Nature Lab Hyundai Biological Programs Fellow

Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Jan 20, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time


The Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at the Rhode Island School of Design is a dynamic space committed to advancing the understanding of the connections between biology, art, design, and nature, and fostering sustainable and regenerative solutions to local and global challenges. Generous funding from Hyundai supports ongoing studio and workshop activities aimed at innovating solutions to emerging design challenges, in ways that are deeply informed by the natural world.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is currently seeking outstanding applicants for a 2-year fellowship position to work with Hyundai and RISD staff, faculty, and students on biodesign topics, including biomimicry, biomaterials, and biosystems applications. Successful applicants should have a background in the biological and/or environmental sciences, a working knowledge of applied biomimicry and regenerative design, and teaching experience. The fellow will collaborate with Nature Lab staff on expanding, maintaining, and supplementing biodesign pedagogy, research, and practices in the Lab, as well as individual and small group mentoring. This work provides the rare opportunity to work in a transdisciplinary space with a major international corporation, as well as the possibility of influencing the future of mobility design on the planet . We welcome applicants with demonstrated success in working with diverse populations in a multicultural environment that embraces our vision and mission.

With a deep understanding of the biological and environmental sciences, the Hyundai Biological Programs Fellow is responsible for expanding, maintaining, and supplementing biodesign pedagogy, research and practices in the Nature Lab, and advancing understanding of the connections between biology, art, design, and nature, as approved. This position develops and provides training for and mentors students and faculty in natural science and biodesign topics, including regenerative design, biomimicry, biomaterials, and living systems. It makes recommendations to the Director regarding improvements and or enhancements to the Lab’s equipment, biomaterials and image libraries, and biological assets.

This position is funded by the Hyundai Motor Group and provides essential support to ongoing HMG|RISD studio and workshop activities that foster art|design inquiry, and innovation based on biology and living systems. As an employer, RISD offers a supportive, collegial, and inclusive work environment and a competitive benefits package.


  • With an in-depth understanding of biomimicry, biomaterials. and living systems, create and teach workshops, provide demonstrations, mentor students through one-on-one instruction, and participate in institution-wide and departmental projects, workshops. and events.
  • With a high level of biological knowledge, scientific expertise. and independence, provide opportunities for student and faculty learning around Nature Lab collections, field work and research equipment. Investigate and recommend new technology that enhances student exploration of the Nature Lab collection and ways to expand its living and non- living biological resources.
  • Respond to student and faculty inquiries, and assist both students and faculty in implementation of projects that rely on Nature Lab resources and expertise.
  • Oversee the biomaterials library and recommend additional recipes and samples appropriate to the RISD community.
  • Hire, supervise, evaluate, and mentor undergraduate work study students and graduate research assistants assigned to biodesign projects. Nurture students’ skills in employing biodesign principles and caring for living plants and animals; prepare maintenance schedules and assign tasks.


  • Support fundraising and public relations efforts of the Nature Lab by hosting guests and visitors. Work closely with the Director, Public Safety, and Environmental Health and Safety to support a safe and secure working environment.
  • Assist the Director with other projects, programs and functions of the Nature Lab, in support of its mission, as directed. Complete other related duties as assigned.


  • Master’s degree in biology, biomimicry or environmental science or an equivalent combination of specialized academic education and/or experience required.
  • Training and/or experience in biodesign and the demonstrated ability and professional experience to comprehend the connections between, and to advocate for, the study of both art|design, and science in a natural science setting, strongly preferred.
  • Computer experience required for maintaining records, schedules and data entry.
  • Demonstrated teaching experience in either formal or informal learning settings preferred.
  • Experience supervising students or other personnel in an educational setting preferred. Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and flexibly in a service-oriented environment.
  • Must be able to give attention to detail as well as foster an inspirational learning environment.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
  • Proven ability to interact with members of the community representing diverse backgrounds and interests



Work Schedule

35 hours/week; 12 months/year (2 years)

Employment Status

Full-Time: 2-year Term



Documents Needed to Apply

Resume (required)

Cover Letter (required)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Nature Lab

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