Careers at the Aspen Institute
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Aspen Institute employees come from a wide range of backgrounds and possess a unique blend of education, skill, and policy experience. We recognize that our people are our vital resource and we value their knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment. At the Aspen Institute we offer competitive salaries and a wide variety of benefits to our employees and their families.

If you would enjoy working in a dynamic environment and are looking for an opportunity to become part of a stellar team of professionals, we invite you to apply online today.

Civic Science Fellow

Department: HMS

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Since its founding in 1949, the Institute has been driving change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most critical challenges facing communities in the United States and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

Our Future is Science Initiative

“Our Future Is Science” is a joint initiative between the Aspen Institute and Coda Societies designed to spark passion, confidence, and curiosity about science for high-school-aged Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). The initiative will help grow a thriving new cohort of practitioners, researchers, and critical thinkers in science by shaping educational and career avenues for BIPOC youth. Our vision is to dismantle historic barriers to science and leverage the richness of BIPOC’s insights in order to develop the field of science in unique ways and position these individuals as the next generation of the growing scientific workforce.

The Fellow, supported in part by the Rita Allen Foundation and Lyda Hill Philanthropies, will be hired by the Aspen Institute as a Civic Science Fellow, joining other Civic Science Fellows in a program that seeks to build capacity for civic science through developing leadership, influencing networks, and fostering productive collaboration among scientists, journalists, community members, media, educators, funders, and others.

The Aspen Institute Science & Society Program endeavors to raise public trust in science and to help foster a more diverse and engaged scientific workforce, by convening experts and thought leaders in solutions-oriented strategy sessions, mobilizing a vocal and diverse constituency of science advocates, and implementing significant outreach efforts.

Coda Societies is a firm that drives the design and development of citizen-centered infrastructures, services, and organizations worldwide. Its international team of urban planners, architects, policy-makers, economists, designers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and lawyers uses participatory design and systems thinking to develop modular systems that lead to sustainable and positive outcomes for all.

Civic Science Fellowship

The Civic Science Fellows program is designed to catalyze new partnerships, practices, leadership, and knowledge to advance meaningful, inclusive engagement on issues at the interface of science and society. The program brings together an interdisciplinary network of journalists, bench and social scientists, community-facing practitioners, content creators, public-interest organizations, and funders to develop evidence-based, human-centered approaches to better connect science with diverse communities. Civic science goes beyond science outreach, seeking to create equitable frameworks and relationships so people of every background are part of creating emerging science and making choices to guide it, so its power benefits all. Fellows are selected for their experience relevant to civic science, their ability to engage people underrepresented in scientific fields and underserved by science outreach efforts, and their demonstrated commitment to addressing issues at the intersection of science and society.

Fellowship Description

In close collaboration with the Aspen Institute and Coda Societies, the Fellow will co-design and co-manage “Our Future Is Science” for 18 months. Fellows will spend approximately 75% of their time (~30 hours/week) carrying out the project co-designed with their host institution, and 25% of their time (~10 hours/week) on shared learning and networking activities outside of their direct work with the Aspen Institute and Coda Societies, including periodic convenings, typically on Tuesdays during the Civic Science Fellows term. The class of Civic Science Fellows will connect as a learning cohort, including a civic science learning program to inform their activities and align their efforts to add to a growing body of knowledge about effective civic science. Day-to-day tasks will therefore include:

  • Survey of the landscape of existing efforts to improve the pipeline and ongoing support of BIPOC talent in science careers
  • Creation of communication materials for partnership development, especially with other organizations creating science activities for GenZ, and also major media outlets
  • Content creation for social and popular media campaign linking youth’s interests to science
  • Curriculum development for mentorship program between GenZ BIPOC (mentees) and science graduate students (mentors)
  • Assistance with development efforts to advance the initiative from the vantage point of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (The Aspen Institute)
  • Ongoing initiative quantitative and qualitative program evaluation
  • Thematic white paper or report about the intersection of activism and science

Fellowship Logistics

  • The Aspen Institute is the fiscal and administrative home institution for the Fellow
  • The Fellowship has a fixed term of 18 months
  • The salary is fixed at $80,000 per year plus benefits
  • Start date will be September 13, 2021
  • The Fellow reports to the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program Director with additional guidance and mentoring from the CEO of Coda Societies
  • Location: Remote, with work carried out mostly in the Eastern United States time zone and with partnerships across the continental United States, with possible occasional travel to Civic Science Fellow program events and workshops in the United States, as well as possible travel for Our Future Is Science activities
  • All applicants must have current authorization to work in the United States
  • Background check will be required because of interactions with minors


The ideal candidate for this fellowship has:

  • Doctoral or master’s degree in communications, education, social science, natural science, and/or related fields, or equivalent experience
  • Experience in science outreach, public engagement/relations, science communication, social sciences, or equivalent fields
  • Experience in program or project management
  • Preparation to co-design and co-manage a project with the potential to contribute new knowledge and innovative ideas to the civic science field and the host institution
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Preferred candidate experiences and qualities:

  • Interest in connecting communications research and practice
  • Able to effectively engage people from communities that have traditionally been underrepresented in scientific fields and underserved by science outreach efforts, incorporating awareness of the implications of historic and current discrimination for developing effective civic science practice and knowledge
  • Experience working with minors/youth, extracurricular mentoring programs, curriculum design
  • Past professional experiences working and engaging with BIPOC communities
  • Proficiency in media production
  • Savvy with social media platforms (e.g., TikTok, Instagram) to engage public audiences
  • Familiarity with accessing and interpreting digital audience demographic data

Application Instructions - please submit a two-page cover letter and two-page résumé through the online portal. Applications without cover letter will not be considered. Applications will be processed on a rolling basis, with full consideration of candidates who apply by August 9, 2021

The Institute has implemented a mandatory COVID vaccination policy for all employees who will work at one of our physical locations, attend any of our in-person events or travel on behalf of the Institute. Staff unable to be vaccinated may request an exemption under certain circumstances.

The Aspen Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all District and federal laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against.

Candidate must have the ability to work under pressure and handle stress. Candidate must also have the ability to meet the regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.

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