UCLA Post-Doctoral Research Position to Study Data and Software Practices in Science

One-year appointment beginning October 1, 2017, with possibility for renewal to summer 2019. Posted June 14, 2017; review of applications begins July 15, 2017; submission deadline is July 30, 2017.

The UCLA Center for Knowledge Infrastructures seeks a postdoctoral researcher to join our research project (2015-2019), If Data Sharing is the Answer, What is the Question? https://knowledgeinfrastructures.gseis.ucla.edu. We are conducting interview, ethnographic, and document studies of scientific data practices such as data collection, analysis, management, sharing, and reuse in astronomy, earth sciences, and health sciences. This project is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Program in Digital Information Technology https://sloan.org/programs/digital-technology.

The postdoctoral researcher will participate in our team project to develop a new research theme on the interdependencies of data and software in scientific practices, and the resulting challenges for data reuse, stewardship, and sustainability. The researcher will collect new data, mine a 15-year trove of data for comparative analyses, and participate actively in the collaboration, including the design, conduct, and analysis of interviews, document analysis, ethnographic fieldwork, and writing for publication. The postdoctoral researcher will gain experience in collaborative research, research project organization, and digital data research practices. The project is based at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and residence nearby is required for the duration of the postdoctoral research appointment. Some travel is required for research and conferences.

Required background includes completion of the PhD; social science research experience in conducting interviews, document analysis, or ethnography; strong writing skills, research experience studying any of the physical sciences or life sciences; and substantial knowledge of scholarly communication, practice, and policy in data-driven research. Preferred background includes expertise in knowledge organization, an academic background in the sciences, experience in Information Studies or Science, Technology, and Society studies; and experience in qualitative data analysis, especially NVIVO.

Please submit a statement of interest that discusses your qualifications and interests with respect to the required and preferred background for the position. Your application should also include two scholarly writing samples (e.g., refereed journal articles or conference papers, dissertation), curriculum vitae, and list of three references. Send these to Prof. Christine Borgman, PI, Christine.Borgman@ucla.edu.

The starting salary is $50,000 per year, plus benefits. Selected candidate may enroll in UC sponsored benefits or opt out. Official documentation for completion of the PhD is required (certificate of completion, transcript, or diploma).

Work is to be done 12 months of the year, excluding university holidays; the postdoctoral researcher is entitled to 24 paid personal days and 12 paid sick days per year.  For further information about postdoctoral appointments at UCLA: http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/postdocs.html.

Postdoctoral Researchers at UC are represented by UAW Local 5810 http://uaw5810.org.

Interviews will be conducted at UCLA or by videoconference.

The Center for Knowledge Infrastructures is located in the UCLA Department of Information Studies and directed by Christine L. Borgman, Distinguished Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies. We conduct research on scientific data practices and policy, scholarly communication, and socio-technical systems. We also mentor students, post-doctoral fellows, and visiting scholars in these areas. Our largest current project, titled If Data Sharing is the Answer, What is the Question?, is funded by the Digital Information Technology Program of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation #2015‐14001. This three-year project is studying data practices, policy, and infrastructure of four distributed scientific collaborations, exploring methods of data collection and management, innovations in scaling and workflows, and multidisciplinary approaches to complex problems. We continue to publish findings from our previous three-year Sloan Foundation project #2011-3194, The Transformation of Knowledge, Culture, and Practice in Data-Driven Science: A Knowledge Infrastructures Perspective. Also in progress is a study of the uses and users of digital data archives, conducted in cooperation with DANS, the Digital Archiving and Networked Services program in the Netherlands. Research in the Center also has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and gifts from Microsoft Research.