Employment

“Silent Spring is the leader in producing high-quality scientific evidence on cancer-causing agents in the environment.” – Dr. Margaret Kripke, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, member President’s Cancer Panel (2003-2011)

Silent Spring Institute is a scientific research organization and one of the nation’s leading authorities on cancer-causing chemicals in our everyday environments, with a particular focus on breast cancer prevention. We are a collaborative, high-energy staff of 25, including 20 scientists with expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, chemistry, social science, and communications. We lead National Institutes of Health-funded research*, collaborating with investigators at Harvard, UC Berkeley, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Silent Spring also partners with environmental justice groups, documenting racial disparities in exposures to pollutants, and supporting impacted communities. In addition to conducting scientific research, we work to educate policymakers and the public, and to translate our science into policies that support prevention.

Silent Spring Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage applicants from groups who are traditionally under-represented in STEM. We value diversity and an inclusive work culture, and we do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

We are always seeking applications from exceptional individuals who want to be part of our team.

* Silent Spring's policy and procedures on financial conflicts of interest in public health service funded research

 

Positions

Deputy Director

Individual Giving Officer

Community recruiter for public health study

Senior Scientist

Internships

Internship in Outreach and Special Events

 

Deputy Director

Silent Spring Institute is a mission-driven scientific research organization dedicated to studying the environmental causes of breast cancer. Our goal is to generate knowledge for prevention by studying the health risks of cancer-causing chemicals where we live, work, and play. We work with advocacy groups, lawyers, and policymakers to shape high-impact research questions and translate science into action. Since the Institute’s founding 25 years ago, our research has played a pivotal role in strengthening numerous policies at the state and federal level to protect consumers from dangerous chemicals, while our scientific leadership has made breast cancer prevention a national research priority. Our work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, California Breast Cancer Research Program, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foundations, and charitable gifts. Our high-energy, collaborative staff of 25, board of directors, and volunteer leaders are committed to independent science in the public interest. Silent Spring partners with environmental justice groups, documenting racial disparities in exposures to pollutants, and supporting impacted communities. 

We are growing and seek to strengthen our management capacity to sustain our excellent, productive, and collaborative culture as we grow.

Position Overview

The Deputy Director position is a new role created to facilitate continued success of the Institute and implementation of our Strategic Plan. This individual will be a key driver of our leadership team, with responsibilities to coordinate priorities across our organization and create and lead the organizational systems to support growth. We seek an experienced, creative, and wise individual to develop this role and take Silent Spring Institute to the next level. The Deputy Director may also play a substantive role in research or policy translation suited to their expertise.

Responsibilities  

The Deputy Director will work with and support the Executive Director to implement the Strategic Plan and the vision of the Board of Directors. The Deputy Director will work to ensure that systems are in place to support the research, administration and finance, communications, and development programs of the Institute and to enable the Institute to plan for a vital future.

Specific activities will include the following:

  • Maintain the spirited, innovative, and collegial culture of the Institute’s staff and our high quality of work
  • Contribute to overall planning and policymaking for the Institute, including coordinating meeting agendas for the leadership team composed of the executive director, deputy director, and directors of research, development, finance and administration, and communications
  • Work with directors to develop and implement annual plans for research, communications, finance and administration, and development
  • Troubleshoot Institute-level problems as they arise
  • Develop and coordinate participatory processes for input from staff members at all levels of the organization to contribute to priority setting. Develop and implement new processes for deciding priorities for new proposal development, targeted spending of charitable gifts, and assigning responsibilities for grant reporting.
  • Work to advance justice and equity and recruit more people of color for Silent Spring’s board of directors and staff
  • Facilitate the process for developing a new strategic plan for 2023-2028
  • Keep in touch with project leaders across the Institute to keep schedules and budgets on track
  • Help to support committees of the Board of directors
  • Coach staff to support the success of projects and encourage professional development

Reports toExecutive Director

Qualifications:

  • Excellent interpersonal, leadership, and communications skills
  • 3+ years experience in nonprofit leadership, science leadership
  • Capacity to lead, manage, and motivate experienced professionals
  • Demonstrated management and leadership experience in a similar non-profit or academic environment. Track record of project management, people management, and organizational skills.
  • Experience in managing budgets and tracking success metrics
  • Deep interest in environmental health science. Commitment to the mission of Silent Spring Institute and to support impartial scientific research in partnership with the public.
  • Research, service to the community, and life experiences that contribute meaningfully to our commitment to equity and justice.

