Posted: Sep 2, 2022

Project Scientist - Nutrition Policy Institute

Application Deadline: Sep 26, 2022

Location Headquarters:   UC Office of the President, Oakland, CA

Position Overview


Project Scientist makes significant and creative contributions to a research or creative project in their academic discipline. The appointee possesses the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, or upgrade competency. Appointees with Project Scientist titles may engage in University and public service. They do not have teaching responsibilities. Although the Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of an academic member with an independent research program they are not required to develop an independent research program or reputation. They will carry out research or creative programs with supervision by an individual in an academic title that carries with it automatic Principal Investigator status. The Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so by exception.

Purpose and Clientele:

The Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) is an ANR statewide unit that conducts and translates policy- relevant research to transform environments for healthy children, families, and communities. NPI researchers work with other researchers throughout the UC system as well as local, state, and national partners. NPI projects are funded primarily from grants and contracts with 20-30 active research and evaluation projects underway at any given time. NPI is headquartered in the UC Office of the President at 1111 Franklin Street, Fifth floor, Oakland, CA 94607. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The Assistant Project Scientist will critically review and synthesize the literature to develop research questions, hypotheses and study methods; develop participant recruitment and retention protocols and protocols for IRB submission; design and conduct collaborative research projects in multiple settings including communities, schools, and childcare facilities involving assessment of the food environment and individuals’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to the improvement of food policies, food systems, prevention of chronic diseases and optimization of health and wellbeing; evaluate the impacts of programs, policies and practices designed to improve nutrition and food security to reduce health disparities among children, families and communities; facilitate state and national interactions between researchers, policy makers, and diverse community groups; write research reports and peer-reviewed publications; and develop science-based policy and environmental solutions to improve physical, environmental, and social health for diverse populations.

Required Qualifications:

Education:  An earned Ph.D. in community nutrition, nutritional epidemiology, public health, health policy or a closely related field is required at the time of appointment.

Additional Requirements:

  • Experience in design and execution of community/public health nutrition research
  • Experience in grantsmanship, including submitting NIH and other federal and foundation grants, and history of conducting research and evaluations.
  • Primary authorship in peer-reviewed journals and academic conference presentations of research findings.
  • Qualitative and/or quantitative research skills including research design, sampling plans, and sample size calculations, data collection methodology and data analysis methods, and interpretation of findings.
  • Strong analytic skills including experience programming software for data analysis.
  • Ability to produce well designed presentation materials using PowerPoint or other related software applications.
  • Ability to work on multiple simultaneous projects, prioritize, and complete work efficiently in the face of competing Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills are required.
  • Ability to produce well designed presentation materials using PowerPoint or other related software applications.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills, preferably in both English and Spanish.
  • Must “demonstrate significant, original, and creative contributions to a [research or creative program or project].

Desired Experience:

  • Preferred background and experience with state and federal nutrition assistance program.
  • Preferred bilingual Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese (bicultural preferred)

Skills Required:   To be successful, a Project Scientist requires skills in the following:

Technical Competence and Impact

  • Review the literature to inform study design and
  • Design and direct the development of detailed protocols and instruments for data collection including plans for testing of measurement methods.
  • Train and supervise other data
  • Coordinate data management. Determine appropriate analysis techniques for each dataset and research Conduct and supervise analyses using one or more statistical programs commonly used in public health.
  • Prepare data tables to summarize quantitative findings and summaries for qualitative data.
  • Design and implement analytic models to answer key research questions using various techniques
  • Identify federal and non-federal funding opportunities; develop and write proposals as part of a collaborative team; recruit collaborators.


  • Prepare and deliver oral presentations to summarize research findings for research, professional, and lay audiences.
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed
  • Prepare interim and final reports, and project summary materials (including fact sheets and policy briefs) for funders, community stakeholders, and policy

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

  • Foster collaborative teamwork with other NPI and UC academics and others to address priority research and evaluation topics.
  • Interact with UC ANR Program Teams, specialists and others within the research/extension network to develop, strengthen and expand
  • Build relationships to work with diverse

Professional Development and Lifelong Learning

  • Participate in professional organizations and collaborate with federal, state and county governmental agencies, non-government organizations and others by providing independent science-based information.
  • Maintain a program of continuous self-improvement by participating in trainings, seminars, workshops, staff meetings, work group & program team meetings, short courses, professional society meetings and other relevant opportunities.

Salary & Benefits

SALARY:  Beginning salary will be in the Assistant Project Scientist Rank – Salary range $68,400 - $79,300 (up to Step 4).  For information regarding the Project Scientist series salary scales, please refer to This is a represented position. 

 The Assistant Project Scientist position is a definite term appointment.  The position is a one-year renewable term appointment with a merit cycle every two years.  The performance in the position will be evaluated annually.  The position will be extended based on the continued need for the position, performance and availability of funding.

Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and approximately thirteen paid holidays per year. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at:

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: and choose “applicants” (refer to position #22-67)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by September 26, 2022 (open until filled).


Contact Tatiana Avoce @ [email protected]  for any questions.

Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at and the UC ANR Green Card Sponsorship Guidelines & FAQ's for reference.