Social Science Research Assistant, U.S. Geological Survey

Fort Collins, CO

Job Title: Social Science Research Assistant

Organization: Social and Economic Analysis Branch — U.S. Geological Survey

Type of opportunity: The U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Collins, CO, is looking for a research assistant to support multiple projects under its Policy Analysis and Decision Support Science Theme.

The research assistant will provide support for projects investigating environmental decision-making processes and how policies, institutions, and decision support tools influence management outcomes. Key tasks include: identifying, obtaining, synthesizing, and reviewing interdisciplinary literature from a range of social science fields such as social-ecological systems, political ecology and institutional analysis; and producing written summaries of these literature reviews. Additional duties may include analyzing qualitative data, interpreting results, and contributing to peer-reviewed publications or other means of disseminating results.

The Social and Economic Analysis Branch is a dynamic, collegial group of social scientists providing applied social science for a range of government agencies. The research assistant will have the opportunity to interact with Branch scientists, project partners from other government agencies, and collaborating natural scientists.

Contact: For questions related directly to the job, contact Nina Burkardt, Research Social Scientist, at

Desired qualifications:

The research assistant must have:

  • At least a bachelor’s degree in a social science field.
  • Experience conducting social science research.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct interdisciplinary literature reviews.
  • Excellent writing ability.
  • A U.S. driver’s license as operation of a Government vehicle may be required.

Our preferred candidate will have:

  • A degree related to and/or experience with natural resource management or policy.
  • An understanding of federal land management agencies and/or water policy.
  • Experience with any of the following: qualitative social science research methods, interview studies, document analysis, network analysis, NVIVO software, and interdisciplinary research environments.

This position is a USGS Student Services contract position. This means:

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens
  • Applicants must either have graduated within the past year or be currently enrolled as a student.
  • For all legal purposes, student is regarded as an independent contractor. Payments for services are reportable and taxable as earned income. No Federal, State, or Local income taxes will be deducted. No Social Security or Medicare taxes will be deducted. Student is responsible for payment of all taxes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will report the total amount paid under this order to the Internal Revenue Service on a Standard Form 1099. The student is not considered an employee and will not receive a W-2 form.

Start and end dates: This is a full-time position and begins on or around September 1, 2018. Employee will be physically located in Fort Collins, CO. Currently, one year of funding is available for this position.

How to apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, transcripts (unofficial ok), and a writing sample demonstrating your ability to synthesize social science literature to

Application deadline: Monday, June 25