Entanglements of Endometriosis

Opportunity Description:

Entanglements of Endometriosis offers an ontological analysis of a disease, asking two key questions: 1) How do people living with endometriosis navigate living with this condition? 2) How do biomedical researchers create knowledge about endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disease of the female reproductive system in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus on fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other local regions, leading to immense pain, cysts, and potentially infertility. The National Institutes of Health estimates that one in ten females has endometriosis, and that 30-50% of people with endometriosis are infertile. Diagnosis of this condition typically takes years; many learn of this diagnosis while trying to achieve pregnancy or upon a ruptured cyst. In the US, endometriosis diagnoses in Black and Latinx populations is even longer delayed, reflective of longstanding health inequities and racism in medicine particularly around reproductive health. Despite an increase in awareness about endometriosis over the past decade, little is known about its causes or effective ways to diagnose and treat it. This project weaves together an analysis of the production of biomedical knowledge ("expert knowledge") about endometriosis alongside the experiences of people living with this illness ("lay knowledge"), interrogating how each of these realms shapes, and is shaped by, how endometriosis is portrayed in society.

Primary Responsibilities: 

The student RA will be involved in two parts of the project: (1) interview collection and analysis and (2) document analysis. The student will receive training in in-depth, semi structured interviewing and content analysis, and will be involved in participant recruitment, the conduct and analysis of interviews, and broader data analysis efforts.

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: 

Student must have demonstrated interest in health and society and qualitative research methods.
Strong communication and writing skills.
Some experience (at least introductory) with social science research methods.

Preferred Skills: 

Background in qualitative social science research methods.

Knowledge or skills gained from the experience: 

Students working on this project can expect to hone the following skills: inductive, qualitative research methods, research design, data collection skills (recruiting participants, conducting in-depth interviews), data management skills, data analysis skills. Specific writing skills include: literature review strategy, academic and public facing writing strategy.

Application Requirements: 

  • Submit CV
  • 350 Word Statement of Interest
  • Names of Two References
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • For more information on this opportunity, please contact:

    Melanie Jeske
    Faculty Title: 
    Postdoctoral Researcher at the Rank of Instructor
    Institute on the Formation of Knowledge