Postdoctoral Scholar in Sustainability Assessment of Foods

We are seeking an outstanding candidate to conduct original research on the sustainability performance of foods and food systems, including cell-based meats. This position is jointly supported by an award from United States Department of Agriculture focused on cellular agriculture and the LASTING Project. The postdoctoral scholar will work with our interdisciplinary research teams to evaluate the sustainability performance of cultivated meat and other food products. This position will be based at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, located on Tufts University's Boston, MA campus. The Friedman School is a rare blend of interdisciplinary nutrition research and policy expertise, and a leader in science, education, and public policy, whose faculty work together to address large and complex food systems issues across the globe. The postdoctoral scholar will have the opportunity to join over 200 Friedman School graduate students, other postdoctoral scholars, and faculty in seminars, workshops, and other scholarly and social activities as part of the Friedman School, the larger Tufts community, and Boston-area community of food systems scholars.

Duties & Responsibilities

Dr. Nicole Tichenor Blackstone will serve as the primary mentor for the postdoctoral scholar, who will also work with Drs. David Kaplan (Tufts Engineering), Fang Fang Zhang, Patrick Webb, and Sean Cash (all Tufts Nutrition), and collaborators elsewhere. The postdoctoral scholar has a unique opportunity to work with our interdisciplinary teams to conduct environmental life cycle assessments of novel cellular meat systems and integrated modeling of the sustainability performance (environmental, social, economic, health aspects) of other foods and diets. Overall, the postdoctoral scholar will work with transdisciplinary teams, including biomedical engineers, food system scientists, statisticians, nutrition epidemologists, and economists, and will be part of a cohort of postdoctoral scholars based at the Friedman School working on sustainable diets. Key responsibilities of the postdoctoral scholar will include:

  • Developing E-LCAs of cellular meat systems, including lab-scale and prospective commercial scale comparative studies with other protein systems
  • Collecting primary data from collaborating labs and industry partners for E-LCAs 
  • Collecting and wrangling of secondary data on economic, social, and environmental impacts of foods; mapping these data to dietary patterns
  • Conducting data analysis, evaluation and interpretation of model results 
  • Developing grant proposals to support research efforts
  • Developing peer-reviewed publications, and abstracts for presenting research findings internally and at scientific meetings
  • Supervising graduate student and intern projects

A major emphasis will be placed on leading original analyses and manuscripts, career development, and transition toward an independent research career; up to 10% of time will be available to support the chosen candidate’s ongoing and new independent projects. A competitive salary, benefits, and travel/educational opportunities in the interdisciplinary environment at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy are offered. The position is for an 12-month period; reappointment is possible contingent on funding availability and a review of performance. Position available starting Fall 2022. Candidates from all over the world are encouraged to apply who are willing to conduct their research work in the US, at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA.


Required Education, Experience, and Skills

Applicants must have a PhD/DrPH/ScD in engineering, industrial ecology, quantitative sustainability assessment, or a related field. A strong record of original, first-author publications in life cycle assessment is essential. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency using openLCA or SimaPro software, excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability to work independently and with collaborators.  

Preferred Education, Experience, and Skills

Applicants who have a strong interest in food systems, sustainability and/or cellular agriculture are preferred. Experience in one or more of the following areas is preferred: primary data collection, lab-based experimental work in engineering, life cycle sustainability assessment, and other food systems modeling approaches (e.g., input-output modeling, general- or partial-equilibrium modeling).

Application Instructions

Application must include:

  1. Cover letter describing previous achievements, research interests, and why the candidate is suitable for this position (maximum 2 pages).
  2. CV including a list of relevant publications.
  3. Names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers for at least two academic referees.
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  • Tufts University
  • The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • Boston, MA
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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