Job Postings

Postdoc Modeling Open Source Software Communities

We are looking to recruit a postdoctoral scholar for a two-year position in an interdisciplinary NSF-funded research project (#2020751). A premise of the work is that open source software (OSS) communities are model systems for subjects including self-governing institutions, social networks, organization theory, and collective action. Data include complete longitudinal records of code and all internal communications for hundreds of autonomous organizations. Major methodological opportunities are at some intersections of network science, longitudinal data, machine learning, NLP and LLM, and computational modeling.

We are seeking candidates representing interdisciplinary computational social science, or a computer/information scientist interested in speaking to general audiences. The scholar will work within an interdisciplinary team representing political science, computer science, anthropology, computational social science, policy analysis, and OSS practitioners at UC Davis, UMass Amherst, University of Washington, and in the not-for-profit sector. The position is based in Davis, CA.

The scholar will be coming into the project in year 3 of 5 or 6, and will have substantial freedom to creatively bring together tools, datasets, and theories from the initial phase of this project toward questions with general appeal. Their duties may include:

Theory and hypotheses building with a cross-disciplinary, multi-campus team;
Quantitative analysis, both creating entire analysis pipelines and advising faculty and graduate students on theirs;
Collaborative paper and project report writing;
Coordination of UMass and UC Davis teams’ work, and coordination with peer postdoctoral research associate at UMass Amherst;
Mentoring of graduate and undergraduate RAs from both computer and social sciences; or
Contributing to the OSS ecosystem.
The postdoc may also ask about opportunities to engage in elective opportunities related to industry engagement, grant writing, open source software community development, or teaching.

The successful application will have substantial experience in quantitative data analysis and some combination of programming, data science, computational statistics, and machine learning. They will be able to demonstrate a track record of both independent initiative and effective teamwork. They will be interested in being able to communicate across engineering, practice, and the social sciences. They will likely be interested in representing system-level outcomes in terms of individual-level behavior, and systems thinking or complex systems generally. Less important than domain expertise in software engineering research, OSS, or online communities is an interest in their potential for advancing social science generally.

The position will remain open until filled, starting likely in Summer or Fall 2024. We will begin reviewing applications March 1, 2024. Potential applications should feel comfortable contacting [email protected] directly for questions about the call, including its current status. A reasonable estimate for this position is $64,480 - $69,342.

Submit application materials to:

Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
PhD required. Degree in hand at the time of appointment (applications from students close to completing their degrees considered).

Document requirements
Cover Letter

Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

Link to a past project or your programming portfolio (e.g.Zenodo/OSF/GitHub/etc.) - Please submit a document with a link to a past project or your portfolio (e.g. Zenodo/OSF/GitHub/etc.)

Writing Sample - article, dissertation chapters, etc.

Writing Sample 2 - Optional second submission

Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
3-5 required (contact information only)
Apply link:
Help contact: [email protected]


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