Postdoctoral Associate

Saint Mary’s College of California

Moraga, CA

ID: 7194788 (Ref.No. 4795637)
Posted: November 17, 2023
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Type
Position Summary: The DISCO team, which has partners at 5 universities across the world, has an immediate opening for a qualified Postdoctoral Associate to be hosted at Saint Mary's College of California. This is a three-year project funded by the Belmont Forum and the National Science Foundation Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production Collaborative Research Action. DISCo aims to produce knowledge on whether and how everyday household consumption can move in a more sustainable direction by applying digital technologies.

The appointment is a full-time, term-limited, to begin Winter 2023 and conclude Summer 2025. In addition to participating in the research activities for the DISCo project (as detailed below), the postdoctoral associate will have teaching opportunities through a co-teaching model with a mentor at the undergraduate level. The postdoctoral associate will benefit from an international research environment and networks, concerted mentoring in both research and teaching, and the opportunity to gain experience of academic life in a liberal arts environment. They will be supervised by Prof. Manisha Anantharaman and Prof. Jennifer Heung.

Area of research/ of project: The DISCo interdisciplinary project team is undertaking a cross-country comparative analysis of digitalization for sustainable consumption, with project teams in Japan, Norway, Turkey and Sweden. The overall aim of DISCo is to produce both theoretically informed and practically oriented knowledge on how sustainable consumption - that is consumption that is less resource and carbon intensive and/or less environmentally damaging - can be enabled through digital technologies. Previous research has demonstrated that although motivated, households meet several barriers in shifting to more sustainable modes of consumption. This project draws on theories of practice and makes use of multiple methods to systematically investigate digital efforts to redirect, reorganize, and reduce consumption.

Ethnographic methods are put to use to understand everyday life, life cycle analysis to understand the impacts of proposed solutions, and design methods to instigate positive change. Focus is both on i) understanding how and under what conditions digital technologies promoting sustainable consumption (both explicitly and otherwise) become integral to household practices and ii) assessing the sustainability effects of these efforts. Empirical focus will be on the consumption of food and mobility services. These areas are of interest both because of their interlinking significant carbon footprints and because of their central importance to everyday consumption.

of duties:

Research Duties:

DiSCo is organized into five main Working Packages (WPs) aimed at mapping the transition to sustainable consumption enabled by digital platforms (WP1), exploring the digitally enabled reorganization of food consumption and mobility (WP2), assessing the environmental effects of these behavioral changes (WP3), redesigning digital technologies to better support sustainability transitions in the areas of mobility and food consumption (WP4) and finally disseminating the results to grow awareness on the intersections between digitalized consumption and Sustainability. The postdoctoral associate will be a core member of the US research team, which is leading WP1. In addition, the US research team will conduct ethnographic interviews with households in the San Francisco Bay Area and convene stakeholder workshops.

The postdoctoral associate will also engage with the global, large interdisciplinary team of faculty members, postdoctoral associates, and graduate and undergraduate students, and with partners from industry, government offices, academic collaborators, and community groups. This person will contribute to coordinating research efforts, liaising with community stakeholders, communicating across sub-teams, presenting at conferences, and developing academic publications and other outputs.

Teaching Duties:

Under a mentoring and co-teaching model, the postdoctoral associate will participate in curriculum development, preparing and teaching specific instructional units, facilitating discussion, and other day-to-day course management duties for one course in the Fall semester.
Required qualifications: The applicant has:
  • Completed or is close to completion of their PhD degree in a related area of the social sciences. If the applicant has not yet completed their PhD degree, they must do so before taking up the postdoctoral appointment; normally, the applicant will have completed their doctoral degree within the last five years from the start of the appointment.
  • Skills in interdisciplinary research and an understanding of digitalization are assets.
  • Project management experience and capabilities, including communication with stakeholders, project progress monitoring and tracking, organization, and a willingness to collaborate.
  • Interest and strong motivation to address sustainability and justice challenges.
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to think critically and creatively.
  • The ability to work well as part of a team.
  • The capacity for independent research and problem solving.
  • Conflict resolution skills and the ability to consider multiple viewpoints and perspectives.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, and the ability to produce high quality work, in forms including scholarly writing and publicly accessible writing (across journal papers, conference papers, and grant proposals).
  • The ability to work safely and responsibly in field and office environments.
  • The ability to lead projects and propose novel avenues of research exploration.
  • The ability and interest to mentor undergraduate students.

Application instructions:

Please apply online at SMC's Staff Career Page. Your application is considered complete if you include the following:
  • A one-page cover letter that specifically describes your research qualifications and your interest in working in a liberal arts environment.
  • A current curriculum vitae;
  • A 1 page DEI statement articulating your knowledge of, track record in, and plans for working with diverse students and enhancing equity and inclusion on campus. You may discuss how research, teaching, and/or service has provided preparation for contributing to our commitment to address issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and/or other issues of history marginalization.
  • An academic writing sample (a published or in-progress research article, dissertation chapter, or other equivalent demonstration of research-related writing); and
  • Recommendation Letters: Contact information only for two references. Letters of recommendation from references will be requested from finalists at a later date.

Closing date: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Review of applications will begin November 20 and continue until the position is filled.

Expected start date: December 15 2023

Term: Winter 2023 to Summer 2025

FTE: Full-time

Supplemental Information:

Saint Mary's is an equal employment opportunity employer. We support inclusive excellence and are committed to creating a safe and welcoming community for all. College policy prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition, physical or mental disability, gender stereotyping, and gender identity, taking a protected leave (e.g. family medical or pregnancy leave), or on any other basis protected by applicable laws. Saint Mary's College annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Saint Mary's College Report, see the website here: . To request a paper copy please call Public Safety at (925) 631-4284. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.

Salary Description 64,000-67,000 annually

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