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Announcing a New Ethnographic Research Position

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


Announcing a New Ethnographic Research Position
University of California, San Francisco
Program in Bioethics

The UCSF Bioethics Program, based at the Institute for Health & Aging, announces a search for a full-time post-graduate research specialist. This academic research specialist, non-faculty position is based in San Francisco, CA. The start date is January, 2018 or as negotiated with the successful applicant.

The Institute for Health & Aging (IHA) is an organized research unit at UCSF. The work of the Institute includes extensive and successful research, training and public service in the areas of aging, health, and health policy.

Qualifications: Specialists appointed at the Associate level at minimum must have a masters degree in a social science discipline (anthropology, sociology, etc. or related field). Ph.D. or equivalent degree in a social science discipline (anthropology, sociology, etc. or related field) is required at the full level. Training in ethnography and significant bioethics or social science research experience is required.Training in ethnography and significant bioethics or social science research experience is required. Experience conducting in-depth interviews and ethnographic observation, analyzing qualitative data, and writing reports/publications is critical. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills (in English); ability to work in Spanish strongly desired but not essential. Familiarity with basic concepts in molecular genetics/genomics and/or neuroscience is also desired. Must be able to collaborate (in a complex multi-disciplinary environment) while working independently.

Responsibilities: This is a 100% time position. With successful performance the position is renewable annually. The Specialist will work as part of an inter-discipilinary team on empirical bioethics research projects, such as: a NIH-funded study of the ethical and social implications of prenatal and pediatric genomic sequencing in underserved and diverse populations; and a NIH Brain Inititiative-funded study of adaptive deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant neuropsychiatric and movement disorders. The Specialist will work under the guidance of Barbara Koenig, PhD, Professor of Medical Anthropology and Bioethics and Director of UCSF Bioethics and Sara Ackerman, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor in the UCSF Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The successful applicant will participate in study management, conduct ethnographic observation and interviews, manage data and oversee compliance with research regulations (such as human subjects protection), co-lead data analysis, write reports, and draft research publications.

The appointment will be a Full or Associate Specialist, depending on experience and qualifications.

To express your interest in the position, please submit:
1) A cover letter summarizing your research experience and interest in the position
2) Your curriculum vitae
3) Academic writing sample (e.g. excerpt from your thesis or dissertation)
4) The names and contact information only for three potential referees (do not solicit reference letters unless requested).

Direct inquiries to Sara Ackerman at

Please apply online at

This position is contingent on receipt of funding from the National Institutes of Health.

UC San Francisco seeks candidates whose experience, teaching, research, or community service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

Job location

San Francisco, CA




3 references required (contact information only)