Call for Researchers

The Sustainable Progress & Equality Collective (SPEC) is accepting applications for its Community Innovation & Technology Internship for a Sustainable & Equitable Nation (CITISEN) program, with positions beginning Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. We are looking for highly dedicated contributors who have an interest in sustainability, social justice, and community development, and have the ability to learn new skills, conduct research, collaborate, and communicate effectively. All CITISEN research associates (RA) will contribute to SPEC’s research and development projects and community building initiatives.

Job Description

The CITISEN program allows individuals to participate in SPEC's action research initiatives. Becoming a research associate at SPEC is an opportunity for contributors to gain in-depth experience in open research, organizational development, and scholarly publishing. RAs work on projects they can show future employers and demonstrate the skills they developed related to their areas of interest. The duration of the internships are 3 - 6 months and can be extended upon the RA’s request, performance, funding, and availability of projects. Work hours are flexible, but RAs are expected to participate in regular meetings as required to discuss ongoing work and facilitate efficient turnaround of project deliverables. RAs must be flexible and willing to undertake work when required.

Potential Job Duties

  • Reviewing research literature and apply findings to support SPEC initiatives

  • Performing data analysis and creating graphs, tables, and reports to explain and synthesize experimental results

  • Developing new approaches to collaboration, learning, and fundraising

  • Assisting with grant proposals, writing articles, publishing social media announcements, marketing, and event planning

  • Contributing to open source software, open hardware, open research, and participating in citizen science projects and initiatives

  • Moderating discussions; conducting interviews; creating surveys, polls, and experiments to collect data and gain insight

  • Proficiency and/or willingness to learn to use software for documentation, data analysis, and project management



  • Strong interest in sustainability, social justice, and community development

  • Willingness to develop and/or further refine intercultural competencies and other soft skills

  • Ability to work professionally with members of diverse communities, including (but not limited) to 1st-generation immigrants, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and neurodivergent individuals.

  • Proficiency and/or willingness to learn and apply research methods

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to work within a team to meet deadlines.

  • Receptive to receiving regular feedback


  • High school diploma, certificate of high school completion (e.g. CDOS), or high school equivalency (e.g. GED/TASC)

  • Enrolled at community college, 4-year university with a GPA of 2.75 or higher; or enrolled in a graduate or doctoral program with a GPA of 3.00 or higher; or recent graduate

  • Commitment to ongoing learning and training

  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, and able to efficiently and accurately manage large quantities of data

  • Outgoing personality and ability to collaborate effectively in an open, distributed and remote work environment


SPEC provides paid and unpaid RA positions with the aim of supporting each candidate’s specific goals for learning, education, and career growth. RAs may be able to use their experience with SPEC to earn college credit, depending on their institution’s policies. Paid RAs have two options for receiving compensation:

  1. A $250 stipend, which may be renewable based on performance and project requirements

  2. Hourly pay between $15 - $20 per hour, depending on experience and the type of work being performed.

Application Process

Please send a cover letter and your resume to Your information will be reviewed by our core team and co-founders. We will contact you to let you know if you have been selected for an interview.

About SPEC

SPEC was founded in June 2020 in response to the challenges of the pandemic and social injustice and unrest facing communities across the US. SPEC’s mission is to empower individuals to become globally-minded change agents by helping them learn the essential skills required to build sustainable careers and make a positive impact in their communities. SPEC was established as an open collective, a collaborative group that has a shared mission, which raises and spends funds transparently to achieve. We provide mentoring, training, internships, and host events to help individuals from underrepresented backgrounds learn the essential skills required to build sustainable careers and make a positive impact in their communities. SPEC expands the reach of environmental and social justice initiatives through the use of participatory action research, open-source, and sustainable technologies.

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