Job Postings

Assistant / Associate Research Scientist at Arizona State University's School of Complex Adaptive Systems

The School of Complex Adaptive Systems is a founding institution within the newly formed College of Global Futures, ASU’s center of experiential learning, engaged research, and real-world problem-solving dedicated to the present and future well-being of our planet. We currently have an opening for a social or ecological scientist, with expertise in scientific modeling, to work with an interdisciplinary team to design, develop, refine, and apply cyberinfrastructure that supports computational models of the complex interactions and dynamics in social-ecological systems.

We build research software, web applications and science gateways that support:

  • computational modeling, data analysis and visualization of complex human and earth systems (
  • novel computational social science research in collective action via controlled digital experiments (
  • standards and best practices for open science and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) research software (

Our mission is to help our diverse, interdisciplinary researchers explore and advance their research questions with effective, maintainable, and extensible research software that evolves alongside our scientific understanding of the complex adaptive systems we all share.


The College of Global Futures leadership, faculty, and staff embrace ASU’s mission as being a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but rather by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

At ASU and the College of Global Futures, we work to maximize opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds, abilities and perspectives. We value and encourage cultural and intellectual diversity, and strive to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for all faculty, staff and students — which we believe is critical to our success as a community. All individuals who can strengthen the diversity of our academic community are encouraged to apply, and will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

The ideal candidate should have demonstrated expertise in computational modeling and simulation, data analysis and visualization, fluency in Python, Julia, R, or equivalent languages, and experience in a relevant field, e.g., ecology, earth and environmental science, economics, hydrology, geographical sciences, geophysics, computer science and informatics.

We are less concerned with how well you know a specific technology right now and place more value on the ability to adapt to and become fluent in new technologies within a supportive team. We appreciate diverse viewpoints and mindsets and are committed to recruiting and retaining staff, students, and faculty from groups that have historically been underrepresented in the sciences.

This is a full-time, benefits-eligible Research Scientist (assistant and associate ranks considered) position with an anticipated start in Q4 2023 (October - December). The appointment is non-tenure track and will be made at the rank of Assistant Research Scientist or Associate Research Scientist, commensurate with the candidate’s experience and accomplishments. This appointment is for one fiscal year and subsequent years are contingent upon satisfactory performance, availability of resources, and the needs of the school. Our research group has a solid track record of achieving successful grant awards to sustain our operations and we expect the ideal candidate to make substantive contributions to future grant proposals that provide for the continued longevity of this position.


  • Work with a small, focused, and diverse research software engineering team rotating across different projects to design, develop, and maintain appropriate computational models for funded projects with time and resource constraints in mind
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary team members to identify research questions, design experiments, and interpret results
  • Participate in the design, development, and maintenance of software tools for data management, processing, and analysis
  • Prepare reports, manuscripts, and presentations to communicate research findings to academic and non-academic audiences
  • Contribute to grant proposals
  • Mentor and supervise students and junior researchers
  • Support an interdisciplinary, international team effort to improve computational science practices
  • Be a respectful communicator and collaborator


Assistant Research Scientist

Bachelor’s degree AND four years of experience with computational modeling and analysis of social ecological systems OR any equivalent combination of education and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities have been achieved with respect to computational modeling, statistical inference, data analysis and visualization.

Associate Research Scientist

In addition to the required qualifications above, the successful candidate at this rank should have a graduate degree (Master’s required, PhD preferred) within a discipline related to computational modeling and analysis of social ecological systems with demonstrated expertise in statistics, data science, and specialization in the social and ecological sciences. This includes evidence of scholarship and a demonstrated record of computational modeling competence of social and ecological sciences (published computational models, journal articles, etc.).


Ideal candidates will have demonstrated experience in one or more of the skills below:

  • Linux, command line shell, high performance computing environments
  • Containerization (e.g., Docker, apptainer)
  • Version control systems (e.g., Git / GitHub)
  • Geographic information systems and spatial analysis
  • Fluency in at least one widely used open source programming language common to the social ecological systems modeling community (e.g., Python, Julia, R, NetLogo)
  • Statistical inference, data analysis and visualization

Application Instructions

Initial deadline for receipt of complete applications is October 1, 2023. Review of complete applications will continue every week thereafter until the search is closed.

To apply, please submit the following electronically as pdf(s)

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information for at least three potential references

Inquiries concerning the search should be addressed to the Chair of the Search Committee: Dr. Michael Barton ([email protected]). Please indicate that you are applying for the ASU School of Complex Adaptive Systems Research Scientist position.


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