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PhD Assistantships- Sustainability Science & Environmental Social Sciences

Marine Science Center
Nahant, Massachusetts
$41,534.55 per year + Health Insurance + Full Tuition ($>52k)
Closing date
Dec 8, 2023

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Interdisciplinary/Other, Social Sciences
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Open PhD Positions in Sustainability Science

Northeastern University, Nahant, MA & Boston, MA

The Hall Sustainability Science Lab at Northeastern University, Nahant & Boston Massachusetts, USA has openings for two fully funded graduate Ph.D. research assistantships in Marine and Environmental Sciences to study fundamental questions about generating usable knowledge for sustainability transitions in water resources management and climate change adaptation.

Doctoral students will work on projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) engaging communities to understand local-scale implementation of Nature-based Solutions for addressing flooding, drought, and storm surge and explore how engaging professional practitioners in social–ecological system modeling can improve decision making. The work requires regular field research throughout the upper Midwest and Western US.

We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a background in social science research on environmental topics or environmental science-related majors with experience in policy or social research. Candidates must have strong communication and writing skills, work well independently and as part of a team, and the ability to talk with anyone. Ideal candidates have worked with community stakeholders and government agencies, are familiar with social science theories, and have experience conducting interviews and qualitative data analysis. All candidates should have a passion for conducting transdisciplinary research that matters to people and the planet. We are committed to promoting diversity in conservation and sustainability science and therefore strongly encourage applicants from all historically marginalized groups.

The Sustainability Science Lab ( is located in the Marine Science Center (MSC, at historic East Point in Nahant, Massachusetts. The MSC juts into the ocean five miles northeast of the entrance to Boston Harbor. Our lab and the MSC offer a vibrant intellectual, collaborative, and friendly work environment. Students live and work by the ocean, take classes in downtown Boston, and conduct field research throughout the US.

Research Assistantships include a full tuition wavier, a monthly stipend, and health insurance. Research assistants work 20 hours per week while completing coursework. Start date is negotiable in 2024. Students have opportunities to co-design and conduct research, write, and present study results at international conferences. Students will participate in policy-relevant research making recommendations with and for practitioners, agencies, and communities who will use the data. 

Prospective Students: Please send: a statement of your interest in the position noting relevant coursework, CV, and the names and contact details of three references in a single pdf file to: Visit the Northeastern University Graduate Studies  ( website for application information for the Marine and Environmental Sciences program. 

Deadline: December 1, 2023.

Damon M. Hall, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences,

School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs

Marine Science Center, 430 Nahant Road, Nahant, MA


About Northeastern University

Northeastern University (NU) is a global leader in experiential education and research with expertise in marine and coastal ecology, environmental forecasting and climate adaptation, fisheries and ecosystem-based management, ecological engineering and restoration, environmental sociology, and sustainability science.

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and the recognized leader in experiential lifelong learning. Our approach of integrating real-world experience with education, research, and innovation empowers our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create worldwide impact. Northeastern’s personalized, experiential undergraduate and graduate programs lead to degrees through the doctorate in 10 colleges and schools across our campuses.

Our research enterprise, with an R1 Carnegie classification, is solutions oriented and spans the world. Our faculty scholars and students work in teams that cross not just disciplines, but also sectors—aligned around solving today’s highly interconnected global challenges and focused on transformative impact for humankind.

The university’s residential campuses for undergraduate and graduate degrees are located in Boston, London, and Oakland, California. Our research and graduate campuses are in the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant; Arlington, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Miami; Portland, Maine; Seattle; Silicon Valley, California; Toronto; and Vancouver. Learning emphasizes the intersection of data, technology, and human literacies, uniquely preparing graduates for careers of the future and lives of fulfillment and accomplishment. 

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