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Senior Scientist

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We are searching for a Senior Scientist to join the policy team to review and develop science-based materials and messages to support national, state, and local food and nutrition policies, especially for historically disenfranchised communities that experience health disparities and are disproportionately targeted by unhealthy beverage and food marketing. This position reports directly to the Vice President for Nutrition, and is located in CSPI’s Washington, DC office.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) works to improve the food environment for all Americans. CSPI led efforts to win passage of many state and local policies to improve school food, remove sugary drinks from restaurant children’s menus, and require calorie labeling on chain restaurant menus.  National policy successes include the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (to improve school food), Food Safety Modernization Act, and Food Allergen Consumer Protection Act. 

Unhealthy food and beverages are the leading contributors to death in the United States, contributing to over 600,000 premature deaths each year, primarily through heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.  The typical American diet is low in fruit, vegetables and whole grains and too high in sugar-sweetened beverages, red and processed meat, full-fat dairy, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat.  The ubiquity, amounts, and aggressive promotion of sugary drinks and unhealthy food in the food supply are hazardous to the public’s health. 

We are searching for a Senior Scientist to join the policy team to review and develop science-based materials and messages to support national, state, and local food and nutrition policies, especially for historically disenfranchised communities that experience health disparities and are disproportionately targeted by unhealthy beverage and food marketing.  This position reports directly to the Vice President for Nutrition, and is located in CSPI’s Washington, DC office.   

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide scientific expertise for comments, petitions, letters, reports, fact sheets, and other documents to influence policymakers and food and beverage companies.
  • Conduct market scans, literature reviews, and other analyses to develop policy positions and support of CSPI policy and corporate campaigns.  Research topics related to food and nutrition by evaluating studies and interviewing researchers.
  • Serve as a trusted information resource on nutrition and health matters to CSPI staff, coalition partners, policymakers, and the general public.  Act as a media spokesperson on diet and health issues.
  • Work in cross-cutting teams with CSPI policy and communications staff to ensure that messages and materials are science based.
  • Professionally and effectively represent CSPI to external audiences at meetings, events, conferences, and with media.
  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships with academic researchers. 

Qualifications

  • A sense of mission and passion for public interest and public health advocacy.
  • Ph.D. in nutrition, epidemiology, or public health, plus at least five years’ experience in evaluating research on diet and health.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex nutrition issues; ability to draw conclusions from a body of sometimes-conflicting scientific studies and provide responsible advice to consumers, policymakers, coalition partners, and CSPI staff.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to speak in public effectively and to interview scientists about their work.
  • Exceptional writing skills, including for materials such as reports and fact sheets.
  • Experience with producing peer-reviewed publications and presenting research to external audiences (e.g. scientific conferences and federal advisory committees).  
  • Commitment and track record of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the intersection of public health and social justice and ability to promote it throughout the work and in the workplace.
  • Excellent judgment and consistent professionalism, with the ability to work in a fast-paced environment and take responsibility for multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Ability to work as part of a cross-disciplinary team in a collegial manner.
  • Proficiency with MSOffice applications, including Excel, Access, and PowerPoint; and statistical programs such as Stata/SAS.
  • Ability to work additional hours as needed.

To Apply

Please email your application materials, which should include a cover letter indicating relevant experience and interest and résumé to hr@cspinet.org.  Include “SrSci-Web” in the subject line.

 

CSPI offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package along with a healthy working environment.  CSPI is an equal opportunity employer.  Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.