Staff Scientists

The Health Effects Institute seeks two individuals with expertise in air pollution exposure assessment, environmental health, health impact assessment, epidemiology, or a related field to join our science team. One of the two positions will have a special focus on supporting our global health program, and the other will focus on our core air pollution program. The successful candidates will work closely with HEI’s scientific staff, Director of Science, President, and Vice President in an intellectually engaging and collaborative work environment located in the heart of Boston’s downtown. 

About HEI

HEI is a nonprofit corporation chartered in 1980 as an independent research organization to provide high-quality, impartial, and relevant science on the health effects of air pollution. HEI typically receives balanced funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the worldwide motor vehicle industry. Other public and private organizations periodically support special projects or certain research programs. For 40 years, HEI has been a source of high-quality, impartial, and policy-relevant science on the health effects of air pollution in the United States, Europe, and around the world.

Position Description

Successful candidates will have opportunities to gain experience in and contribute to a broad range of HEI activities aimed at understanding and communicating the effects of air pollution and human health to inform national and international decisions on public policy interventions. One candidate is expected to work primarily on global health, and the other is expected to work primarily on the core air pollution program.

The core air pollution program is designed to provide science to inform important environmental and health decisions in North America and Europe. The successful candidate will work with our expert committees to plan new research on key questions; develop requests for applications; manage the review and selection of studies for funding; oversee ongoing studies; and review reports of completed HEI studies and draft commentaries on them, among other functions. The candidate may also participate in the preparation of comprehensive and authoritative reviews of important areas in air pollution research. The successful candidate will represent HEI at professional and other meetings, both national and international, as needed.

The global health program offers opportunities to help advance the goals of clean air in countries around the world — especially in low- and middle- income countries with high air pollution levels. The successful candidate will work on analyses of air pollution and health data from the Global Burden of Disease and other data sources and analyses of major air pollution sources across countries, as well as contribute to HEI’s annual State of Global Air report and website. The candidate will also help organize workshops for scientists and policymakers, and conduct targeted analyses and data visualizations, among other activities to support partners working for clean air in our focus countries.  The successful candidate will also represent HEI at professional and other meetings, both national and international, as needed. 


  • PhD. in a quantitative discipline relevant to air pollution, environmental health, and policy (e.g., atmospheric chemistry, biostatistics, environmental health, or epidemiology); training in public policy analysis a plus.
  • Minimum of 1–2 years of experience beyond the final degree in related work.
  • For the position with the global health focus, preference will be given to candidates with international work experience, including work with governmental or non-governmental organizations.
  • Strong quantitative analytical and data visualization skills; experience with R and Python preferable.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to work with people from diverse technical and geographic backgrounds.
  • A self-starter, able to work independently or within collaborative teams, across multiple projects.
  • Excellent writing, public speaking, and science communication skills; fluent in English; fluency in other languages is a plus.
  • Authorization to work in the United States without sponsorship strongly preferred.

Compensation and Benefits

HEI is an equal opportunity employer that offers competitive salaries and excellent benefits including a retirement savings plan, health insurance coverage, and family-friendly leave policies. HEI values opportunities for in-person interaction among staff and with its scientific committees, but will consider flexible, potentially remote operation for these positions.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should submit their applications via email ( and include a cover letter (including salary expectations and citizenship/immigration status), curriculum vitae, 2 samples of independent writing, and names of 3 references (who will not be contacted without advance notice to you). Please include “Staff Scientist 2021 Position” in the subject line and indicate in your cover letter if you have a preference for working on global health or our core program. Review of applications will begin on February 10,  2021, with interviews in February, but the position will be open until a suitable candidate is found. Interviews will be conducted virtually.

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 nearly four decades. In recent years, HEI’s work has expanded beyond air pollution to include potential exposures and health effects associated with oil and natural gas development in the United States. Supported jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and industry (the motor vehicle industry and the oil and gas industry), and 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 and health. 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. Periodically, HEI also reviews various bodies of literature to reach overarching conclusions about the state of the science. 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.