Research Assistant

We are looking for two motivated Research Assistants to join our team at the Health Effects Institute (HEI), located in the heart of Boston’s downtown. HEI is a leading scientific institute that funds high quality research on air pollution, energy development and health effects to inform policy decisions around the world.


Responsibilities include supporting HEI’s scientific staff to collect, organize, and analyze scientific literature; manage literature databases; assist with research oversight and review; write critical summaries on specific topics; create clear and effective visual presentations of data; and coordinate plans for expert committee meetings. Research Assistants will work in a variety of scientific programs, including:

  • Multidisciplinary Research and Review:  Comprehensive research and review programs to answer key air quality-related questions.
  • Traffic-related Air Pollution: A state-of-the-science review of the literature.
  • Global Health: Studies of the contributions of major sources of air pollution to air quality and health, using the Global Burden of Disease and other methodologies. This also include State of Global Air (, HEI’s flagship annual report and website on air quality and health.
  • Energy Research: Literature reviews and planning for a multi-year research program to understand potential human exposures and health effects from unconventional oil and gas development. 


Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in life sciences, public health, environmental science or engineering. Master’s level candidates with recent training in these and related fields will also be considered.  Strong writing, analytical, interpersonal and communication skills, and basic knowledge of statistics, are required. Experience with MS Office suite, including Excel, statistical and data visualization software, citation management systems (e.g., EndNote, Zotero), ArcGIS, and/or website maintenance are highly desirable.

This is an excellent entry-level opportunity for individuals with science training who want experience that would be helpful in defining their next steps in educational and career development. Applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. and should be willing to make a one-year to ideally, two-year commitment, beginning in late May or soon thereafter.


HEI offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a stimulating environment. Research assistants also have professional development opportunities.

Interested applicants must submit a letter briefly expressing interest in and qualifications for the position, a résumé, a transcript of courses taken for their last degree, names of three references with contact information, and two samples of independent writing. HEI will not consider incomplete applications. HEI will not contact referees without informing the candidates. 

HEI will begin its review of applicants immediately but the position will remain open until HEI finds a suitable candidate. Please send your materials to: (with “Research Assistant Position” in the subject line).

Please send your materials to:
Human Resources
Health Effects Institute
75 Federal Street, Suite 1400, Boston, MA 02110

The Health Effects Institute (HEI), a leading independent, nonprofit research institute, has provided rigorous, impartial, and important science to the national and global public debate on the health effects of air pollution over three decades. Supported jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the motor vehicle industry, and periodically by other domestic and international partners, HEI provides science to inform key national and international regulatory decisions and other actions that are directly relevant to improving air quality. HEI’s approach is centered on funding high-quality, independent scientific studies that are strategically selected and carefully designed to inform upcoming decisions about air quality policy. HEI funds research at leading institutions throughout the world through competitive selection processes, oversees this research attentively, and publishes its findings broadly, enabling policymakers to apply it in their actions to protect the public health. Information on HEI is available at

Health Effects Institute is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and staff.