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Assistant Project Scientist for Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $71,500-$75,300

Application Window

Open date: March 15, 2024

Most recent review date: Monday, Apr 1, 2024 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: Wednesday, Jul 31, 2024 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 Project Scientist makes significant and creative contributions to a research or creative project in his/her academic discipline. The appointee possesses the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, or upgrade competency. Appointees with Project (e.g., Scientist) titles may engage in University and public service. They do not have teaching responsibilities. Although the Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of an academic member with an independent research program, he/she is not required to develop an independent research program or reputation. He/she will carry out research or creative programs with supervision by an individual in an academic title that carries with it automatic Principal Investigator status. The Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so by exception.

Headquartered at UC Davis, the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG) supports the development and dissemination of community-accessible software for the international geodynamics research community. CIG software supports a variety of geodynamic research from mantle and core dynamics to crustal and earthquake dynamics, to magma migration and seismology. Software developed is made available to the public under open-source software licenses. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), CIG is a community-governed organization that is committed to supporting the geodynamics community through community participation across this research spectrum.
The Project Scientist is part of the CIG Headquarters team and is responsible for leading community efforts in utilizing software best practices in development of educational modules, computational modeling workflows and application of HPC in computational geodynamics for the CIG Community. The Project Scientist receives guidance from the CIG Co-Director at UC Davis or designees but works independently in executing their duties.

Research activity (65%)
This position requires creative contributions to and collaborative development in an active research program in utilizing modern methods and software best practices in developing educational modules, tools to improve computational workflows and the application of HPC in support of research using community research software. The candidate in consultation with the CIG Co-Director or designee and in collaboration with community members will determine project goals and have primary responsibility for the design, implementation, and testing of projects including the selection of appropriate methods and techniques.
The candidate may supervise students and/or postdocs in support of executing technical elements of the project, troubleshooting, and testing.
Specifically, the Project Scientist will be responsible for and may serve in leadership roles in:
• Engaging the community and leading the development of online educational modules in computational geodynamics.
• Engaging with the community in participating in and supporting research using high performance computing on advanced computational resources such as NSF ACCESS and Frontera
• Engaging with the community and participating in the development of online workflows towards reproducible high-performance computational models in geodynamics including visualization and complex model setup.
• Aiding in the development and execution of joint research activities that utilize, test, and extend project products.
• Contributing to CIG’s training efforts by providing documentation and/or delivering tutorials on e.g., software development practices to scientist-developers.
• Engaging in the technical aspects of virtual, hybrid, and onsite event planning and coordination.
• Monitoring technical support tickets, responding to and/or escalating community comments and requests in a timely and appropriate manner.
The Project Scientist is expected to maintain expertise in issues of high-performance computing on national resources and methodologies and tools necessary for successful execution of project goals.
Publication (10%)
The candidate may publish research results in peer-reviewed journals or conference proceedings either independently or in collaboration with the PI or other members of the research team.
Grant Acquisition (10%)
The candidate will assist in preparation of proposals for funding from federal and state agencies and other funding organizations. The candidate will prepare and assist in the preparation of reports as required by granting agencies. The candidate will interact with funding agencies and prepare modifications of budgets and other grant components as needed.

The candidate may participate in professional societies and conferences appropriate to his/her specific field and will serve as a reviewer of research proposals and scientific publications as appropriate. The candidate will attend seminars to present research results and may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups. When appropriate, the candidate may coordinate and/or give presentations at seminars, laboratory meetings or educational functions.

The candidate may participate in the administration of their units and the University through appropriate roles in governance and policy formulation. In addition, they may represent the University in their special capacity as scholars during the discharge of their responsibilities.
The candidate may engage in university service activities such as guest lecturing and committee service. Teaching classroom courses is not an expectation of this position.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• A Ph.D in geophysics, computational science, or a closely related field is required.
• Analytical skills, strong writing and communication skills, and good interpersonal skills.
• Ability to work both independently and cooperatively within a team.
• Relevant experience in developing scientific software for scientific applications in an open source environment.
• Working knowledge of common scientific data formats and their software tools and applications.
• Development experience using the code ASPECT
• Experience using NSF HPC resources Frontera and ACCESS
• Experience teaching courses in Earth Sciences with a focus in geodynamics
• Experience programming in Python in a Jupyter Notebook environment

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

• Background in geodynamics with experience with applying best practices to community software.
• Relevant experience in developing large computational models in geodynamics or a closely related field.
• Experience developing documentation and delivering technical training.
• Knowledge of data standards and exchange protocols.

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • 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.

  • Statement of Interest - Please include a Statement of Interest describing your background in computational modeling, workflows, high performance computing, and (optional) relevant research interests.

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)
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About UC Davis

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Job location

Davis, CA