Posted: Jun 1, 2021

Science Policy Associate SPA-1

Salary: $60,000.00 - $65,000.00 Annually
Application Deadline: Jun 14, 2021

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, America’s food and health watchdog, is one of the nation’s leading public health advocacy organizations with a 50-year record of fighting for science in the public interest. We’ve led efforts to win passage of many state and local policies to improve school foods and remove sugary drinks from children’s menus. National policy successes include the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act; Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act; Food Safety Modernization Act; and Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.

Unhealthy diet is the leading risk factor to death in the United States, contributing to over 500,000 deaths each year, primarily due to heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. The typical American diet is low in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains and high in sugar-sweetened beverages, red and processed meat, full-fat dairy, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat. The ubiquity, amounts, and aggressive promotion of sugary drinks and unhealthy food in the food supply are hazardous to the public’s health.

We are searching for a policy-savvy scientist to work closely with several program teams to review and develop evidence-based materials and messages to support national, state, and local food and nutrition policies.

This is a grant-funded, full-time position with potential for extension based on funding. The Science Policy Associate is a member of the Science Department and reports to the Senior Science Policy Associate. The position is located in CSPI’s DC office or remotely.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide evidence-based input to inform strategy across five primary policy teams: Healthy Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Health Disclosures, Healthy Retail, Restaurant Kids Meals, and School Foods.
  • Review scientific statements in comments, petitions, letters, reports, fact sheets, and other documents to support local, state, federal, and corporate policy/advocacy efforts.
  • Evaluate research studies, policy documents, and bodies of literature, and conduct analyses to develop policy/advocacy positions to support local, state, federal, and corporate policy/advocacy efforts.
  • Work in cross-cutting teams with CSPI policy and communications staff to ensure that messages and materials are based in evidence.
  • Contribute to the Science Department mission to enhance CSPI’s scientific infrastructure and capacity in order to uphold high internal standards for scientific rigor and transparency.
  • Review drafted scientific manuscripts, evaluate research protocols and proposals, and provide support to staff with research tracking, literature review, and data analysis.
  • Represent CSPI as a trusted information resource on nutrition and health matters to CSPI staff, coalition partners, policymakers, and the general public.
  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships with academic researchers.
  • Identify gaps in evidence and inform and publicize research agendas to address these gaps.
  • Develop (and regularly review) CSPI’s policy and advocacy positions based on strength of scientific evidence.


  • Required:
    • Advanced degree in nutrition, epidemiology, or public health, or another relevant field (e.g., food science, biostatistics) along with 3-4 years of experience reviewing scientific literature and/or developing evidence-based materials to support policy/advocacy efforts.
    • Commitment to transparency and scientific rigor in work products.
    • An understanding of complex nutrition issues; ability to draw conclusions from a body of sometimes-conflicting scientific studies and provide responsible advice to consumers, policymakers, coalition partners, and CSPI staff.
    • An ability to analyze, evaluate, interpret, and translate complex research, policy, and scientific documents, including experience assessing the risk of bias and familiarity with the process of conducting and evaluating systematic reviews.
    • Experience producing peer-reviewed publications, reports, and/or fact sheets.
    • Experience tailoring scientific communications to various audiences (including colleagues, policy makers, journalists, and the public).
    • A track record of successfully managing multiple projects and deadlines.
    • Ability to work effectively as part of a cross-disciplinary team.
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and research databases, such as PubMed.
    • Willingness to participate in CSPI’s efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
    • Ability to work additional and flexible hours as needed.
  • Desirable:
    • A track record of developing and maintaining strong working relationships with and among a diverse group of stakeholders, including academics, nonprofits, and industry officials.
    • Proficiency with primary qualitative and quantitative data analysis.


The salary range is $60,000-$65,000, based on experience. CSPI offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes: 3 weeks of annual vacation leave; additional paid holiday leave between December 24 and January 1; 8 weeks of paid parental leave; excellent medical and dental insurance with CSPI paying a significant portion of employee and dependent premiums; and a 3% employer match contribution to the retirement plan after one year of service.

To Apply

Please utilize CSPI's Paylocity Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to apply for the Science Policy Associate (SPA-1) position. You are required to submit a resume and cover letter indicating relevant experience and interest. Application deadline is June 14, 2021.

CSPI is committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills and encourage people of diverse ages, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, disabilities, religions, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, work, and life experiences to apply.