Postdoctoral Scholar, Institute for Practical Ethics
Institute for Practical Ethics, UC San Diego
September 27, 2018
La Jolla, California
Based on UC salary scales
Full Time - Entry Level
Academic / Research
The Institute for Practical Ethics, a newly founded interdisciplinary research unit at the University of California, San Diego, is dedicated to the pursuit of socially responsible science. Forming connections among ethicists, social scientists, natural scientists, health professionals, and the community, it seeks to address ethical and social issues facing society, from ethical issues in clinical trials, environmental conservation, stem cell research, engineering and big data, and much more. Further information about the Institute can be found at ipe.ucsd.edu.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Tata Foundation, one of the Institute’s projects over the next few years will be focused on the Ethics and Social Implications of Active Genetics. “Active genetics” refers to new advances in genetic engineering, advances associated with more precise editing methods (e.g., through CRISPR-CAS9) combined with faster and more powerful ways of driving mutations through populations (commonly called a gene-drive). This emerging ability aspires to make progress in disease reduction, agriculture, and cancer research. For example, scientists are working on modifying a species of mosquito so that it cannot transmit malaria, along with a gene drive to ensure that this new mosquito quickly replaces the wild one. This technology’s power to transform raises ethical issues and questions about social impact. The goal of this project is to anticipate and study these new issues. We are particularly interested in projects that will focus upon this technology’s possible use in India.
To this end, the Institute has assembled an interdisciplinary research team of dissertation fellows, PhD candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and UC San Diego faculty who work in this area. Members of the research team plan and participate in a monthly meeting devoted to the science and ethics of active genetics; organize lectures, colloquia, round-tables, or other public events exploring the topic; and convene at least one major international conference. Postdoctoral scholars are also expected to be working on their own major project that concerns active genetics. While there is no existing field of gene drive studies per se, we anticipate that scholars with expertise in related questions will be especially competitive. We anticipate successful applicants being from, but not limited to, the fields of philosophy, ethics, bioethics, sociology, science studies and anthropology.
The Institute for Practical Ethics at the University of California, San Diego, invites applications for the position of postdoctoral scholar for the academic years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Applicants must possess a PhD granted from an accredited university before the position begins.
The postdoctoral scholar positions are two-year appointments, with the second year contingent upon acceptable performance in the first year. Salary, as based on UC’s salary scales and candidate qualifications, will be provided in exchange for active participation in the Institute’s program of activities and in particular its research project in Ethical Issues and Social Implications in Active Genetics. Postdoctoral scholars will be expected to lead monthly meetings on active genetics and ethics, attend a monthly meeting on scientific issues within active genetics, and assist with project activities (which may include writing grant proposals, organizing workshops, and research in the area). Duties will be decided through consultation between the postdoctoral scholar and Institute Co-Directors. Postdoctoral scholars are required to be in residence for the entirety of the academic years. The postdoctoral scholar position is open to international applicants. The Institute is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research and service.
Primary consideration will be given to applications submitted by December 1, 2018, but all applications will be considered until positions are filled. Applications should be submitted to Tara Nadeau (email@example.com) and should include:
Brief statement (1000 words maximum) summarizing the applicant's intellectual interests, scholarly training, and research agenda as these relate to Ethics and Implications of Active Genetics
Copies of no more than two representative publications or dissertation chapters
Two letters of recommendation
Inquiries regarding the Institute, its program, and the fellowship positions may be addressed to