About Us

Environmental Research Associate (part-time) The Fund for Public Health in New York City (FPHNYC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to the advancement of the health and well-being of all New Yorkers. To this end, in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), FPHNYC incubates innovative public health initiatives implemented by DOHMH to advance community health throughout the city. It facilitates partnerships, often new and unconventional, between government and the private sector to develop, test, and launch new initiatives. These collaborations speed the execution of demonstration projects, effect expansion of successful pilot programs, and support rapid implementation to meet the public health needs of individuals, families, and communities across New York City. PROGRAM OVERVIEW The NYC DOHMH’s Division of Environmental Health works to prevent and control illness and injury related to environmental and occupational health risks through outreach, education, surveillance and enforcement. With a staff of over 1,000 people, the Division covers a broad range of subject matter, including oversight of environmental investigations, food safety, lead poisoning injury prevention, occupational health, child care, radiation control, recreational and drinking water quality, air quality, climate and health, vector control, veterinary public health and pest control. The Bureau of Environmental Surveillance and Policy (BESP) in the Division of Environmental Health works to inform and improve its mission to ground DOHMH programs and policy in science and law to support a healthy and equitable natural, built, and occupational environment for all New Yorkers. BESP is part of the Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net), which is a collaborative forum of environmental health specialists that researches food safety policies and practices in restaurants and other food service environments. POSITION OVERVIEW The part-time Environmental Research Associate will work with the Principal Investigator and Project Manager of the CDC EHS-Net grant to support the aims of identifying and preventing foodborne illness outbreaks. Specifically, the individual will lead the data collection and execution of a research project and needs assessment of NYC mobile food vending commissaries. Recent city council legislative changes are enabling the number of mobile food vending permits to double (from ~5,000 to ~10,000) over the next decade. Mobile food vending commissaries are key components of a safe food vending environment, as vendors are currently required to take their trucks or carts to a commissary at least once daily for servicing, sanitization, and supply refills. Understanding the current capacity, utilization, and operations of mobile food vending commissaries in NYC, as well as alternative regulatory approaches, is a key investigative needs assessment for internal DOHMH stakeholders. Results from this study have the possibility of impacting DOHMH operations and rules, with the goal of supporting mobile food vendors and decreasing regulatory burden. RESPONSIBILITIES Assist with drafting data collection tools, based on the research questions and needs assessment aims. Recruit mobile food vending commissaries over the phone and in-person to participate in the research project. Collect data from mobile food vending commissary operators through verbal surveys and observations. Enter and analyze data in REDCap. Interview relevant DOHMH leadership and counterparts from other jurisdictions about mobile food vending commissary regulatory alternatives. Summarize information gathered through primary data collection, findings from data analyses of commissary regulatory data conducted by BESP’s Food Safety Data Team, and research on approaches used by other municipalities. Synthesize data, develop policy and programmatic recommendations, and write findings in final report, which will be shared with key stakeholders and prepared for possible publication. QUALIFICATIONS Required Previous experience working on IRB-approved research studies, assisting with research design or needs assessment protocol development, developing data collection tools, and collecting primary data. Demonstrated ability to summarize data in the form of a clearly written research report. Strong interest in public health governance and regulatory approaches to ensuring food safety and environmental health in an urban setting. Preferred Experience with data management and analysis. Familiatiry with relational databases (ex. SQL). Experience with public health regulatory programs. Experience with REDCap project development and management. SALARY The part-time position will be hired through a staffing agency at a pay rate of $35 per hour for 15-20 hours per week. It is expected that roughly 25-40% of working hours will be spent in the community recruiting mobile food vending commissaries or collecting data. Some working hours will need to occur at the office, but there is a possibility for a telework agreement as well. Additionally, some hours will need to occur outside of normal business hours and possibly on weekends, though it’s estimated that this will only account for 5-10% of work time. This position will be funded for five months (starting from hire date), with possibility of extension. RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT You must live in New York City Tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) in order to be considered for a position at FPHNYC. TO APPLY To apply, upload Resume and cover letter, including how your experience relates to this position. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted. The Fund for Public Health in New York City is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages a diverse pool of candidates to apply.