Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Postdoctoral Research Position: Global Observatory for Genome Editing

Update, 15 March 2021: Applications are being reviewed upon arrival. The final date to submit applications is 15 April 2021.

The Program on Science, Technology & Society (STS) at the Harvard Kennedy School invites applications for a position as Postdoctoral Fellow with the Global Observatory for Genome Editing. The anticipated start date is June 1, 2021 (later dates will be considered). Funding is available for a one-year, full-time appointment with the possibility of renewal for a second year.

The Global Observatory for Genome Editing seeks to expand the range of questions asked at the frontiers of emerging biotechnologies and broaden the perspectives brought to bear in addressing them. It will bring together communities that do not normally engage with each other’s positions within existing advisory, research, or policy institutions. Its three broad aims are (1) to collect and curate materials related to the governance of genome editing and related technologies; (2) to convene participants from diverse backgrounds and standpoints in order to create opportunities for deeper reflection on scientific and technological developments poised to alter the meaning of being human; and (3) to conduct and commission analysis of these issues. This position is funded by the John Templeton Foundation and will be supervised by Professor Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard). The postdoc will play a pivotal role in an international research team led by established STS scholars at Harvard, Arizona State University, and the University of Wisconsin.

The postdoc’s responsibilities will include working collaboratively with the Observatory team to generate intellectual content for the Observatory (including journal publications and reports), helping to organize workshops and other events, supervising research assistants, and maintaining the project website. As a Fellow at the STS Program at Harvard, the postdoc will also participate regularly in Program activities and contribute to the academic life of the community. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, work will be conducted remotely until further notice.

Qualifications: At the time of appointment, applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree 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 science or humanities research in an area relevant to the project. Experience balancing intellectual and organizational responsibilities relevant to the management of large grant-funded projects is highly desirable.

Contact: Any questions about the position may be addressed to Dr. Alistair Sponsel <>. For more information on the STS Program at Harvard see and for more information on the Observatory see .

Application process: The following application materials should be submitted via email to Mr. Paul Sherman <>.

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in the project, describing your relevant experience, and indicating when you would be available to start;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A brief (less than 10,000 words) writing sample;
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation (sent directly by referees to the above email address).

Review of applications began on March 15. The final date to submit applications for full consideration is April 15, 2021.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.