Columbia University in the City of New York (CU)

Public Programs Associate

Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute

New York, NY, NY, United States

At Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, we believe that understanding how the brain works — and gives rise to mind and behavior — is the most urgent and exciting challenge of our time. Led by Nobel laureates Eric Kandel, MD, and Richard Axel, MD, we study critical aspects of the mind and brain, gaining insights that promise to benefit people and societies everywhere.

The Zuckerman Institute seeks a talented individual who possesses expertise in neuroscience and has experience with education or public engagement. The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in neuroscience or a related field and experience with a variety of pedagogical techniques including informal and inquiry-based learning.


Reporting to the Senior Manager for Education Programs, the Public Programs Associate leads public engagement across age groups, particularly middle and high school students and teachers. The Associate will also lead community building efforts including supporting the involvement of scientists and Zuckerman Institute staff in public engagement efforts.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Acts as Instructor/Educator for programs designed for high school and middle school teachers;
  • Acts as Instructor/Educator for programs for high school and middle school students;
  • Collaborates with the Senior Manager and Education Program manager to refine and develop content for programs;
  • Collaborates with the Senior Manager to carry out strategic planning for programing reflecting current best practices in the field;
  • Mentors part-time science educators including trainees of the Zuckerman Institute, Columbia University undergraduates and high school students;
  • Contributes to community building efforts including developing opportunities for Zuckerman Institute scientists and staff to engage with the public programs;
  • Assists the Senior Manager and Communications team to effectively promote public programs to Columbia community and external audiences;
  • Assists with planning and execution of specific events such as open houses, public events and workshops;
  • Performs other duties and special projects as assigned.


Bachelor’s Degree required. A minimum of three (3) years of experience with education or public engagement. Advanced degree in neuroscience or a related field preferred. A familiarity with an academic research or not-for-profit environment is a plus. Exceptional written and oral communication skills is a must

Evening and weekend availability required.

The position requires excellent project management and time management skills. It requires an ability to design and refine educational content and an understanding of informal and inquiry-based learning. It also requires a willingness and ability to stay informed about current advances in neuroscience, pedagogical techniques and science communication trends. The role demands attention to detail, flexibility and ability to set priorities. Must have the ability to take initiative and work under minimal supervision, as well as respond to direction.

The ideal candidate is an outstanding communicator and enjoys working in a team environment. They are comfortable working with children, adolescents and adults. They are energetic, creative and enthusiastic, and accustomed to public speaking in front of small groups. They must possess strong organizational skills and have a commitment to exceptional quality.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.