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Natural Infrastructure - Social Science Postdoctoral

ORAU Maryland Office
Chelsea and Clinton, New York
Closing date
Nov 9, 2021

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Position Type
Science and Technology Studies
Organization Type
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The Network for Engineering with Nature (NEWN) is a multi-institutional research entity for studying the role of natural and social systems as part of an infrastructure portfolio. This network has a major research focus area on integrating people and policy into decision-making associated with natural infrastructure. Nature-based solutions (NBS) often require system-scale implementation to maximize their efficacy for engineering outcomes, and this project will help infrastructure managers better understand the factors enabling or restraining systems-scale implementation of NBS, which may include legal, jurisdictional, regulatory, institutional, infrastructure, and interpersonal characteristics.

What Will I Be Doing?

Under the guidance of a mentor, you will research two main research questions driving this project: (1) Why do some watersheds seem able to execute collective action solutions and others consistently fail? (2) Are there enabling or restraining conditions that make collaboration easier or harder (e.g., policy hurdles personalities, duration and durability of relationships, etc.)? Multiple real-world examples will be studied to better understand NBS as multi-actor, collective action projects, specifically case studies where NBS are being implemented at large-scales and watershed partnerships are "working".

Where Will I Be Located? New York, New York

Why Should I Apply?

This internship provides the opportunity to independently utilize your skills and engage with experts in innovative ideas to move the proposed research forward. There are multiple opportunities available to engage in your applied research and evaluation interests.

What Is The Anticipated Start Date?

ERDC-EL is ready to make an appointment immediately. The exact start date will be determined at the time of selection and in coordination with the selected candidate.

What Are The Benefits?

You will receive a stipend to be determined by ERDC-EL. Stipends are typically based on the participant's academic standing, discipline, experience, and research facility location. Other benefits may include the following:

Health Insurance Supplement. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
Relocation Allowance
Training and Travel Allowance
This ORISE appointment is a full-time 12 month opportunity. Appointments may be extended depending on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Nature Of The Appointment

You will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOD, or any other office or agency. Instead, you will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.


You must either be pursuing or have a Ph.D. in anthropology, human geography, or other related social sciences. You must have strong qualitative research skills and experience developing and/or applying these skills in the context of applied environmental and water management issues. Additionally, excellent written and oral communication skills are needed for close collaboration with a large team of scientists and engineers, presentation of findings, and preparation of manuscripts. Desirable qualifications include familiarity with natural infrastructure, engineering practices, and spatial analysis methods. You may be asked to travel quarterly for project meetings, field data collection, and other duties.
A complete application consists of:

Zintellect profile

Educational and Employment History
Essay Questions - The application includes questions specific to the opportunity
Academic Records - For this opportunity, an official transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted.
Current Resume/CV
One (1) Recommendation - Applicants are required to provide contact information for at least one recommendation. You are encouraged to request a recommendation from a professional who can speak to your abilities and potential for success as well as your scientific capabilities and personal characteristics. Recommendation requests must be sent through the Zintellect application system. Recommenders will be asked to complete a recommendation in Zintellect. Letters of recommendation submitted via email will not be accepted.
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