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Job ID: 235169

Tufts University

Date Posted Apr. 25, 2024
Title Researcher
University Tufts University
Medford, MA, United States
Department Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Research Scientist/Associate
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, established in 1981, is among the world's leading graduate and professional schools of nutrition. Its mission is to improve the nutritional well-being of people worldwide through the creation of new knowledge, its application and dissemination, and the education and training of future leaders in the field. Faculty, students and staff at the school include physicians and other health practitioners, biomedical and clinical scientists, nutritionists and epidemiologists, agricultural and environmental scientists, economists, psychologists and others whose work on food and nutrition contributes to the sustainable, equitable development of human societies.

What You'll Do

The Researcher position offers an exciting and challenging opportunity to help improve food and nutrition policy by contributing to the valuable base of scientific research around least-cost diets and food access in the United States and methods and metrics for food systems change in low- and middle-income countries around the world.

The Researcher will manage two multi-year grant funded research projects operated out of the Friedman School: 1) The Thrifty Food Plan funded by the United States Department of Agriculture

The Thrifty Food Plan is one of four food plans USDA develops that estimates the cost of a healthy diet across various price points – the Thrifty, Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost and Liberal Food Plans.

2) The Innovative Methods and Metrics for Advancing Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

IMMANA deploys a package of competitive research funding calls, career development fellowships, and a multi-disciplinary global network – the Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy - to stimulate the generation, validation, and sharing of cutting-edge methods, metrics and tools to solve acute problems in malnutrition and health.

In consultation with each project’s principal investigator, the Researcher will manage ongoing research aims and develop and pursue novel research questions related to the goals of each project.

Duties will include, but are not limited to: managing research activities and planning; liaising between relevant stakeholder groups of each research project; conducting literature reviews; providing technical support and data analysis for ongoing research aims; developing novel research questions; pursuing research aims in collaboration with or independently of other project researchers; writing manuscripts of research for publication in academic journals; and disseminating research findings at conferences or online events.


Essential Functions include:

Research Support: Thrifty Food Plan

  • Oversee the work of the Thrifty Food Plan menu development team.
  • Develop a spreadsheet-based tool for creating example menus and develop, draft, and evaluate menus consistent with the cost of the TFP.
  • Convert foods from "as consumed" to "as purchased" form as an input to developing shopping lists.
  • Convert shopping lists into a draft instrument for the field research team.
  • Analyze results of a pilot use of the instrument by the field research team.
  • Develop the revised instrument for the main study data collection.
  • Oversee meetings, archiving meeting decisions, and monitoring progress toward project goals.

Research Support: IMMANA

  • Carry out research functions in pursuit of research aims developed independently and in collaboration IMMANA team members based out of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
  • Essential functions include conducting literature reviews; creating and cleaning data sets; creating mathematical models and conducting data analysis in R or Stata; creating data visualizations; writing manuscripts for publication in academic journals.
  • Proposed research questions include but are not limited to:
    • How do the least cost diets, least emitting, and least true cost of diets for health differ?
    • How do unhealthy foods displace healthy foods when people can afford a healthy diet? This work would add to the literature categorizing and classifying the typologies of healthy food displacement.


  • Plan and track timelines and action items for research activities, events, conferences, and meetings
  • Maintain communication with TFP and IMMANA Principal Investigators and relevant staff and ensure responsiveness.
  • Develop agendas for collaborative research meetings when needed and take and clean meeting minutes

Dissemination of results

  • Contribute to content for reports, project summaries, project websites, and social media to communicate the results of each research project
  • Assist with planning and implementation of research dissemination activities at conferences, workshops, and events
  • Other duties as assigned related to support project needs.

What We're Looking For

Basic Requirements:

  • Knowledge, skills & experience as typically acquired through the completion of a master’s degree in nutrition science, development economics, policy, public health and/or another related field related to Friedman’s mission.
  • 1-3 years of professional experience in academic research; clear and precise written and verbal communication skills in email, documents and website materials; attention to detail and computational skill with spreadsheets for managing expenditure and financial reporting
  • Self-motivation to achieve the highest levels of professional excellence and ethical conduct
  • Collaborative orientation with high levels of organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to work quickly and independently in response to changing circumstances.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with United States and international nutrition, food, and agriculture policy issues,
  • Familiarity with sustainability diets, food prices, modeling, experience with sponsored program administration policies and procedures at Tufts or similar universitie
  • Familiarity with reporting requirements for private and foreign funding sources, and experience living and working in low-income countries.

Pay Range

Minimum $57,900.00, Midpoint $72,450.00, Maximum $87,000.00

Salary is based on related experience, expertise, and internal equity; generally, new hires can expect pay between the minimum and midpoint of the range.

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Contact Information

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