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Postdoctoral Scholar in Sustainable Food Systems Modeling

Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted date
Oct 27, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Health & Medicine, Nutrition
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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About The LASTING Project and the Friedman School


The Leading a Sustainability Transition in Nutrition Globally (LASTING) Project is a new, 4.5 year, transdisciplinary effort focused on addressing major gaps in sustainable diets research and policy. We are recruiting a Postdoctoral Scholar  to build out an integrated modeling approach for sustainable diets. The LASTING Project is based at the Gerald J and Dorothy R Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and is 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 LASTING Project Postdoctoral Scholars 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

Drs. Nicole Tichenor Blackstone and Fang Fang Zhang, Assistant and Associate Professors at the Friedman School, will serve as the primary mentors for the Postdoctoral Scholar. The Postdoctoral Scholar has a unique opportunity to develop a novel platform that simulates the impacts of diet and policy interventions on population health, environment, economy, and society. The modeling platform will bring together methods from nutrition epidemiology (Comparative Risk Assessment Modeling) and industrial ecology (Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment). Additionally, the Postdoctoral Scholar will work with social scientists on the team to weight, combine, and compellingly visualize model results. Overall, the Postdoctoral Scholar will work with a transdisciplinary team, including food systems scientists, nutrition epidemiologists, statisticians/modelers, and economists, and will be part of a cohort of postdoctoral scholars working on sustainable diets. Key responsibilities of the Postdoctoral Scholar will include:

  • Collection and wrangling of secondary data on economic, social, and environmental impacts of foods; mapping these data to dietary patterns
  • Co-developing and running a modeling platform for integrated sustainability assessment of diets using R software, in collaboration with a statistician expert on Comparative Risk Assessment Modeling
  • 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
  • Synthesizing findings to support research efforts
  • Supervising graduate students and intern projects related to model development and research translation

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 a two-year period with annual renewal conditional on performance. Position available starting in 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 nutrition, public health, data science, epidemiology, industrial ecology, sustainability, or a related field. A strong record of original, first-author, publications is essential. Candidates should have quantitative modeling skills, proficiency using R or other statistical software (STATA or SAS), 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 nutrition, sustainability, or the application of complex modeling techniques to food systems sustainability issues are preferred. Experience in one or more of the following areas is preferred: diet pattern analysis using NHANES, analysis and integration of large data sets using R software, or life cycle assessment. The ideal candidate will have formal training in a combination of: A) nutrition or public health, B) data science, and C) systems thinking or sustainability.  

Interested applicants are also encouraged to the apply to the Tufts IRACDA Program, in order to receive additional trainings to build the careers skills needed to succeed in research. Find more information at:

Application should 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.
  4. Please submit all applications through this link:

Tufts University, founded in 1852, prioritizes quality teaching, highly competitive basic and applied research, and a commitment to active citizenship locally, regionally, and globally. Tufts University also prides itself on creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Current and prospective employees of the university are expected to have and continuously develop skill in, and disposition for, positively engaging with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students.

Tufts University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We are committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty and staff and fostering their success when hired. Members of underrepresented groups are welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. See the University's Non-Discrimination statement and policy here If you are an applicant with a disability who is unable to use our online tools to search and apply for jobs, please contact us by calling Johny Laine in the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) at 617-627-3298 or at Applicants can learn more about requesting reasonable accommodations at

About Tufts University

Tufts is a leader in American higher education, distinctive for its success as a moderately sized university that excels at research and providing students with a personal experience. Our unique combination of research and liberal arts attracts students, faculty and staff who thrive in our environment of curiosity, creativity and engagement.

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