Compensation:  This is a full time position.  We offer competitive salaries, 4 weeks vacation to start plus holidays, health insurance, and other benefits.

Work location:  Silent Spring’s office is in Newton, Massachusetts.   As a public health organization, we are committed to safe work practices. Up to date covid vaccination is required unless a legally required exception is approved. Based on current conditions, the Deputy Director will be expected to be in the office at least several days per week.

To apply: Send a cover letter, resume, and an example of your writing to careers@silentspring.org with “Deputy Director” in the subject line.

 

Individual Giving Officer

Silent Spring Institute is a mission-driven, non-profit, scientific research organization dedicated to uncovering the environmental causes of breast cancer. Based in Newton, Massachusetts, our independent research is empowering a revolution in environmental health to prevent cancers by reducing people's exposure to harmful chemicals where they live, work, and play.

We are looking for an experienced fundraising professional eager to work in a collegial environment to help propel the organization's fundraising to the next level. Reporting to the Director of Development, the Individual Giving Officer will be a key part of a small, hard-working team with exposure to all aspects of the organization’s work.

The Individual Giving Officer will be responsible for engaging with all of our donors, with a focus on those in our mid-level giving society—called the Rachel Carson Society—with the goals of gaining member loyalty, growing the donor universe, and increasing revenue. Due to the nature of our small development team, the person filling this position must be comfortable wearing many hats and chipping in where needed including assisting with seasonal appeals, events, and general fundraising efforts to support Silent Spring’s mission.

If you have experience in donor relations, have a track record of bringing in new and increased gifts, are a problem solver with great customer-service skills, and have a passion for our mission, we want to meet you!

Responsibilities

  • Utilize “Moves Management” (Identification, Qualification, Cultivation, Solicitation, and Stewardship) to retain Rachel Carson Society members and to grow the overall number of members year over year.
  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 40 donors, which will include creating and implementing a comprehensive cultivation and stewardship plan for these donors and providing personalized outreach to top-tier donors via phone and email.
  • Provide thoughtful data-based analysis and reports on donor retention, trends and other items to help with fundraising strategies.
  • Drive efforts to increase annual giving by understanding our donors, their interests, trends, and by accessing new and creative channels.
  • Maintain accuracy of donor records in Little Green Light database, including actions and reminders based on phone and email contacts; review and prepare mail merge emails and mailing lists for Society members.
  • Misc Administrative duties including establishing proficiency in Little Green Light database and filling in for and assisting our administrative assistant/database manager on development related tasks during vacations and busy times.
  • As a part of a small administrative team, there will be miscellaneous duties assigned as needed to support the Development office functions including, but not limited to, making follow-up phone calls during appeals, writing thank you notes, etc. This is an all-hands-on-deck team and we appreciate flexibility!

Qualifications and experience

  • Three to five years of comparable and relevant experience with a strong background in development or equivalent experience – sales, relationship/portfolio management, etc
  • Experience advising and growing the number of donors/clients and revenue from a dedicated portfolio.
  • Strong writing and communication skills, including comfort with proactively contacting donors by telephone.
  • Proficiency with Excel and customer/donor database software. Little Green Light experience a plus!
  • Strong organizational skills, and the ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines. Must be reliable and hyper-attentive to detail.
  • Knowledge and experience in a range of fundraising/sales techniques, particularly identifying, cultivating, originating and expanding new relationships.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, with flexibility, self-confidence, tenacity, and a sense of humor. Also, be willing to reach out for help and support when needed.
  • Positive attitude, concern for people and community, common sense and good listening skills.

