Doctoral Research Assistant in Risk Communication and Sustainable Aquaculture

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Doctoral Research Assistant in Risk Communication and Sustainable Aquaculture
Job Type: 
Department of Communication & Journalism and the Aquaculture Research Institute, University of Maine
Orono, Maine, USA
February 15, 2015


Doctoral Research Assistantship in Risk Communication and Sustainable Aquaculture

The University of Maine and the University of New England recently launched the Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET) research project, supported by a 5-year, $20 million National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant. Faculty and graduate students involved in this interdisciplinary research will investigate marine social ecological systems while developing sustainable ecological aquaculture (SEA) in Maine. SEANET will create a globally recognized research network that advances new knowledge and innovation to strengthen Maine’s coastal communities. For more information, visit:

A primary goal of SEANET is to advance the scientific basis for decision making through an improved understanding of the social dimensions of SEA. We seek a doctoral research assistant interested in working on social scientific research to understand, broadly, how to effectively link knowledge to action for the responsible development of SEA in Maine. Key research areas include: (1) stakeholder attitudes, values, and perceptions related to SEA, focusing in particular on perceptions of risk, sense of place, and attribution of responsibility; (2) stakeholder decision-making and behavior with respect to SEA, including information seeking and support for policy; (3) media representations of aquaculture; and (4) strategic messaging about SEA. In addressing these areas, this research will take into account the current structure, function, and socio-economic context of Maine aquaculture, its response/resilience to change, and potential opportunities and challenges associated with aquaculture-based innovations.


A Master’s degree in communication, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, human ecology, geography, or a related social science field; excellent GPA and GRE scores; strong communication and writing skills; and the ability to work collaboratively with a large and diverse group of researchers and stakeholders. Candidates should also have some experience collecting and analyzing social science data (qualitative or quantitative methods). Some background in a natural science is preferred, but not required. Support includes a fellowship of $20,400/year for three years, a tuition waiver, subsidy for health insurance, and funds for field research. Additional support after the three years is possible.

Application Procedures:

Please submit the following information to Dr. Laura Rickard, Assistant Professor, University of Maine,, with subject line “SEANET Research Assistantship”:

  • A letter detailing your interest in this position specifically and the goals of SEANET in general;

  • A resume;

  • Scanned GRE scores and undergraduate and graduate transcripts; and

  • Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three references familiar with your academic and research


Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.