global Chg & Earth Observations, Ctr For 10038379
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Fixed Term Academic Staff, Research/Scientific

Position Summary

Michigan State University is seeking a social scientist research associate, postdoctoral researcher, to be a part of a 4-year NSF-funded grant that is developing new ways to reduce the social, economic and environmental costs of hydropower development. We are going into the last 2 years of the NSF-funded project and the focus is on quantitative data analysis and publications of the social science data collected.

Project Abstract: An estimated 3,700 major dams are currently either planned or under construction in the foreseeable future, especially in developing countries. This study's goal is to develop innovative solutions for hydropower-- not just to produce energy for the national grid, but woven into the surrounding food, water, and institutional systems. The team includes hydro-engineers, hydrogeologists, climatologists, biologists and social scientists working in tandem to offer transformative solutions for hydropower development while ensuring that social and environmental benefits outweigh costs. The project is being conducted in three different basins in the Brazilian Amazon. The social science component is generating a household-level data set of 8 communities, and a total of some 1,200 households using randomized sampling, that have been impacted by hydropower development in the Madeira basin in Brazil. In addition, plans are underway to start doing a similar survey in two other basins. The social analysis will focus on impacts on households, differences in compensation and resettlement, and on social/economic changes experienced by households.

The research associate, postdoctoral researcher, will work on statistical analysis of data collected through a social survey protocol, and may help with the design of a new survey. Strong demonstrated statistical skills are required. Candidate should be able to work independently but value collaboration with the PIs in the project. 

The position will start as soon as an appropriate candidate is found, preferably by September 2019. Candidates will be based in East Lansing, Michigan. Position will initially be for one year on a 12-month annual basis, with possible renewal for another year, depending on performance. Salary will be based on commensurate education and experience.

Required Degree

Doctorate -social science or interdisciplinary

Minimum Requirements

  • We are seeking candidates who are committed to a research career in interdisciplinary science and to active publication of research results of significance to communities. An outstanding academic record is expected, preferably with evidence of research publications.
  • Education: completed Ph.D. degree in a social science field, or an interdisciplinary field that includes a social science component by the time of appointment.
  • Knowledge: expertise in statistical methods and mixed methods, including statistical software such as R, Stata, etc.
  • Abilities:
    • use of Qualtrics;
    • demonstrated oral and written communication skills;
    • ability to think creatively about collaboration, and scientific inquiry;
    • ability to interact with members of other disciplines and integrate concepts from related fields;
    • strong interpersonal and decision-making skills.

Desired Qualifications

Some basic knowledge of Portuguese or Spanish languages.

Required Application Materials

Applications should be submitted electronically to the Michigan State University Human Resources application system. Application package to include:

  • A cover letter that addresses the applicant's interest in the position and how the applicant meets the qualifications specified above,
  • A current CV,
  • Three letters of recommendation to be uploaded with application materials

Special Instructions

Appointment is contingent upon successfully completing a full back ground check. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Queries may be directed to Professor Maria Claudia Lopez, Chair of the Search, at

Review of Applications Begins On



MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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