Postdoctoral Research Associate, Anthropology, Western Washington University

We invite applications for a 7-month postdoctoral research fellow to join the National Science Foundation funded research project A Political Ecology of Value: A Cohort-Based Ethnography of Urban Social Policy (  This project will examine the impacts of a recent urban development campaign in Nicaragua titled Vivir Limpio, Vivir Sano, Vivir Bonito, Vivir Bien(“Live Clean, Live Healthy, Live Beautiful, Live Well”).  The campaign has targeted problems of waste management, environmental education, food safety, and public health.  The postdoctoral researcher will join the two Primary Investigators, Josh Fisher (Western Washington University) and Alex Nading (University of Edinburgh) to examine the interplay between these complex issues.  The postdoctoral fellow will be based full-time in the city of Ciudad Sandino, near Managua.  


The successful candidate will possess proficiency in written and spoken Spanish and ethnographic fieldwork experience, ideally in Latin America.  Ph.D. in anthropology or related field required by the time of appointment in January 2017.   Candidates with experience in the anthropology of education will receive special consideration, but candidates whose work engages citizenship, community economies, the city, environment, or public health will also be considered.  


The postdoctoral fellow will live and work in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua for a period of 7 months, between January and July 2017.   Full-time residence in Nicaragua is required, though the start date is negotiable.  Over this period, the postdoctoral fellow will conduct ethnographic research on environmental education in primary and secondary schools. Activities include but are not limited to observation of the “Live Clean, Live Healthy” curriculum as it is deployed in two of Ciudad Sandino’s 22 schools, participant-observation in student neighborhood cleanup brigades, and interviews with teachers and school directors. The postdoctoral researcher will also assist the PIs and local project staff in planning and conducting two public workshops that bring together in dialogue diverse citizens including policy-makers, teachers, and food producers and garbage pickers.  In addition to these duties, the postdoctoral fellow will aid the PIs in carrying out the project Data Management Plan, including coding and analysis of fieldnotes and interview transcripts, and tracking of the ethnographic cohort.  The postdoctoral fellow will also participate in the writing and editing of project publications, and help to supervise the work of one undergraduate research assistant.

Details and Benefits

The successful candidate will be appointed as a postdoctoral researcher at Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA), receiving full U.S. medical and other benefits, as well as a competitive salary.  Travel to and from Nicaragua, room and board, and other project-associated costs will be covered by the project.  

Application Procedures

To apply, please send a current C.V., cover letter, a writing sample (article, dissertation chapter, or book chapter), and names and contact information for two people who may be asked to write letters of reference.  Please send all materials to Josh Fisher (  Review of applications will begin on November 4, 2016.