Researcher in Software Engineering
University of California Santa Barbara
United States

Researcher in Software Engineering

Job #JPF02756
  • National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis / Office of Research / UC Santa Barbara

Position overview

Position title:Assistant Researcher
Salary range: This full-time position offers a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience. The posted UC system-wide salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment. See Table 13A and Table 14A for the salary range at UCSB. A reasonable estimated full-time rate for this position at 100% is $90,300 to $145,000 annual. “Off-scale salaries”, i.e. a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions. Full benefits package included.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: June 3, 2024 or later
Position duration: 1 year position with possibility of extension based on funding and performance

Application Window

Open date: May 2, 2024

Next review date: Friday, May 17, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Oct 31, 2024 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 National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) is a world leader in environmental data science, and has helped to stimulate and promote open data science research worldwide since our inception in 1995. Current and past data science research at NCEAS has built nationally-recognized systems including the DataONE federation of repositories, the NSF Arctic Data Center, the KNB Data Repository, the Ocean Health Index, and the Permafrost Discovery Gateway, among many others. Research on systems for synthesis have focused, for example, on high throughput computing systems for machine learning on large-scale satellite imagery, building systems to support and promote open data preservation and sharing, and designing and improving FAIR data repository systems.

As the Director of Research Software Engineering, you will lead independent environmental data science
research at NCEAS to envision, design, develop, analyze and operate a national software infrastructure
for open data management, analysis, modeling, and visualization. Independent software engineering
research activities will focus on novel approaches to data science to enable open and reproducible
science and facilitate synthetic research. In collaboration with other NCEAS leaders, including the NCEAS
Director and the Director of Informatics, you will create a sustainable funding portfolio for environmental
data science at NCEAS, including grants, contracts, and income accounts. Some of the research involved
will include:
● Conduct independent research at the frontiers of environmental data science and software
● Conceptualize, design, and implement environmental data science systems to enable new
capabilities in scientific synthesis at NCEAS and globally
● Create a funding program for these data science and infrastructure systems via successful
extramural grants, contracts, and fee-based income programs
● Recruit, train, and oversee a team of research software engineers and data scientists to conduct
the research and development for these projects and systems
● Promote the widespread use and uptake of open data and open science in support of the NCEAS
● Publish research software, data, and papers from your data science research
In addition to data science research, technical design and development, you will communicate to the
international science community to promote research outputs and the software and systems based on
those outputs through writing, speaking, and training at, for example, scientific conferences and open
science events. Finally, we expect your research program will include collaboration on specific grant-funded research, including collaboration with researchers and engineers spanning a diverse set of
partner institutions.

General Summary of Duties and Responsibilities

NCEAS is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in science. We value the diversity of expertise, backgrounds, needs, and experiences reflected among our residents, visitors, and broader communities. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity, parental status, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, citizenship status, and nationality. To see the steps we are taking to advance diversity and inclusion please see our full statement here:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

A PhD degree is required

  • preferably in computer science, engineering or an ecology/earth/environmental science field, but any study major is acceptable with the right combination of experience.
Preferred qualifications

You should be an accomplished data science leader with demonstrated ability to:
● Lead the development of data science research initiatives
● Envision, design, and implement complex technical systems for data management, computing, and visualization using open science principles
● Secure funding through proposals and other pathways
● Manage teams of data science professionals
● Orchestrate complex, interdependent project deliverables
You should be accomplished in research software engineering and data science including:
● Hardware and software systems design and integration
● Cloud computing and high performance computing on large, often geospatial, datasets
● Multiple programming languages for cloud and web applications
● Developing and maintaining software throughout the software development life cycle
We are looking for someone with thoughtful communication and teamwork skills.
● You will work collaboratively in a team of software engineers and data scientists to develop working relationships with scientists.
● You will also be involved in writing proposals, articles, and other products in a manner that is compelling to earth and environmental scientists.
While we do not generally expect all skills for any one person, we will also be looking for some combination of these additional desirable skills:
● Experience developing for cloud computing, using tools such as Docker and Kubernetes
● Experience with geospatial analysis or web mapping tools
● Experience building data visualizations for the web with technologies such as Cesium, SVG, and D3.
● Experience or familiarity with data analysis and/or modeling for Earth, Life, or Social sciences
● Background in statistical analysis and modeling, machine learning, and manipulating geospatial data (e.g., in R, Python).
● Experience with knowledge modeling, such as provenance tracking and the semantic web

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - We suggest that your cover letter includes:

    Interest in the position
    Qualifications related to the position
    Experience supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Link to Example Code or Repository

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

Name and contact information for three references. The top candidate's references will be contacted before the final job offer.

Apply link:

Help contact:

About UC Santa Barbara

The University of California 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 University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit: For the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

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The University of California Santa Barbara is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. You have the right to an equal employment opportunity.

For more information about your rights, see the EEO is the Law Supplement

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