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PhD Opportunity: Building Capacity for Improved Citizen Science by Understanding the Racial-Spatial Bias in Environmental Data (USA)

  • Raleigh

North Carolina State University

The Cooper Public Science Lab at North Carolina State University seeks a creative, motivated Ph.D. student with an interest in applying geospatial social science approaches to studies of racial disparities in citizen science participation. The position will begin Fall 2021 and is funded for four years at $25,000/year, plus benefits and tuition support, with support from NSF and the cutting-edge Ph.D. program in Geospatial Analytics offered by NC State’s Center for Geospatial Analytics (

The selected applicant will join a research group focused on multiple dimensions in the design and implementation of citizen science programs. The student will be actively involved in exploring innovative design for citizen science to work across scales, from national to community levels, to address environmental injustices and public health challenges. The student will be encouraged to develop research questions and a project tailored to their unique interests and career goals.

The Center for Geospatial Analytics at NC State is an internationally recognized hub for interdisciplinary data scientists pushing the boundaries of spatial data science to advance discovery and inform real-world decision-making. Students in the Ph.D. program receive multidisciplinary advising and the opportunity to work with over thirty faculty fellows with diverse expertise from over a dozen departments across NC State.

Applicants should hold a degree in data science, public health, geography, environmental science, ecology, or a related discipline. Experience or familiarity with programming in R or other statistical software, as well as previous publishing experience is desired, but not required. 

Applicants do not necessarily need prior experience in citizen science or GIS, but should have interests in public engagement in science and maps. Students who are members of historically underrepresented groups in STEM are particularly encouraged to apply.

For more information about the position, contact Caren Cooper ( with a cover letter expressing your interests and CV. Additional details about the Ph.D. program in Geospatial Analytics and complete application instructions are available at Interested students are also encouraged to contact Rachel Kasten, Graduate Services Coordinator ( or 919-515-2800), with questions about the program or to explore additional opportunities.

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