Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-RA_ENG122 [#22201, WDR-00032762]
Position Title: Research Associate in Social Science - Lab of Ornithology
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Psychology
Human Sciences
Social Sciences / Evaluation
Salary Range:$70,000-$80,000
Appl Deadline:2023/06/20 1:22PMhelp popup** finished (2023/03/13, finished 2023/08/02)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Research Associate in Social Science 
Lab of Ornithology 
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 
Ithaca, NY 

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. 

About us:

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the world's leading resource for conservation, research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Lab is a vibrant unit within Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Staff at the Lab publish research, teach courses, advise students and postdocs, collect and disseminate world-famous digital resources on biodiversity, and engage with partner organizations and citizens around the world to conduct scientific research and facilitate conservation actions. 

As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction in any study,” diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values and mission. We strive to be a welcoming, caring, healthy, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect, and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation. As a member of the Cornell University community, it is important to recognize our shared responsibility to each other to cultivate a culture of inclusion for all.  Cornell Core values

What We Need:

The Center for Engagement in Science and Nature is one of the major programmatic units at the Lab and engages people through educational (e.g., Bird Academy) and citizen science (e.g., Project FeederWatch, NestWatch) programming. The Center supports the Cornell Lab’s mission “to interpret and conserve the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.” Our approach to public engagement in science is focused on gathering biological information at large spatial scales while creating dynamic educational content and web applications through which the public can better understand the natural world. The Cornell Lab is widely viewed as a global leader in the field of public engagement, and in particular, citizen science, managing exemplary projects while pursuing methodological innovation for moving the field forward. This position requires the ability to successfully collaborate with staff from across Lab Centers to continue to advance our public engagement goals.

We are seeking a research associate trained in the social sciences to support research on how people interact with birds, nature, and science as part of the Lab’s large and global participant engagement efforts that include millions of people per year. Working in collaboration with the leadership of the Center for Engagement in Science and Nature, this researcher will:

  • Conduct original research involving identification of research questions, hypotheses, theoretical perspectives, and experimental protocols. 
  • Design and implement mixed methodological studies (using both quantitative and qualitative approaches) focused on learning in formal and informal settings, engagement in citizen science, and behavior change in a conservation context.
  • Collect, interpret, synthesize, and analyze data, including datasets related to participant learning, contributions, and actions. 
  • Lead and collaborate on research publications and internal reports. Present findings to the public, Lab staff, funders and supporters, and at appropriate professional conferences. 
  • Scope external funding opportunities and develop grant proposals focused on the Lab’s public engagement programs. 
  • Manage grant-related budgetary responsibilities and ensure ethical standards in research. 
  • Mentor staff or students as needed, including oversight and instruction on research techniques. 
  • Serve as a thought leader to communicate with external collaborators and public audiences about the findings resulting from the research.
  • Enhance the Lab's exposure and capabilities in social science research while establishing and nurturing valued partnerships with other Cornell departments and institutions external to Cornell.

Term of position: 

This is a full-time, 3-year appointment, pending renewable funding, available work, and successful performance.

Preference is for location in or relocation to the Ithaca area with a hybrid schedule allowing for in-person and remote work. Remote work sites in the US may be considered with the expectation of visits to Ithaca several times a year. International candidates must be willing to relocate to the Ithaca area.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in education, human dimensions, psychology, evaluation, or related social science field with at least 3 years of experience conducting social science research or evaluation. 
  • Must have a solid understanding of social science theory, research methodology and evaluation. Strong quantitative analytical skills and experience analyzing large datasets using R (preferred) or a similar statistical package, and a willingness to transition to R. 
  • Ability to work under deadlines with general guidance. Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated ability to complete detailed work accurately. 
  • Understanding of and experience with Institutional Review Board requirements for conducting research involving human subjects. 
  • Proven record of publication in peer-reviewed journals, including as lead author. Prior experience with preparing grant proposals, publications, and final reports. 
  • Excellent communication skills, including writing and public speaking. 
  • Willingness and ability to travel to relevant professional conferences nationally and internationally as necessary. 
  • Experience mentoring and advising undergraduate students (preferred).

Preferred Qualifications:

Fluency in Spanish is helpful.

Salary and Benefits:

CALS salary range for this position is $70,000-$80,000 per year with Cornell University’s generous benefit package. 

Cornell provides great benefits that include professional development, access to wellness programs, employee discounts with local and national retail brands, broad range of comprehensive health care options, and generous paid leave provisions:  3 weeks of vacation, 13 holidays (including end of year winter break), paid family leave, and superior retirement contributions.


Please apply via Academic Jobs Online at the following link:

Interested applicants should submit a letter of application outlining qualifications and interest in the position, CV, one example publication, contact information for two references and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion via  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a candidate is selected.  If you have questions about this position, please email Tina Phillips at

Familiarize yourself with Cornell’s COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university’s COVID-19 services and information

Employment Assistance:

For specific questions about the position or application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting or for general questions email

If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX at voice (607) 255-2242, or email at

Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also request an appointment to use a dedicated workstation in the Office of Talent Attraction and Recruitment, at the Ithaca campus, by emailing

Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual’s genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law. 

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff to all identities and backgrounds. We encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Pay Ranges:

The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.
  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.
  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)
  • Unique applicable skills.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
email address
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850