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CIRES/ ESIIL Post-Doctoral Research Scholar (Team Science)

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Environmental Data Science Innovation and Inclusion Lab (ESIIL) within CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder welcomes applications for a postdoctoral fellow to investigate social dynamics within collaborating scientific teams. Funded by the US National Science Foundation, ESIIL is a national research center dedicated to advancing environmental data synthesis, promoting ground breaking team science, and enhancing inclusivity and diversity in the environmental science workforce. The project will focus on the effects of social, cultural, and intellectual diversity (among other factors) within scientific groups on group dynamics, group performance, and group creativity. The fellowship will be supervised by Dr. John Parker (University of Oslo) and Dr. Jennifer Balch (CU Boulder). The aim of this project is to enhance basic understanding of social dynamics in diverse collaborative teams and to articulate a set of practical, evidence-based practices and principles for guiding the scientific teams of the future. 

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

At CIRES, more than 950 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

The Environmental Data Science Innovation & Inclusion Lab (ESIIL) is an NSF-funded data synthesis center led by the University of Colorado Boulder in collaboration with NSF’s CyVerse at the University of Arizona and the University of Oslo. ESIIL’s mission is to empower an inclusive and diverse community to accelerate open Environmental Data Science. ESIIL is part of CIRES and enables a global community of environmental data scientists to demonstrate the wealth of environmental data and emerging analytics to develop science-based solutions to solve pressing challenges in environmental sciences. ESIIL’s research community generates discoveries and novel approaches through 1) cutting-edge team science, 2) innovative tools and collaborative cyberinfrastructures, 3) data-science education and training, and 4) building inclusive participation and diverse groups. These activities advance the frontier of environmental data science, a rapidly evolving field bridging the computational, biological, environmental, and social sciences.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Implement research programs, which includes contributing to the design of research studies, applying for ethics approval, co-developing survey instruments, ethnographic observations, interview protocols, and collecting and analyzing data.
  • Lead publication efforts, including drafting articles, co-authoring publications, and preparing manuscripts.
  • Oversee project management and administrative tasks such as documentation and data management and manage research assistants when appropriate.
  • Coordinate with ESIIL PI and leadership team.

What You Should Know

  • This is a two-year position and the anticipated start date is as soon as August 1st, 2024, but is negotiable.
  • Location: The Post-Doc will work in person at ESIIL's main office on the CU Boulder campus in Boulder, CO. A hybrid work modality may be a possibility, but will follow current CIRES and university guidelines and policies. This is not a fully remote position. The in-person cohort experience and engagement with the ESIIL community is a key aspect of this position.
  • The postdoctoral fellow will be provided with some support to attend conferences and events, and time to continue their own program of work as well as funds to travel to Oslo to collaborate with John N. Parker.
  • We welcome applications from members of equity-seeking groups/affiliations and encourage applicants to describe their experience within the cover letter of their application and/or the DEI statement.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES offers a generous compensation and benefits package.
  • The annual hiring salary for this position ranges from $64,000 to $69,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Some relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.
  • CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development and a Mentorship Program.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as one of the top places to live in the U.S. by U.S. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you will have free access to the regional public transit system, an outstanding network of buses, and light rail systems that service Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be excited. Be respectful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • PhD in a relevant field, such as: Science and Technology Studies (STS), Science of Team Science (SciTS), sociology of science, philosophy of science, or relevant areas of psychology, STEM education, etc.

What You Will Need

  • Strong skills in social science research methods, including ethnography, interview-based research, and statistical methods analysis.
  • Proven ability to efficiently mobilize data to craft peer-reviewed publications.
  • Ability to self-motivate and to work well both semi-independently and collaboratively on a research project through to publication.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including a demonstrated capacity to manage projects.

What We Would Like You to Have

We invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this section. If you meet the minimum qualifications and have passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.

  • Experience and/or knowledge of cutting-edge data, curation and analytics
  • Experience with collaborative and inclusive science
  • Experience with writing and publishing robust science
  • Experience and/or knowledge of dataset curation and publication
  • Experience developing or participating in workshops with community partners

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume or CV.
  2. A Cover Letter describing your relevant experience, knowledge, skills, and experience researching the social dynamics of scientific teams or collaborations and how it aligns with ESIIL’s mission and goals.
  3. A 1-page Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that outlines your experiences and/or future plans for improving diversity, equity, inclusion and/or accessibility in or beyond your academic communities. Initiatives along these lines at CU can be read about here: CU Boulder DEI (university-level), Pursuing Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at CIRES (CIRES level). Additional statement guidance is available here.
  4. List of contact information for three professional references (name, title, professional relationship, email). You do not need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. If you are selected as a finalist for this role, the search committee will request letters of recommendation at a later time.
  5. Please be prepared to be interviewed if you are selected as one of the finalists.

Please apply by May 15th, 2024, for full consideration. This posting will remain open until finalists have been identified.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Jennifer Balch

Posting Contact Email: