Postdoctoral Research Position: A Comparative Study of Expertise for Policy in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Department of Science & Technology Studies invites applications for a postdoctoral research position focused on knowledge in the policy process. The anticipated start date is June 1, 2020 or possibly earlier. Funding is available for a six-month, full-time appointment; a part-time appointment for a longer period of time is also a possibility and could work very well. Work for this position will be conducted remotely, so residing near the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York is not required, however residing in the United States is required.
This position is funded by National Science Foundation grant 2028567, “A Comparative Study of Expertise for Policy in the COVID-19 Pandemic” and will supervised by Professor Stephen Hilgartner (Cornell), in collaboration with Professor Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard). The postdoc will play a pivotal role in an international research team consisting of established STS scholars from 10 countries.
As policy makers work to avert catastrophic health and economic outcomes due to COVID 19, they are struggling with a difficult question: What makes expert knowledge credible, legitimate, and reliable for use in public policy? The research will comprise a multi-sited investigation that will capture material pertaining to knowledge for COVID-19 policy in different countries, and then a comparative analysis of the relationship between expertise and trust. The project will build a timeline tracking key events and decisions in each nation’s pandemic response. The research team will also collect information on uncertainties and controversies, with a focus on the most contentious aspects of coronavirus policy in each site. In addition, it will track key objects that are incorporated into policy discussions. These include influential epidemiological and epistemic models, important visual representations, key policy concepts, and knowledge claims about the effectiveness of public health and medical interventions.
The postdoctoral researcher’s responsibilities will include helping to coordinate the international team, refine the research agenda, supervise graduate and undergraduate research assistants, and gather and analyze research materials on the US case. The postdoc is also expected to play a significant role in conceptualizing, writing, and editing publications, including a project website and an edited volume.
Required qualifications: Applicants should have earned a Ph.D. or equivalent in a relevant field such as science & technology studies (STS), anthropology, sociology, history, critical policy analysis, or law. Competitive candidates will have a successful record of empirical social scientific research in an area relevant to the project.

Application process: The following application materials should be submitted to Academic Jobs Online.
• A cover letter articulating what you find interesting about the project and relevant qualifications and when you could start;
• A curriculum vita;
• A brief (less than 10,000 words) writing sample;
• Names and contact information for three references.
Review of applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. Due to the current Covid-19 status and the University campus work restriction, work will be conducted remotely until further notice and visa sponsorship will not be available for this position for applicants not already residing in the United States.
Cornell University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educator, committed to a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. Women and members of under-represented minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Diversity and inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.