Salary and Benefits:

  • This position is full-time, hybrid, with 2-3 days onsite required in Newton, Massachusetts, near highways and public transit.
  • Salary range is $65,000 - $85,000 for applicants with all of the experience necessary, commensurate with level of experience.
  • Generous benefits including health and dental insurance plans, four weeks of vacation, two personal days and 12 holidays each year.
  • Free on-site parking and public transportation vouchers.
  • Our hours are generally EST business hours. However, we offer and require flexibility on work hours, including the need to work some evenings and weekends.
  • Work with a collegial and inspiring team that values and respects your contributions to our success!

To Apply:

  • Please send a thoughtful cover letter, writing sample, and resume to careers@silentspring.org.
  • Three recent professional references will be required upon request.
  • A test of competence will be administered prior to making an offer.

Covid 19 safety and Silent Spring Institute:

  • Silent Spring policy requires our staff to be fully vaccinated and up-to-date as defined by the CDC. Current CDC recommendations are shown here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html. Silent Spring will amend these requirements as the CDC’s recommendations evolve. Please be prepared to show proof of vaccination, including the bivalent booster.

 

Community recruiters and canvassers for CDC-funded public health study (part- or full-time, contract, Hyannis, MA)

Help recruit participants for a major CDC-funded study on water quality and health

Silent Spring Institute is seeking a highly motivated recruiter for our CDC-funded study on the harmful health effects of common drinking water contaminants called PFAS. The Massachusetts PFAS & Your Health Study is enrolling hundreds of adults and children in the Hyannis area. The results of this study will be combined with results from communities in six other states across the U.S. This is an exciting opportunity to support a major public health study that will advance our understanding of the harmful health effects of PFAS chemicals, which are found in the blood of 99% of Americans.

This is a part-time contract position starting in January 2023. Recruiters will work closely with staff from Silent Spring Institute and Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition to raise awareness of the study in the community and offer community members opportunities to enroll.

Responsibilities:

  • Share study materials and collect contact information from interested residents at community events and venues in the community such as fairs, grocery stores, and sporting events
  • Distribute printed flyers and other study materials throughout the community

Qualifications and skills:

The ideal candidate would be a team player with experience in recruitment or canvassing, excellent communications skills, a familiarity with the Barnstable community, and a dedication to protecting public health. Flexible hours, some evenings and weekends required.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Comfort speaking with a diverse range of people
  • Willingness to distribute printed materials in venues throughout Hyannis
  • Fluency in Spanish and/or Portuguese a plus
  • Background in environmental science or public health a plus

Compensation and hours:

  • 15-25 hours per week. Flexible hours. Some evening and weekend work will be required.
  • Hourly rate: $20-$23, depending on experience.

How to apply:

Send your resume to Silent Spring Institute at careers@silentspring.org with “Hyannis health study recruiter” in the subject line.

 

Senior Scientist

Senior scientist applicants should expect to develop and lead an independent research program within our mission. Our scientists publish in high-impact scientific journals, compete for federal grants, and participate in scientific conferences. We collaborate with researchers at Brown, Harvard, and Tufts, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University of Southern California, USGS, and CDC. Senior scientists are supported by outstanding research assistants and access to funds for pilot studies and proposal development. Click here for publications by Silent Spring Institute researchers.

 

Internships

Undergraduate and graduate students with skills and interest in environmental health science, science communication and translation, and chemicals policy are invited to join in Silent Spring Institute’s research through our internship program. Responsibilities may include literature searches, interviews with study participants, environmental sampling, data analysis and management, and writing, among other activities. Specific responsibilities will be tailored to the skills and interests of the applicant. Each intern will work directly as an assistant to a supervising staff member, and most interns will complete an independent project. Interns are expected to maintain regular work hours, with some flexibility to accommodate major assignments and exams. 

Examples of previous and projected intern activities:

  • Identify, review, and summarize toxicological data for chemicals used in consumer products, including chemicals marketed as safer.
  • Inventory local and online retailers to evaluate accessibility of safer consumer products.
  • Systematically review literature about chemical exposures in various occupations, geographies, or demographic groups.
  • Use R programming to organize and visualize different types of measurement data, for example, chemical exposure measurements.
  • Review scientific literature to gather parameters needed to develop fate and transport groundwater models for persistent PFAS compounds.
  • Contribute to systematic reviews of epidemiological studies of environmental contributors to breast cancer or other outcomes.
  • Contribute to blog post on the implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its implications for public health.
  • Create an instructional video on how to use Silent Spring’s online tool for helping private well owners interpret their water test results.
  • Interview breast cancer activists about their concerns related to chemical exposures.
  • Develop scientific web servers using the Django framework.
  • Use python programming to organize big data, for example, develop tools that cross chemical features with biological activities and exposures.
  • Develop structural QSAR models using AI and machine learning to predict chemical biological activities from structural properties.

