Job Title: Civic Science Fellow
PVN ID: RC-2312-006025
Category: Research

Job Description

General Description


This position is for a Civic Science Fellow to help research, analyze and expand the work of CUNY ASRC IlluminationSpace Hub, a collective space for science communications, outreach and education at CUNY. This 18-month-long, fulltime fellowship position is funded through a grant from the Rita Allen Foundation, which supports work to build a network of learning and practice that connects research, communities, and evidence-informed methods in the civic science space.

Rita Allen Civic Science Fellows are early career leaders from diverse demographic, cultural, and professional backgrounds. They possess expertise in disciplines that are relevant to civic science and are poised to work effectively across communities and stakeholders. Civic Science Fellows may come from any number of professional backgrounds, including the biological, physical, or social sciences; math, technology, or engineering; media, journalism or communication; science education or museums; science funding; community organizing; the nonprofit sector; or public policy.


The Advanced Science Research Center at the CUNY Graduate Center (CUNY ASRC) is a 200,000 square-foot facility in upper Manhattan designed to promote collaboration among scientists in five increasingly connected and vital areas of global research and innovation: nanoscience, photonics, structural biology, neuroscience, and environmental sciences.

Since 2014, the CUNY ASRC has served as an integrated research network bringing together faculty, students, and post-doctoral fellows to perform cutting-edge science; educate the next generation of STEM leaders; and elevate interdisciplinary science across the CUNY system and greater New York City. Creating a more inclusive, diverse STEM community within and beyond CUNY is a vital component of our mission, and the CUNY ASRC IlluminationSpace Hub is a primary vehicle for our STEM diversity, equity and inclusion work.

The IlluminationSpace Hub is designed to fostering deep, ongoing collaboration between CUNY STEM and New York City communities, making science more responsive to local needs, and providing pathways to STEM education and careers for underrepresented and under-resourced groups. Our goal is to expand and deepen the way CUNY STEM facilitates science for the public good through programs that drive improvements in four areas: K-16+ STEM education, science communication, community-based science, and STEM workforce development.

Other Duties


The CUNY ASRC is seeking a Civic Science Fellow to help research, analyze and expand the work of our IlluminationSpace Hub. The Fellow will work in partnership with the IlluminationSpace Hub’s leadership to design and execute their project.

During the first two years of the hub’s work, we piloted and evaluated several programs that are designed to bring science and research into communities, equip young researchers with the skills to communicate science to a diverse public, and create greater collaboration between local communities and CUNY STEM researchers. As we move into our next phase of work, the Civic Science Fellow will play an essential role in our work to:

  • Develop a dynamic ecosystem map that identifies and connects our program participants and partners across divides and elucidate their individual and shared value propositions.
  • Design and implement a successful civic science model which can be scaled and reproduced by other public universities that aim to diversify and make STEM more accessible and inclusive.

At the heart of this work will be identifying through an equity and inclusion lens what constitutes an effective, engaged civic science ecosystem where all participants feel ownership of and benefit from the work.

The Civic Science Fellow will work onsite at the CUNY ASRC, but they will spend a significant amount of time in the field researching, connecting and meeting with existing and potential partners and community members. The Fellow will also participate in cohort learning and networking activities hosted by the Rita Allen Foundation. Responsibilities will include:

  • Conducting research and data gathering to assess and identify effective community building opportunities and tactics for the IlluminationSpace Hub.
  • Attending internal and external meetings, events and activities with partners and potential partners to further relationship and partnership building opportunities.
  • Devising a clear map of the various stakeholders and knowledge holders that will be critical participants and partners in our local civic science ecosystem.
  • Elucidating the shared value propositions for our stakeholders and knowledge holders and opportunities for collective impact.
  • Devising a set of recommendations for building this ecosystem community.
  • Developing a final project that illuminates the process, elements and early outcomes of our civic science ecosystem mapping effort, which can be shared with other similarly situated institutions that are interested in creating an inclusive civic science community (possibly through a white paper or journal article).
  • Attend and participate in the Rita Allen hosted Civic Science Fellows meetings and activities.

This position is a non-tax levy appointment supported by funds administered through the Research Foundation of The City University of New York. As such you will be considered an employee of the Research Foundation and will be subject to Research Foundation personnel policies and procedures for project employees. All appointments are subject to budgetary guidelines, fiscal constraints, and satisfactory performance assessment with no presumption of retention.



Bachelor's Degree and at least five years related experience required; master’s degree preferred. Civic Science Fellow candidates must also have:

  • A background relevant to civic science, including (but not limited to) experience in fields such as biological, physical, or social science; math, technology, or engineering; media, journalism, communications, arts, or design; formal or informal science learning; science funding; community organizing; nonprofit sector; or public policy.
  • Existing work or demonstrable interest in investigating emergent, anticipatory issues in science and technology with social, ethical, and/or economic importance.
  • Willingness to integrate research and practice, e.g., the science of engagement, collaboration, and related areas of exploration.
  • Ability to work effectively with people from communities that have traditionally been underrepresented in scientific fields, with a commitment to broadening benefits
  • Skills to develop, independently manage, and execute at least one project with the potential to contribute new knowledge and innovative ideas to the civic science field and the host institution.
  • Outstanding ability to organize, collect and analyze information and data, and share it in an accessible manner (e.g., written or other formats) so it is relevant and useful to multiple audiences.


  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Proficiency in MS Office applications.
  • Proficiency with Zoom meeting and webinar functions.
  • Adept at implementing and using project management software to archive and advance deadline work.
  • Experience executing focus groups and surveys.
  • Familiarity with collective impact frameworks and tools.

Please submit your resume and a concise cover letter addressing what role you believe public universities have in advancing civic science and how your experience is relevant to designing effective civic science partnerships. 

About the Research Foundation

The Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY) was established as a not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the State of New York in 1963. RFCUNY supports CUNY faculty and staff in identifying and obtaining external support (pre-award) from government and private sponsors and is responsible for the administration of all such funded programs (post-award).

RFCUNY stands between CUNY’s principal investigators (PIs) and the sponsors who support them and strives to fulfill its essential responsibilities to both groups. Working closely with individual PIs and Grants Officers on the campuses, RFCUNY oversees employment, accounting, audit, reporting, purchasing, and special responsibilities that include management of a planned giving program; liaison with governmental agencies and foundations; negotiation of agreements; facility construction and renovation; protection and commercialization of intellectual property; and compliance with applicable standards in research involving human subjects, animal care, environmental and radiological safety, and conflicts of interest.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Research Foundation of the City University of New York is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Americans with Disabilities Act/E-Verify Employer. It is the policy of the Research Foundation of CUNY to provide equal employment opportunities free of discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, domestic violence victim status, arrest record, criminal conviction history, or any other protected characteristic under applicable law.

Key Features

Full Time
Annual Salary Range
$80,000.00 - $85,000.00
Closing Date
Feb 12, 2024 (Or Until Filled)
Bargaining Unit