Post Doctoral Research Scholar

Apply now Job no: 496404
Work type: Faculty, Non-Classified/Professional
Location: Boise, ID
Categories: Education and Training, Research

About Us:

Boise State University, powered by creativity and innovation, stands uniquely positioned in the Northwest as a metropolitan research university of distinction. Learn more about Boise State and the City of Boise at

Boise State University is building an inclusive community of faculty and staff whose unique skills, cultural contributions, work history, and perspectives create a rich and rewarding academic experience for our students. Research demonstrates that people thrive when they feel welcome, respected, and inspired. We seek applicants who are committed to helping us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. Applications from members of historically marginalized groups, including women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), those with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those who have served in the military, and members of other underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged.

Job Summary/Basic Function:

Serves in a temporary position that enables an individual with their Ph.D. to continue their training as a researcher and gain skills and experience that will prepare them for their research career in academia or elsewhere. As a postdoc, the position can perform mostly independent research, collaborate on multi-scholar research initiatives, or be primarily responsible for discrete components of a larger research project or program under the general direction of a senior or principal researcher.

Department Overview:

The post-doc will join the Human-Environment Systems community (, a group of faculty, researchers, and students committed to trans-disciplinary, team-based, actionable research that addresses real-world environmental challenges. Dr. Matt Williamson ( will serve as the primary supervisor. The successful candidate will join the Spatial Analysis of Social Ecological Systems (SpaSES) Lab ( and collaborate with scientists at a number of US and Canadian institutions.

Level Scope:

After earning a Ph.D., the next step in the academic or research career path is often a postdoc. A postdoc is a continuation of a researcher’s training that enables them to further their professional development and start to transition from student to independent researcher. Postdocs also often take additional leadership or teaching responsibilities in their laboratory or department. These positions are usually two to three years and it is not unusual for a researcher to do more than one postdoc.

Essential Functions:

● Problem solve research challenges and model development, as applicable.
● Contribute discrete components of a larger project under the general direction of a senior or principal researcher.
● Prepare complete documentation of research activities for reference purposes, including following applicable data management protocols.
● Analyze, interpret, and document research findings for review.
● Compare actual and expected results and suggest solutions to correct the deviations.
● Evaluate existing research or modeling techniques and recommend improvements to ensure quality and productivity.
● Assist in the preparation of proposals and reports.

● The successful candidate will be expected to develop reproducible workflows for preparing large corpora of text from a variety of public sources, apply natural language processing techniques to convert corpora into analyzable datasets, implement statistical classification methods, and evaluate their performance. In addition, the successful candidate will be responsible for preparing manuscripts for publication in top-tier journals, developing outreach materials, and presenting results.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

● The selected candidate must be able to meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin and to continue working legally for the proposed term of the appointment.
● Excellent teamwork and communication skills.
● Scientific writing skills demonstrated through peer-reviewed publications
● Ability to acquire accurate, reproducible data
● Critical eye towards consistency, reproducibility, and the scientific method in general
● Excellent project and time management skills
● Strong interpersonal and mentoring skills
● Advocate for safety and ethics in the workplace
● candidates will have strong computational training and the desire to further develop their expertise in data science and computational methods including natural language processing, topic modeling, statistical classification, and spatial modeling.
● Familiarity with environmental policy concerns and conflicts within the region is also desirable.
● experience with, and/or a desire to gain, transdisciplinary, actionable science skills is also required.

Minimum Qualifications:

Requires a minimum of a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in a relevant discipline.

Preferred Qualifications:

● experience related to the topics above. Applicants that do not have a PhD are encouraged to reach out to Matt Williamson ( to discuss their specific qualifications and interest in the position.
● We are seeking a candidate with a publication record demonstrating experience with web data harvesting, natural language processing, topic modelling, and/or quantification of spatial patterns in public sentiments.
Salary and Benefits:

The salary for this position is $ 51,000 per year. Boise State University is committed to offering a benefits package that provides health and financial protection plans as well as resources to promote health and well-being. Our program provides flexibility so you can choose the benefits that are right for you and your family. Learn more about our benefit options at

Required Application Materials:

Applicants should apply with CV, contact information for 3 references, and a cover letter. The cover letter should include a statement describing experience with text mining, computational social science, and/or statistical techniques. We will review applications as we receive them and hope to hold preliminary interviews in by mid-February. The start date is flexible, but no later than July 2022. Informal inquiries about the position can be directed to Matt Williamson (



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Equal Employment Opportunity
Boise State University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Boise State University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and covered veterans. As a federal contractor, the University will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. View Boise State's complete Pay Transparency Policy Statement. If you require an accommodation to complete this application, please contact Human Resources at 208-426-1616
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