Postdoc in Social Sciences

University of California Berkeley

United States

Postdoc - D-Lab

Job #JPF03379
  • Social Sciences Data Laboratory / College of Letters & Science - Social Sciences / UC Berkeley

Position overview

Position title:D-Lab Data Science Undergraduate Education Postdoc
Salary range: Salary will be commensurate with preparation, and dependent on field and experience. Benefits include health insurance and paid PTO/sick leave.
Percent time: 100%
Position duration: Each award is for a minimum of 12‐months and may be renewable for an additional term upon demonstration of successful completion of the first year, for up to 2 years.

Application Window

Open date: March 10th, 2022

Next review date: Thursday, Mar 24, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Saturday, Oct 1, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Program
We seek a postdoctoral candidate for the UC Berkeley Undergraduate Data Science at Scale program, that aims to implement, scale, and propagate a novel prototype for undergraduate data science education through a collaboration between UC Berkeley’s Data Science Education Program, Social Sciences D-Lab, and two partner institutions with diverse student bodies, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Mills College (Mills). The project is led by a multidisciplinary group of faculty and staff who collectively bring deep expertise in undergraduate STEM education, data science pedagogy, and the science of diversity and inclusion in higher education. Through a continuous cycle of design, implementation, evaluation, and refinement, the project advances the field of undergraduate data science education by producing a set of open source curricular materials, developing technical infrastructure, and disseminating the new knowledge necessary to deploy such resources successfully in multiple and diverse institutional settings. Ultimately, we will engage a wide community in the process of institutional transformation. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will support a research agenda with a set of broad questions that are generalizable to undergraduate data science education in many types of four-year institutions. Pedagogical questions include issues related to the impacts of exposure to active learning, team-based learning, near-peer teaching, and scientific identity. Evaluation questions will assess the effectiveness of outreach strategies, strategies of recruitment and support for underrepresented students in data science.

We encourage women and minority Ph.D. recipients to apply for this position. In addition to faculty mentorship from David Harding, PI, the incumbent will have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty, staff, and peers within a vibrant data science community based at the Social Sciences D-Lab and in close proximity to the Data Science Education Program Office at UC Berkeley.

The program is seeking applicants with the potential to bring to their academic and research careers the critical perspective that comes from their non‐traditional educational background or understanding of the experiences of members of groups historically underrepresented in higher education in the United States.

In addition to salary and benefits, the postdoc will be eligible to apply for the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association Professional Development Award for postdocs at UC Berkeley. This award provides up to $500 to cover costs associated with presenting at a scientific or professional meeting. In addition, our budget includes funds for conference travel that will be available to the postdoc to present project findings at professional meetings.

Deliverables, Expectations, Support, and Mentorship
The postdoc will prepare publications, presentations, blogs, and social media updates with the support of the evaluation team lead and in collaboration with the Project Director and other members of the project. The postdoc will receive training in the preparation of manuscripts for scientific journals and presentations for conferences.

The Postdoc will be expected to participate in regular meetings of the evaluation team as well as in campus workshops, seminars, conferences, etc., where they will have opportunities to present work, teach, and mentor graduate and undergraduate students in both formal and informal settings.

The Postdoc will build their knowledge of fundamentals of research methodology, responsible conduct of research, conflicts of interest, and other ethical issues and professional practices. In addition, the postdoc will be encouraged to affiliate with one or more professional societies in her/his chosen field. The postdoc will complete CITI human subjects research training and certification.

The Postdoc will gain additional grant writing experience through direct involvement in proposals prepared by the PI and Co-PIs. They will have an opportunity to learn best practices in proposal preparation, including identification of key research questions, the definition of objectives, description of approach and rationale, and construction of a work plan, timeline, and budget. The postdoc will have access to proposal writing workshops offered by the Berkeley Research Development Office and the VSPA office.

In addition to working on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) project, the Postdoc will work closely with the Social Sciences Data Lab (D-Lab) core staff team on the following:
Consulting: D-Lab provides no cost consulting services to UC Berkeley students, staff, faculty, scholars, and affiliates. The Postdoc will provide consultations on topics related to the candidate’s areas of expertise.

Fellowship program management: With support from D-Lab core staff the Postdoc will take the lead on organizing and managing the D-Lab Data Science Fellows program by mentoring graduate student fellows and coordinating their work on weekly research talks, blog posts, professional development, workshop instruction, consultations, and other areas relevant to D-Lab.
Special projects: Contribute to D-Lab special projects, and in particular work with the hate speech and social media and data for health research teams to conduct research, present work, and produce publications.
Research: Conduct research relevant to the candidate’s area of expertise, and foster collaborations with other D-Lab community members and faculty, staff, and students across the Berkeley campus.
Workshop instruction: Develop content for and instruct workshops for the Berkeley campus community on topics including programming fundamentals in R and Python, Bash, GitHub, machine learning, text analysis, and deep learning.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • Ph.D. or equivalent international degree or enrolled in Ph.D. (or equivalent international degree) program
Additional qualifications (required at time of start)
  • PhD (or equivalent international degree)
  • No more than 4 years of post-degree research experience
  • Publication record
Preferred qualifications
  • Background in data science and research in higher education and preferably experience with evaluation.
  • Expertise in the intersection between social science and data science/computational social science.
  • Facility with popular data science tools such as R, Python, GitHub, etc. Experience with teaching data science to audiences coming from different backgrounds
  • Outstanding record of scholarship, teaching, and service
  • Applicants should be prepared to contribute to the diversity of the University of California at Berkeley and beyond

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter - A Cover Letter that explains what experiences prepared you for this role
  • Statement of Research - A statement of research interests of up to three pages that succinctly describes the applicant’s research interests. The statement should explain the importance and potential impact of this research.
  • Representative Paper #1
  • Representative Paper #2 (Optional)
  • Representative Paper #3 (Optional)
  • Statement on Contributions to Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion if hired at Berkeley. 

    The contributions to diversity may include public service towards increasing equitable access in fields where women and minorities are underrepresented. In some fields, the contributions may include research focusing on underserved populations or understanding inequalities related to race, gender, disability or LGBTQQI.

Reference requirements
  • 2-5 required (contact information only)
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Campus Information

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UC Berkeley. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and academic and non-academic staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The University of California, Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

In searches when letters of reference are required all letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letter.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)

Job location

Berkeley, California

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