Graduate Research Assistant: Tufts Food Systems Initiative Coordinator
A Food Systems Initiative at Tufts (TFSI)
Many organizations (academic and other) are currently hard at work on analyzing the damage to human and planetary health of existing food systems (from production activities to dietary patterns). Few if any are working on a) what precisely needs to change, where in the food system; b) what an appropriately transformed food system would look like (its characteristics, distributional attributes (equity) of cost and benefits); c) what specific food, health, trade and other policies would need to be transformed to achieve an optimal food system (sustainable in terms of human health outcomes and planetary outcomes); d) how to manage an effective transformation of the food system (which requires navigating a global and local agenda, large numbers of losers as well as winners, massive vested interests and institutional inertia, and a danger of harming economic, social and environmental systems further if mismanaged); and e) the scientific evidence needed to inform and catalyze action.
Tufts has the potential to kick-start an important domestic and international policy-relevant research agenda, with associated capacity-building and commitment to real world impact. Our university-wide team of scientists and scholar-practitioners is already embedded in critically important networks and dialogues. We seek to launch the Tufts Food Systems Initiative and define a new science backed agenda that will respond to the world’s interlinked wicked problems centered around food. But rather than drill deeper into known questions, Tufts’ competitive advantage will be first, to frame the key questions differently, second, to undertake or oversee such research differently, and finally, to translate the findings for policymakers differently.
In order to launch the Tufts Food Systems Initiative, we are seeking one Graduate Research Assistant (RA) for a part-time appointment, with compensation of $22/hour for 10-15 hours per week, beginning November 1, 2021, for a two-semester minimum commitment. The student will report to the Executive Director of the Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute (FNII) and will be responsible for organizing and creating a structure for this campus-wide initiative to grow and thrive.
- Attend meetings of the Tufts Food System Initiative (TFSI) and provide the translation from meeting to task implementation.
- Maintain a task tracker of all activities prioritized by the TFSI and monitor progress on each one.
- Capture current research, projects, and initiatives at Tufts that can be included under the TFSI umbrella. Ensure these are captured on a website and/or other database software used.
- Help develop a landscape analysis of the food system work at Tufts and produce a quarterly and annual report that outlines this work.
- Produce and participate in events at Tufts that promote the collective work of the TFSI to students (both current and perspective) and to outside stakeholders.
- Identify other opportunities as warranted to drive the momentum of this new initiative.
- Track record of building new initiatives and programs.
- Excellent organizational skills with attention to detail.
- Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- Reliable access to high-speed internet.
- Ability to use Excel
- Passion for detailed oriented, translational research.
- Interest in data visualization.
Please submit a cover letter and resume/CV to Katie Stebbins. Deadline for application is October 22, 2021.