We are seeking to fill a 10-week summer-long internship designed for an undergraduate or graduate student with a strong science background and an interest in environmental science and public health. We also consider interns during the school year for academic credit. The candidate will benefit not only from working closely with Silent Spring's research team, but also will come away with an understanding of how a non-profit organization operates. Due to COVID-19, all staff are currently working remotely and actively collaborating through virtual platforms.

Requirements: 

  • Excellent academic record
  • Chemistry, biology, bioinformatics, statistics coursework and R/Python programming an asset
  • Energetic, flexible, constructive outlook
  • Ability to work independently within a multidisciplinary team
  • Attention to accuracy and commitment to careful and impartial research in a context of partnership between scientists and the public

To apply: Send cover letter describing your interests and experience related to this internship, resume, writing sample, and copy of academic transcript (photocopy is fine) to careers@silentspring.org with 'Internships' in the subject line. Please designate the time period you are interested in and the hours/weeks you would be available to work, if not full time.

Silent Spring Institute is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we strongly encourage applicants from groups who are traditionally under-represented in STEM.

 

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition/Silent Spring Institute Lead Intern in Special Events and Outreach

MBCC Outreach & Communications Internship

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is dedicated to preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy, and changes to public policy. Our annual fundraising events and educational outreach allows us to continue to work towards this goal. Our interns will assist with building and promoting special events and projects for the organization and occasionally for MBCC's sister organization, Silent Spring Institute (SSI). This internship involves frequent communication with Cheryl Osimo, Executive Director. 

OUTREACH & COMMUNICATIONS INTERNSHIP

The flexibility of this internship is substantial given its work from home nature. Phone and internet will be the primary communication tools for assignments. Interns must commit to at least 15 hours per week. Travel is minimal except for on-site assistance required the day before and the day of the following major events:

  • Against the Tide in Hopkinton in June
  • Against the Tide in Brewster in August

Additionally, there may be other events that will require on-site support.

Responsibilities include:

  1. Media & Communication:
    • Proofing and distributing press releases and calendar listings to news media outlets including print and online newspaper, radio, and television. This includes finding up-to-date contact information for media.
    • Interviewing event participants/supporters and composing feature stories and other articles for media. This may require phone and/or email contact of a sensitive nature, since some contact will be required with those who have been touched by breast cancer. Phone interviews are critical for obtaining information used in press releases and media coverage.
  2. Marketing & Outreach:
    • Initiating contact with local community businesses and individuals to encourage community sponsorship and individual or team event participation.
    • Posting event materials in various locations. This responsibility includes targeting high traffic locations that will increase event participation.
    • Assisting with social media event promotion campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and more.
  3. Administrative:
    • Database building, management, and maintenance to ensure accurate and thorough records of progress in communications and marketing responsibilities.
       

Qualifications: College and Graduate students with minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
 

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Detail-oriented, organized, the ability to work independently and manage multiple tasks simultaneously with competing deadlines.
  • Proficiency with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media outlets. Prior experience with social media campaigns is preferred.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Word and Excel.

Compensation: All positions are unpaid but we are willing to work with institutions to offer students academic credit.

How to apply: Interns are needed for the following time periods:

  • January through August (Spring/Summer Internship)
  • September through December (Fall Internship
  • January through December (Full year)
     

Start dates and durations are negotiable.

Please send a cover letter, resume, references, and a writing sample to Cheryl Osimo at cherylosimo@comcast.net. Please use “MBCC Outreach & Communications Internship” in the subject line of your email.

To learn more about MBCC and our sister organization, Silent Spring Institute, please visit www.mbcc.org and www.silentspring.org. Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is an Equal Opportunity Employer.