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Postdoctoral Scholar - Sierra Nevada Research Institute

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar
Salary range: Salary is based on the University of California Academic Salary Scales
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: September 1, 2021
Position duration: Full-time, one-year appointment with the possibility of renewal based on availability of funding, ongoing operational needs, and satisfactory performance.

Application Window

Open date: August 2nd, 2021

Last review date: Monday, Aug 23, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Tuesday, Nov 2, 2021 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 Sierra Nevada Research Institute at the University of California-Merced is looking for a self-motivated and qualified postdoctoral researcher to work on an interdisciplinary project aimed at using uncertainty communication to increase investment in forest restoration and reduce wildfire risk and providing other co-benefits. The candidate is expected to use human-computer interaction (HCI) or psychological science methods to work with watershed stakeholders to identify and analyze barriers to partnerships for investing in watershed forest restoration, with a focus on California’s Sierra Nevada and water-related beneficiaries of those investments. With guidance from the research team, the candidate will then design behavioral experiments to examine ways to increase investment in forest restoration using information communication about uncertainty. The candidate will be responsible for generating stimuli for the experiment, which could include creating data visualizations with uncertainty using statistical software such as R or GIS-based software such as ArcGIS.

The individual should be self-motivated and have demonstrated the ability to conduct independent scientific research. Familiarity with data visualization, uncertainty communication, and decision-making research is expected. As part of a multi-campus team, the postdoctoral researcher will participate in workshops and research activities that support the Innovation Center for Advancing Ecosystem Climate Solutions.

The successful candidate will be expected to: (1) work independently, (2) develop and implement research plans, (3) conduct meetings with stakeholders with the support of a project manager, (4) generate stimuli, (5) design and run online behavioral experiments, (6) analyze the results of the experiments in R, which likely will include multi-level modeling (Bayesian ideally but possibly Frequentist), and (7) prepare reports and progress updates for a variety of audiences (e.g., academic publications, knowledge translation, communication to decision-makers).


Basic qualifications

    Highly self-motivated individuals who have demonstrated the ability to conduct independent scientific HCI or behavioral research are encouraged to apply. The following skills are required: (1) experience with R, (2) strong written and oral English communication skills, (3) experience implementing and analyzing online behavioral experiments, and (4) familiarity with uncertainty communication and decision-making research. Applicants must either have obtained a doctoral degree in Psychology, Computer Science, Information Science, or a related field. ABD candidates will be considered with doctoral supervisor recommendations.

Preferred qualifications

    Experience with forest-management research, interdisciplinary projects, or applied research is a plus.

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

Names of at least three professional/academic references with contact information including mailing address, phone number and e-mail address.

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Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered 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: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

UC Merced is a smoke & tobacco free campus (

Job location

Merced, CA