Postdoctoral Research in Soil Sensing and Society

Posted: January 31, 2023
Deadline: March 1, 2023

Job Announcement – Postdoctoral Research in Soil Sensing and Society

The Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Soil Sensing and Society to begin Fall 2023. This full-time, three-year research position supports a multidisciplinary project entitled “Enhancing Community Cooperation with Iterative Sensor Research.” We seek a scholar who will use social science research methods to understand and guide the process of responsible research and innovation (RRI) in the development of innovative soil contamination sensors. Under the supervision of Professor Abby Kinchy, the postdoctoral researcher’s responsibilities will include conducting stakeholder interviews, analyzing policy, organizing citizen science workshops, and facilitating, documenting, and analyzing a multi-year participatory design process. The successful candidate will collaborate with a team and receive ongoing mentorship in research, writing, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community engagement.

The successful candidate must hold a Ph.D. or foreign degree equivalent in science and technology studies, environmental studies, humanitarian engineering, international development, sociology, anthropology, geography, or a related field. The ideal candidate will have relevant experience with community-engaged research, participatory technology assessment, citizen science, and/or responsible research and innovation (RRI). Previous exposure to electrical engineering, soil science, chemistry, or molecular biology is desirable because of the interdisciplinary nature of this project.

The Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at Rensselaer was among the world’s first to initiate a Science, Technology, and Society bachelor of science degree program in 1983. Today, Rensselaer is a leader among educational institutions that grant degrees in the field, and the department offers a range of interdisciplinary programs with intellectual foundations in Science and Technology Studies. STS faculty members conduct interdisciplinary teaching and research on the human dimensions of science and technology, often focusing on the environment, health, information technology and media, engineering, and design. A diverse blend of disciplines, theoretical approaches, objects of study, and topical issues informs the scholarship of the department and creates an open, productive, and collaborative intellectual location from which to explore the multifaceted relationships among science, technology, and human existence.

To apply, please go to, and use the “apply now” function to complete a brief online profile.  Please be prepared to upload the following documents: (1) a letter of interest; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) a research statement; (4) a writing sample; and (5) names and contact information for three references. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Applications received by March 1, 2023 will receive the first consideration. Questions about this position may be directed to Professor Abby Kinchy at


Published: 01/31/2023