Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Explaining Differential Success in Biodiversity Knowledge Commons

Arizona State University

Job Type: Postdoc

Application Deadline: November 22, 2021

The School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University invites applications for a full-time, fiscal-year appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar. We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to participate in a research project describing and explaining differential outcomes among collaborative, distributed communities of scientists leading biodiversity data commons on a shared software platform. The postdoc will lead ASU projects within the context of a collaborative grant between ASU and Purdue University to investigate the structures, functions, and outcomes of multi-institutional collaborations to digitize, curate and publish observations of biological species from museum collections and citizen science projects. The postdoc will work collaboratively to collect data from qualitative interviews and surveys of biodiversity scientists and stakeholders for the data commons and analyze these data with other quantitative measures of the properties and outcomes. The project PI, Beckett Sterner, is an expert in history and philosophy of data science and faculty in ASU’s School of Life Sciences (SOLS). Project Co-PIs are Zoe Nyssa, an anthropologist of conservation science at Purdue University, and Steve Elliott, who studies the economics, social organizations, and reasoning strategies of research and is affiliated with ASU’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology. The qualified candidate is anticipated to start January 1, 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Essential duties

1. Conduct qualitative interviews with scientists.

2. Conduct online surveys of visitors to data portal websites.

3. Analyze interview and survey data to characterize properties of portals, e.g. as socio-technical infrastructure and communities of practice

4. Write scientific papers associated with the research.

5. Travel to meetings to perform the work and present results.

6. Be an active member in research group activities (e.g., participate in lab meetings, mentor students).


Minimum qualifications

· Successful candidates must have at the time of appointment an earned doctorate in a relevant field, including (in alphabetical order): anthropology, biodiversity, bioinformatics, critical data studies, computer science, data science, history and philosophy of science, organizational science, sociology, science and technology studies, and related disciplines.

· Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate training and expertise, either through research or coursework, in qualitative data collection and analysis.

· Successful candidates must show demonstrated success or evidence to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams, a strong record of scholarly achievement, and excellent communication skills.

Desired qualifications

Desired qualifications include a track record of coursework or research experience in one or more of the following skills:

· Survey design and analysis

· Quantitative social network analyses with large data sets

· Quantitative studies of online social communities, e.g. editing behaviors of Wikipedia contributors or issue management in open source software projects

· Data collection and analysis for systematic reviews of published and gray literatures

· Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)

· Biodiversity data analysis



Posted: November 02, 2021