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Junior Specialist - Cannabis Price Data Management and Analysis

Application Window

Open date: May 25th, 2021

Last review date: Sunday, Jun 6, 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: Friday, Dec 31, 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

Dr. Daniel Sumner in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis seeks to fill 1-2, one-year full-time research assistant position at the Junior Specialist level.

The position of Junior Specialist has a narrow focus in a specialized area and provides technical or specialized expertise (e.g., with scientific research methods or computer programming skills) in the planning and execution of a research project.

The Junior Specialist stays apprised of emerging issues and problems and maintain technical competence in the designated area(s) of specialization. Within this defined area and when appropriate, the Junior Specialist is expected to provide leadership, facilitate teamwork and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to supply input into the planning of research and educational programs. Normally, Junior Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status but may obtain permission by exception and/or collaborate with a PI in preparing research proposals for extramural funding.

Overview of main duties of the Junior Specialist: Manage, organize, clean, and analyze a large data set (~30 million observations) of cannabis prices and characteristics. Refine custom R code to clean cannabis price data. Maintain and run scripts to perform statistical analysis of cannabis prices and output results to Excel spreadsheets according to researchers' specifications.

This position requires specific skills and concrete experience with organizing, cleaning, and analyzing a data set of at least 20 million online cannabis prices and creating custom code in R to output summary statistics into Excel.

Engagement in research activity is an essential part of this position including tasks such as contribution to academic publications and working with the PI, research team, and project stakeholders to discuss current and future research directions. Contribute to the drafting/editing of manuscripts, research reports, and summarization of data collection to produce academic publications for peer reviewed journals. Contribute to drafting analyses for presentations at professional conferences. Work with undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, and project scientists.

Meticulously observe and follow all University policies, procedures, and ethical standards. Support the University's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals.

Specific Responsibilities:

Research (85%):
The Junior Specialist will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities through the following roles and duties:
• Collection, organization, cleaning, and statistical analysis in R of a large data set of ~30 million cannabis prices, including providing results in Excel format on a regular basis
• Calculating extensive summary statistics of the full data set for all 50 US states on a regular basis
• Performing comparative means analysis, time series analysis, regression analysis, and other types of analyses to test hypotheses about cannabis price patterns, trends, and determinants
• Maintaining thorough documentation and providing the PIs with copies of all code and documentation on a regular basis, to ensure smooth transitions to other colleagues in the future
• Presenting research at statewide and national meetings in poster and/or oral formats. The Junior Specialist will be encouraged and mentored to develop presentation abilities through laboratory meetings and other local (on-campus) events.

Professional Competence (10%):
• The incumbent will present research at regional and appropriate national meetings. Presentations will be delivered in poster and/or oral format.

University and Public Service (5%):
• The incumbent will be encouraged to deliver oral presentations in the classroom and at public events.
• As a full time research group member, this position includes responsibility for maintaining safety standards and meeting regulatory requirements, staff training and mentoring.

Application materials must be submitted via the following website: The position will remain open until filled. To ensure consideration, applications should be received by June 6, 2021.

$44,500 - $47,400

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 complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available

UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any property owned or leased by UC Davis-- indoors and outdoors, including parking lots and residential space."


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

    This position requires a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, Business Economics, or related field (E.g. Statistics), at the time of appointment.

Preferred qualifications

    At least 1 year of experience organizing and analyzing large data sets (>20 million observations) of U.S. cannabis prices using R software;

    At least one scientific publication on cannabis prices in a peer-reviewed journal;

    Experience as a data or research professional and/or research assistant in agricultural economics;

    Experience obtaining and analyzing regional U.S. census data for California.

    The ideal candidate will have the ability to work well independently and as part of a team. They will also have strong interpersonal, communication, organizational, and decision-making skills.

    NOTE: The junior specialist rank is an entry level position; accordingly, it is inappropriate to hire applicants with advanced degrees in this field, or those with bachelor’s degrees and three years’ relevant work experience. (See APM-UCD 330)

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter - Please provide a cover letter that describes your related interests, experiences, and career goals

  • 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
  • 2-5 required (contact information only)
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Job location

Davis, CA