Research Assistant Opportunities: 1 Doctoral Student in Geography & 1 Doctoral Student in Sociology at U. of Utah

November 6 2017

Research Assistant Opportunities: 1 Doctoral Student in Geography & 1 Doctoral Student in Sociology

To begin Fall 2018


Information about the positions:

The selected research assistants will work as members of an interdisciplinary research team, studying the socially and geographically uneven effects of environmental hazards, under the direct supervision of Drs. Tim Collins (Geography) and Sara Grineski (Sociology). Potential projects that the students may contribute to include: environmental injustices in exposure to air pollution at US elementary schools; social and geographical inequities in exposure to multiple hazards (e.g., flooding, industrial fires, etc.) and emergency response capabilities at US elementary schools; effects of air pollution on children’s academic performance and development, including analysis of unequal impacts by race/class/gender as well as identification of protective factors; disparate health effects of Hurricane Harvey; and/or social, spatial and temporal dynamics of post-Hurricane Harvey recovery.


The students will gain academic writing, data management and quantitative data analysis skills. They will have the opportunity to coauthor journal articles and conference presentations with the team, as well as develop and complete an individual project to meet graduation requirements. The selected research assistants will become well prepared to pursue faculty positions in geography, sociology, and related interdisciplinary fields.


In Sociology, a 4 year (with Master’s degree) or 5 year (with Bachelor’s degree) funding package will be provided to the selected applicant. In Geography, a Master’s degree is required for admission to the PhD Program, and a 3 year funding package is guaranteed for the selected applicant. Funding for both graduate research assistantships is guaranteed for 2 years at 12 months per year, with the additional years of guaranteed funding provided through teaching and/or research assistantships. Both positions will include health insurance and tuition waivers covering in-state or out-of-state tuition.



The ideal applicants will be curious; motivated; team-oriented; passionate to learn about human-environment interactions, hazards, environmental health, and environmental justice; committed to mentoring undergraduate student members of the research team; and interested in using quantitative methods to analyze data. Previous experience with research, geographic information systems and/or statistics would be helpful, but is not required.


How to apply:

First contact Drs. Tim Collins ( and Sara Grineski ( via e-mail by no later than December 1, 2017, to express interest in the positions. Drs. Collins and Grineski will then encourage individuals to apply for the positions. If you are not already a student in one of the programs, then you will also need to apply for admission to the program of interest after interacting with Drs. Collins and Grineski. The deadline for applying to the PhD program in Geography is January 10, 2018, and interested students must apply here. The Geography PhD program requires an academic Master’s degree prior to admission. The deadline for applying to the PhD program in Sociology is February 1, 2018, and interested students must apply here. This program accepts students with Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. Indicate your interest one of these positions in your Statement of Purpose and send Drs. Collins and Grineski an e-mail to notify us that you have applied.


If you have questions:

Contact Tim Collins and Sara Grineski:

Incoming faculty members in the University of Utah Geography Department and Sociology Department, respectively, effective January 2018 (Currently, Professors of Geography and Sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso)


See here for examples of the type of work our team does: