RI C-AIM accepting applications for postdoctoral position-Bay Observatory

Application deadline: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Job Description

Through support of the National Science Foundation EPSCoR program, the Rhode Island Consortium for Coastal Ecology, Assessment, and Innovation (RI C-AIM) is seeking creative, motivated, and dynamic candidates for a Postdoctoral Fellowship position in Ocean Observatory Development and Data Analyses. This position will be collaborative in nature, supervised by Dr. Andrew Davies with a co-mentoring approach by the C-AIM leadership team focused on training and development for research independence and career success. The primary appointment will be at the University of Rhode Island. The Postdoctoral Fellow will receive an annual salary of $50,000 plus benefits and an annual stipend of $10,000 for research expenses, including materials and travel. Additional funds will be available for research based on the project. RI C- AIM Postdoctoral Fellows also have open access to RI C-AIM analytical, imaging, biological, and environmental core facilities. Positions will be awarded for one year and renewed for a second year based on performance and the availability of funds.

It is anticipated that RI C-AIM Postdoctoral Fellows will begin by June 1, 2020.

RI C-AIM is engaged in interdisciplinary research across eight institutions of higher education within the state, with the goal of assessing the impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems by collecting high-resolution, real-time biological and environmental data in Narragansett Bay, relating lab results to field studies, developing comprehensive models to assess and predict changes in coastal ecology that inform decision making, and creating innovative technologies to better monitor and respond to these changes. RI C-AIM Postdoctoral Fellows will be expected to participate in and lead collaborative research projects; mentor undergraduate and graduate students; and participate in RI C-AIM meetings, symposia, and workshops. Research and training activities are conducted across RI C-AIM institutions, and RI C-AIM Postdoctoral Fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate with scholars from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. Additional information can be found on our website.

The successful candidate will lead the day to day tasks to develop and deploy a series of Ocean Observatories that will be used to characterize the biological, chemical and physical conditions within Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. As part of the RI C-AIM project, we have acquired an extensive set of multi-parameter sensors, surface and benthic platforms, and telemetry equipment for real-time communication and data transfer. The candidate will oversee the assembly of the Observatories, their deployment and their continued maintenance for the duration of the role. Depending on the skillset of the candidate, we will also investigate the potential for innovations in real-time communication and the development of responsive-mode sampling routines. The candidate will also coordinate with partner teams in other Rhode Island institutes, to disseminate data and respond to requests for collaboration or alteration to sensor settings and payloads. The candidate is expected to undertake regular public engagement activities, including the preparation of social media materials, and to maintain regular data quality control, archiving and dissemination of datasets. They are also expected to participate in the authorship of peer-reviewed publications and contribute to RI C-AIM reporting processes.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The candidate needs to be a confident researcher, with a high level of autonomy and a strong technical skillset as the project has a short timescale and requires a high level of competency in key areas from the outset. The candidate will have considerable experience of the assembly and deployment of oceanographic instrumentation, their calibration and maintenance, and the development of deployment platforms, which will include working from research vessels of various capabilities. The candidate will have an excellent technical understanding of oceanographic instrumentation, including communication protocols and calibration standards, and may have additional mechanical, electrical or computer science related skillsets. This understanding will be demonstrated by a track record of the publication of relevant papers and technical reports or have such publications in preparation. The candidate will have a PhD in a relevant subject area, or expect to obtain their PhD prior to appointment.

The candidate will be an effective user of time, can demonstrate efficient coordination and leadership in complex tasks, for example, leading in situ instrument deployment and periodic maintenance which requires the coordination of multiple individuals and teams. The candidate will produce deliverables, milestones and reports of science outputs for the funder and project partners, and publish science outputs in the peer reviewed literature. They will maintain and build collaborations with the partners in the consortium, including visits to their laboratories that will require time away from The University of Rhode Island. The candidate will be encouraged to attend national scientific meetings, and to develop and present oral and poster science outputs. The candidate will have the understanding to undertake basic social media tasks and public engagement activities as required by the RI C-AIM project.

Required Qualifications

  • A PhD, or have successfully defended a PhD at time of appointment, in a science or engineering field that includes evidence of working with oceanographic instrumentation (including any of the following: development, deployment or maintenance).
  • Demonstrate good analytical skills, ability to process numerical data and present results appropriately.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct, publish, and present basic or applied research in science or engineering.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively across disciplines and lead independent research projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise and mentor student research assistants.
    Evidence of a commitment to advancing the diversity and inclusion goals of RI C-AIM.
  • Demonstrate strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prioritize work load and work to deadlines.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Post-PhD experience in relevant discipline.
    Demonstrate a high level of technical skill, which can involve qualifications or training in any of the following; mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or computer science.
  • Experience in the service and calibration of multiparameter oceanographic instrumentation, for example, CTD systems, in situ nutrient analyzers (optical and wet chemical), current profilers and imaging instruments.
  • Experience in buoy, mooring or benthic lander configuration and design.
    Ability to lead the deployment and recovery of oceanographic instrumentation from research vessels.
  • Experience relating to telemetry and communications with oceanographic sensors.
    Experience of machine learning in relation to oceanographic data.
  • Demonstrated commitment to engaging and broadening participation of diverse students and researchers.
  • Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of partners in different settings.
    Demonstrate proven project management skills.
  • Demonstrate excellent computer skills.
  • Demonstrate ability to work as part of a team.
  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills.
  • The candidate will be required to work in the field. This will include working variable hours, and undertaking manual handling.
  • Demonstrate experience of social media engagement.
  • Experience working within research centers or on larger-scale collaborative research projects.

Application Instructions

All applications are to be submitted by email to Sally J. Beauman, RI NSF EPSCoR/RI C-AIM Project Administrator, at sbeauman@uri.edu.

January 15, 2020 is the application deadline. The following material is required as a single PDF document titled “Lastname_CAIM postdoc.pdf”:

  • Cover letter listing the project you are applying for; describing your interest in the position; describing your commitment to diversity and inclusion; and addressing how the Postdoctoral Fellowship will advance your career goals.
  • Current curriculum vitae.
  • Names and contact information for four references. These individuals should be familiar with your work, your potential as a leader in your field, your ability to mentor and provide a supporting research environment, and your commitment to diversity and inclusion.

For additional information please contact Sally Beauman, RI C-AIM/NSF EPSCoR Project Adminstrator, at sbeauman@uri.edu.

The University of Rhode Island is an AA/EEOD employer. Women, persons of color, protected veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other protected groups’ members are encouraged to apply.