Arizona State University – PhD Research Assistantship Position in Emerging Technology and Society

Deadline: February 1, 2021

The Center for Engagement and Training in Science and Society (CENTSS) and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) at Arizona State University are seeking to fill a graduate research assistantship position for a funded PhD student in the Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology. The assistantship provides three academic years (9 months, excluding summer) of support beginning in Fall 2021. The assistantship is funded through two National Science Foundation grants associated with the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI – https://www.nnci.net/).

Overall Project Description – The “Societal and Ethical Implications” component of the NNCI – a network of nanofab labs at over 25 major research universities – is headquartered at Arizona State University. The goal of SEI in the NNCI is to work with scientists and engineers across the country to help them reflect on the social implications of their work as they do it with a goal of creating better outcomes for all. Each year the program runs two major nationwide projects. The first, Science Outside the Lab, is run every summer in Washington, DC, and serves as a science policy bootcamp for graduate student scientists and engineers. Over the course of the week the students meet with around 25 policy makers and in learning how policymakers use and influence science, they get to see for themselves the implications of their disciplines. The second annual project is a Winter School on the Social Studies for Emerging Technologies for early career social scientists. The winter school has been run eight times and traditionally brings in students and faculty from around the world. In addition to these two programs, CENTSS helps to coordinate SEI research, education activities, and programming for students and faculty at the different NNCI sites.

This graduate research assistantship position will serve as a key member of this project, helping to coordinate SEI activities and research across the NNCI. In addition to supporting the existing programs, the PhD student will help to develop new activities and conduct research on integrating SEI (and STS) into the practice and training of engineering and science. The student will work under the direction of Jameson Wetmore and Ira Bennett.

Position Description – The RAship is slated to be 20 hour/week. Potential duties include: 1) developing program ideas; 2) engaging with scientists, engineers, and public audiences; 3) reviewing documents and analyzing data; 4) literature reviews; 5) organizing meetings and events; 6) preparation of peer-reviewed journal articles; and 7) other administrative and research tasks relevant to the project. The PhD student will be encouraged to do her/his thesis on some aspect of this project with freedom to define his/her own research niche, and will be required to be first-author on at least one paper resulting from this project.

Qualified individuals will possess many of the following knowledge, characteristics, and skills: 1) A bachelors degree in sociology; anthropology; history; political science; philosophy; science, technology, and society; the natural sciences or engineering; 2) Interest in finding ways to integrate social studies of technology with science and engineering practice; 3) Expertise in social science research, especially qualitative research methods, preferred (or a strong desire to learn); 4) Good writing skills; 5) Basic computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word; 6) Organized, self-motivated, problem-solver who is passionate and enjoys working with others.

To apply, please send a 1-page cover letter, CV, and two letters of reference to Dr. Jameson Wetmore: wetmore@asu.edu. The cover letter should address: 1) why you are interested in this research; 2) why SFIS and ASU is an appropriate place for you to do a PhD; and 3) your academic and professional qualifications for the position. Your CV should include your academic and professional history, degree(s), GPAs, GRE scores, and any publications, presentations, or awards. The successful applicant must also be admitted to and remain regularly enrolled in SFIS’ PhD Program in Human and Social Dimensions (HSD) of Science and Technology, and take 6 non-audit credit hours during each semester of the assistantship. Applications for the assistantship will be accepted until the position is filled, but preference will be given to those received by February 1, 2021 (HSD program application deadline will be waived).

More information: wetmore@asu.edu.