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Research Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

RISE: Resilient Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity at CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) encourages applications for a Post-Doctoral Scholar or Research Associate (RA)! This position will initiate and lead a pilot project that explores an intersection among resilience, sustainability, and equity bases of the criminal justice infrastructure. This pilot project is sought at owning the agenda of a new interdisciplinary initiative [funded by the Interdisciplinary Research Theme (IRT) program in CEAS]. As such, the RA will work closely with faculty in engineering and social sciences and in partnership with a project Ph.D. student. 

Our aim in this project is to systematically evaluate infrastructures of justice (prisons and restorative justice centers). This project, initiated and led by the RA, will consider the resilience, sustainability, and equity of prisons and their alternative (e.g., restorative justice spaces) through novel epistemologies and methodologies. This project stands to demonstrate the potential of a holistic and innovative interdisciplinarity that accounts for justice and equity in ways that, to our knowledge, past infrastructure engineering research has failed to achieve. The components of this project will likely include three parts: investigations into the resilience, sustainability, and equity of justice infrastructure as well as a theorization of their intersection.

Because this research is exploratory in its interdisciplinary view of the vast problems of the US justice system, a range of academic and non-academic skills apply. We encourage applicants to make a case for the relevance of their expertise in their application statements.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The fields of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering offer careers in the planning, design, construction, and management of the built environment as well as in the interaction between the built environment and the natural environment. CEAE's mission is the education of undergraduate and graduate students to become leaders in the professional practice of engineering, contributing to technological advances that benefit humankind while improving the earth’s physical and biological resources.

The college’s mission is to generate new knowledge in engineering and related fields and to equip students from diverse backgrounds to become leaders and citizens responsible for the improvement of individuals and society. Our vision is to be a recognized world leader for excellence and innovation in engineering research and education, with an emphasis on inclusive excellence, active learning, and global society.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • In the first year, through a targeted case study, this position will seek to study how prison buildings, or networks of prisons, are more or less resilient, balanced, and equitable compared to restorative justice spaces. The candidate will explore the engineering and architectural design regulations (codes) and adaptations within the two systems, affecting their resilience in the face of extreme demands imposed by disasters (e.g., earthquakes, floods, fire) or a public health crisis (e.g., COVID-19). We will identify, for example, how health and life safety requirements compare between these two types of spaces.
  • In the second year, this position will critically evaluate the different sustainability measures of these types of spaces through their construction materials, siting choices, energy efficiency practices, or ecological impact. Across these analyses, the project would consider variations across race and relations to equity.
  • In parallel to initiating and owning the pilot project described above, the candidate will have a strong role in assisting with team formation and proposal preparations by the IRT faculty affiliates spanning the three themes of resilience, sustainability, and equity (about 15-20% of her/his time).

What We Can Offer

Salary range is $40,000 - $55,000 annually.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Engaged. Be Groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require

Ph.D. in a disciplinary or interdisciplinary field of study that could range from engineering to planning, sociology, geography, architecture, economics, and policy.

What You Will Need

Outstanding communication skills, demonstrated leadership experience, the ability to empower and connect with people from vastly different disciplinary backgrounds.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Proof of Degree
    • The document uploaded for Proof of Degree can be a Transcript which shows the date the degree was conferred; Copy of Diploma; or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College conferring the degree.
    • If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version.
  4. List of contact information of three references (including at least two academic references)
    • During the application process you will also need to enter contact information for one reference who will be contacted to provide a letter of recommendation and additional materials, if needed, as the search progresses.
  5. Statement of Research Philosophy: A 1000-word statement of interest.
  6. One published writing sample (that demonstrates a strong command of communication skills)
For full consideration please apply by October 10, 2020.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: