Union of Concerned Scientists

Union of Concerned Scientists

Temporary Research Assistant
Center for Science and Democracy

Based in Washington, DC

Term: 6-12 months

The Position
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit working to solve some of our planet’s most pressing environmental and safety problems. Our scientists and engineers develop and implement innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting misinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war.

The Center for Science and Democracy (CSD) stands at the forefront of ensuring that science remains in policy decisions that safeguard the health and safety of the public and our environment.


  • Develop maps that illustrate the future effects of sea-level rise and flooding across the United States.
  • Support the research, development, and timely submission of analytical products, including mapping the impacts of policy decisions on disadvantaged communities using geographic information systems modeling, and scientific integrity case studies.
  • Conduct research, including policy impacts on equity, on issues such as chemical safety, climate impacts, and air pollution exposure, with consideration for how use and misuse of science in policy affects vulnerable populations and communities of color.
  • Provide investigative research support for the Stand Up for Science team on issues that diminish the role of science in federal policy making.
  • Report research results in oral and written form to supervisors, colleagues, experts, public, media, executive branch, and congressional representatives.
  • Write and edit reports, respond to questions and criticisms, and revise products as necessary.
  • Work and consult with CSD staff on a variety of research-related tasks, including rapid response, report design and production, and public messaging.

Qualifications and Experience

Completion of a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field, or equivalent experience is preferred. The position also requires 1 to 3 years of experience demonstrating strong analytical skills. Additionally, the ideal candidate will have technical experience in using geographic information systems (GIS) modeling to produce maps illustrating the impacts of the loss of science-based safeguards (e.g., the impacts of future extreme floods on low-income communities). This position requires strong quantitative and analytical skills, project management experience, ability to function well in teams, and an interest in how science informs public policy. Familiarity with general concepts and issues in politics is needed. Proficiency in personal computer applications, including spreadsheet, word processing, specialized research software, and basic programming, and ability to handle multiple tasks is required. Strong oral and written communication skills, for scientific and general audiences, required. The ability to analyze and write quickly to meet the needs of the current media and congressional landscape is essential.

May spend extended periods at computer terminal. Extremely limited travel may be required.

At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

UCS is an equal opportunity employer continually seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We've adopted this commitment because we believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. We are actively seeking people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work.

Compensation, Hours and Location:
This is a temporary position for 6-12 months based in UCS’s Washington, DC. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary is $41,800. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. Information about the organization is available at: http://www.ucsusa.org. A listing of all open jobs is available at: https://www.ucsusa.org/about/jobs-ucs.

To Apply For This Position: Click HERE. Please upload a cover letter and résumé. Please include salary requirements in the cover letter. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls, please.

Deadline: March 31st or until filled.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.