High Meadows Post-doc Science Fellow, Applied Psych

Employer
Environmental Defense Fund
Location
Gramercy Park and Murray Hill, New York
Closing date
Oct 20, 2021

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With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world's largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.

EDF offers internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates in a variety of programs and departments throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of our internship and fellowship program is to provide high-quality experiences (including relevant projects and opportunities for networking) that form the foundation for any individual who is serious about pursuing an environmental career.

Program Overview

The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is the nexus of science at EDF, ensuring that the natural and social science that is the backbone for all EDF policy positions is based on the best available information. To be most effective in this role OCS provides programmatic support for all scientists at EDF and fosters relationships with scientists outside the organization. The OCS team works on projects across all of EDF's programs, translating natural and social science basic and applied research into actionable ideas for colleagues who are designing programs and projects. The social science division within the OCS conducts research and analysis for emerging social, cognitive, affective, and behavioral science around environmental issues.

Overall Function

An integral part of EDF's work is to understand the variety of people's environmental concerns and priorities, their origins, and their resulting motivations, knowledge necessary to create engaged citizens and activists who protect the environment and all life it sustains, including people. Our cognitive, affective, behavioral and social science team plays a key role in helping the organization gather and interpret this information.

This post-doc position is designed for recent graduates with a strong passion for research who wish to take their skills and knowledge and deploy them in the service of social impact and good. The post-doc fellow will be part of two workstreams:

The first workstream will be the collaborative project between OCS and the EDF's Performance Marketing team, helping to create a framework for optimizing EDF's digital, fundraising and cultivation strategies. This project brings together EDF's marketing, fundraising and digital communications expertise with psychological science methods on individual differences and theories of environmental values and sustainability-relevant behavior. Combining the techniques of digital marketing professionals with the theory and rigor of personality psychology and motivation science, we hope to understand the specific motivations of our audiences around environmental impacts EDF addresses. This will entail literature reviews, designing experiments, marketing tests, qualitative data gathering and coding, and surveys.

The second stream, intended to provide the post-doc with work experience in applied research, will be to work on message testing around the work of scientists, economists, and policy analysts at EDF. The post-doc will design, conduct and present research on communicating complex novel environmental problems or solutions to those problems in a way that is comprehensible, accurate, and engages audiences.

Key Responsibilities

Tasks will include but are not limited to:
  • Synthesize empirical and theoretical findings from research literatures in psychology and communication studies. Specifically, carry out reviews of existing literature on environmental attitudes, beliefs, and individual differences associated with engagement with environmental causes, then translate this synthesis for our marketing colleagues.
  • Learn about current digital marketing strategies for identifying and segmenting audiences and combine this knowledge with ongoing research in sustainability psychology, and other cognitive and social sciences
  • Conduct interviews, lead focus groups, and synthesize, code, and transcribe qualitative data obtained during these engagements.
  • Co-develop experiments and studies derived from the models of motivation that the team will develop.
  • Program surveys and experiments in platforms such as Qualtrics or by programming them directly.
  • Project manage message tests and experiments.
  • Monitor the collection of data from surveys and experiments.
  • Manage and analyze data using SPSS, R, SAS, or Python.
  • Communicate findings to relevant EDF teams and partners through written reports and presentations.
  • Co-author research reports for EDF and its academic partners and for peer-review publications.
  • Present research at academic and professional conferences.
  • Participate in the EDF Science Technology Engineering Economics and Mathematics professional development program which includes a pool of money for individual research, a training program with postdocs at EDF and other institutions, and monthly networking meetings.
  • Participate in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.

Qualifications
  • A recent PhD (preferably within the last 3 years) in psychology, sociology, communication studies, or a related discipline with a strong emphasis on data collection and experimentation.
  • Demonstrable experience in the development of psychometric tools or individual difference measures.
  • Experience in research in behavioral sciences (e.g. in sociology, communication studies, political science, psychology, anthropology, marketing).
  • A record of at least 2 peer-reviewed papers accepted for publication or under review.
  • Broad coursework and/or research in psychology or other behavioral sciences.
  • Strong communication skills, including experience in presenting at scientific conferences, scientific publications, and communicating complex ideas to a general audience.
  • Strong computational and statistical skills. Familiarity with multivariate regression methods and mixed-models to test longitudinal and experimental effect.
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to both work collaboratively in a team setting and to work independently, manage time efficiently, and collaborate effectively with diverse colleagues in a fast-paced environment.
  • Intellectual agility and comfort with working across disciplines and learning new skills.
  • Demonstrable commitment to rigorous analysis, creativity (and a dose of pragmatism) in the real-world application of scientific theory to practice, and knowledge of relevant environmental policy issues.
  • Experience with the design of behavioral interventions would be a plus, but not a requirement.
  • Fluency in Spanish or Mandarin would be a plus, but not a requirement.


Location:

Flexible, open to:

Any of the EDF US offices or Remote.

Preference for willingness to be in New York City, Washington D.C., or Austin, TX.

Term:

24 months

Application Materials:

Interested applicants should apply at https://www.edf.org/jobs/internships-fellowships

Please submit:
  • A cover letter that addresses how the applicant meets the requirements listed above.
  • CV
  • One peer-reviewed empirical paper in press or accepted for publication.
  • A list of relevant coursework.
  • The contact information for three references.


Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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