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Kendall Fellowship: Science for Environmental Justice

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Dec 1, 2021

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Kendall Fellowship: Science for Environmental Justice
Center for Science and Democracy
Union of Concerned Scientists
Location: Flexible, within US


The Center for Science and Democracy (CSD) at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the leading science-based organization at the center of today’s most exciting and important policy debates, seeks outstanding candidates for the Science for Environmental Justice Kendall Fellowship. This up to two-year fellowship is open to candidates who will have completed their Ph.D. by December 2021.

You will develop approaches to the analysis of equity and justice implications in federal regulatory actions. This work will be part of our Science for Environmental Justice campaign. A critical part of the research we envision is the applications of methods for bringing the experiences and views of impacted, overburdened low-income, Black, Indigenous and communities of color into the analysis of public health, safety, and environmental threats and the expected impacts of regulatory measures in addressing longstanding justice and equity challenges.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is an independent national nonprofit whose scientists and engineers work to solve some of our planet’s most pressing environmental and safety problems. UCS combines technical analysis and effective organizing and advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for stemming the tide of global warming, sustainable food policy and agriculture, clean energy and transportation, and reducing the threat of catastrophic nuclear war.

The Center for Science and Democracy, UCS’s newest program, will host this Kendall Fellow. The Center works across issues to strengthen the role of independent science in democratic dialogue and public policy by improving the process of bringing science into policy-making, pushing back on misinformation efforts and attacks on scientists, and increasing public access to scientific information.



The Kendall Fellow will work with UCS staff to develop a proposal for a two-year project to bring the voices, lived experience and perspectives of people and communities most impacted but often excluded from the regulatory process. The proposed research should: 1) analyze the processes that need to be changed and updated; 2) develop recommendations for needed changes, in partnership with grassroots organizations fighting for environmental justice, and 3) help our advocacy campaign for science-based regulatory decision-making that is just and equitable. Three possible topics of this research, depending upon applicant interest, that may shape the research proposal, are:

  • Agency engagement with the public and incorporation of public input in decision-making: How is community input being brought into regulatory science, what are the barriers to engagement, and what are the levers for improving those opportunities? What processes exist for utilizing community input as agencies develop health and safety protections? What are some successful models for incorporating environmental justice concerns into rulemaking processes? How do agencies measure the impacts of rules on communities? How well are agencies incorporating community science into decision-making processes?
  • Scientific analysis with an equity and justice framework: Are agencies considering science in regulatory actions that adequately address environmental justice concerns including cumulative impacts of exposure to multiple pollutants? How are agencies incorporating lived experience as data? What gaps exist in environmental hazard monitoring and data collection generally and how does that limit agency’s regulatory responsiveness to communities?
  • Data accessibility: How can federal agencies improve access to data and information to support communities’ right to know and ability to advocate for evidence-based solutions?

The detailed products of the fellowship will be defined during the development of the proposal but could include analytical, educational, and advocacy products; peer-reviewed publications; partnership development with grassroots organizations; and policy recommendations.


Qualifications and experience

The fellow should possess significant knowledge of environmental justice issues, regulatory science assessments, and mixed-method research. The fellow should be able to demonstrate research experience that can be applied to the stated goals of the fellowship, specifically on the challenge of environmental justice. In addition, strong written and verbal skills are required and the ability to work in both Spanish and English is preferred. At a minimum, a Ph.D. in a relevant field must be completed before December 31, 2022

The fellow may spend extended periods at the computer. Occasional travel may be required (several overnight trips per year).

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.


About the Kendall Science Fellows Program

The Kendall Science Fellows Program was established to honor Nobel Prize-winning physicist Henry Kendall who was with UCS from our beginnings and was the long-time chair of our board. Kendall was known for his unique ability to shake up the status quo and catalyze new thinking, and UCS looks to Kendall Fellows to do the same. Priority is given to innovative and forward-looking proposals that are primarily scientific, technical, or analytic in nature but also show interest in the application of science to policy. Fellows will benefit from the opportunity to learn from the UCS approach to science and policy, and UCS will benefit from the new approaches and expertise of the Kendall Fellows.


More about the team:

Our team is made up of a dedicated group of researchers, scientists, communicators, campaigners, and advocates from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team and a collaborative and supportive work environment where all staff can thrive. We continually strive to create an environment that is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, parents, empty-nesters, and people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.




A note on the pandemic: During the coronavirus pandemic our staff is working from home. We will resume working from our offices, travel, and in-person meetings when it is safe to do so.


Compensation, Hours, and Location: This is a full-time, up to the two-year position. Ability to work at least partially in one of UCS’s offices preferred, but open to discussion. Fellowship will begin in fall 2022. Kendall Fellowship salaries follow a special structure and are fixed at $72,000 for candidates with less than 3 years relevant post-Ph.D. experience and $82,000 for those with 3-8 years of post-Ph.D. experience. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. Information about UCS is available at


To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, a statement of interest (up to 2 pages, including relevant background and experience, a brief description of a research idea in the selected area, and interest in working with UCS), curriculum vitae, and two references. In the cover letter, please confirm that the listed salary meets your expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls please.

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