People working in the WRF Data Science Studio


University of Washington eScience Institute

Location: Seattle Campus

The eScience Institute empowers researchers and students in all fields to answer fundamental questions through the use of large, complex, and noisy data. As the hub of data-intensive discovery on campus, we lead a community of innovators in the techniques, technologies, and best practices of data science and the fields that depend on them. We provide expertise and help researchers at UW leverage data science tools, methods, and best practices in their research and in their grant proposals. We are data science experts and, in collaboration with faculty at UW, advance the state-of-the-art in data science methods and in domain sciences that benefit from them.

Our institute has a unique opportunity for research scientists already at the University of Washington, or with a previously negotiated position offer in-hand from a department on campus, to contribute to our mission.

Opportunity Description

The eScience Institute seeks outstanding researchers with demonstrated accomplishments in at least one application area (such as physical, life, or social sciences, arts or humanities) **AND** at least one area related to data science (machine learning, statistics, databases, large-scale data systems, visualization, data ethics).  These are interdisciplinary research roles that seek to advance the state of the art in both the techniques and technologies of data science, and the fields that depend on them.

eScience Research Scientists will both plan and execute research programs in collaboration with members of the eScience core team and affiliate faculty, acting either as leader or collaborator, depending on project.  Candidates will have ample opportunity to publish their results and pursue external funding, and will also be called on to participate in Institute programs involving software development, technical consulting, workshops and training, and other activities designed to advance the research and practice of data-driven and data-intensive discovery across fields.

Successful candidates will have a demonstrated record of independent and interdisciplinary research, and have the potential to successfully pursue external funding. The interdisciplinary nature of data science and the large variety of activities in the eScience Institute mean that candidates with very different profiles may be equally well-suited for this opportunity.


Research scientists who join the eScience Institute will be offered an 18-24-month startup period of 50-100% funding, with the expectation that they secure external funding after this period from their home department or by partnering with other PIs or establishing their own grants.  After the startup period, funding from the Institute will drop to 25%, but is negotiable on a case-by-case basis.

Eligible research scientists hold (or have an offer of) an appointment and an office in a home department on campus.  Home department appointments are negotiated separately, independent of this eScience funding opportunity. Research scientists currently working in a home department on campus are encouraged to apply.

Specific Responsibilities

The eScience Institute runs a wide variety of programmatic activities to support data science education and research on the UW campus. Specific responsibilities may include:

During the period of 50-100% funding, lead one Winter Incubator project and one Summer Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) project. When eScience support is decreased to 25%, either the Incubator or the DSSG program may be selected.

  • Offer technical consulting to the campus community through our Office hours program
  • Act as liaison for eScience within the home department (communicating results, advertising events, attracting participants for eScience programs, giving talks, etc.)
  • Pursue and help contribute to external funding opportunities.
  • Publish results in appropriate venues, preferably jointly with collaborators outside the candidate’s own area of expertise.
  • Participate in Institute sponsor reporting and annual retreat activities.
  • Contribute domain expertise and/or technical expertise to collaborative eScience software projects.
  • Strive to release software and results open source, help ensure scientific reproducibility of all results, and contribute to a “culture of reproducibility” across campus.
  • Help review and evaluate potential projects for technical merit and feasibility.
  • Occasionally organize and conduct workshops and training events for scientists and engineers in data science techniques and technologies.
  • Advance long-term collaborations with established partners through joint research engagements.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations on significant results, both internally and externally, representing the eScience Institute as well as specific projects.
  • Participate in workshops and conferences in relevant areas; influence the national discussion on data science.
  • Develop web materials communicating significant results, best practices and case studies with specific technologies, and documentation for significant software.
  • Help advance a reputation outside of UW for excellence in data science methods and practice, contributing to the Institute’s overall portfolio of successful projects.


  • We are actively seeking candidates at all levels of seniority. But because this is ultimately a soft money position, a PhD is required.
  • Demonstrated experience communicating results through writing and presentations
  • Demonstrated experience in application of data science techniques and technologies (machine learning, statistics, databases, large-scale data systems, visualization, data ethics) in science contexts.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact in a collaborative manner with other team members to accomplish organizational goals.


  • Experience participating in open source software development and significant contributions to open source projects.
  • Successful collaboration outside one’s own field, as evidenced by joint publications, joint grants, and collaborative software development.  


Please email *one pdf file* to with the Subject Line: “RESEARCH SCIENTIST FUNDING Opportunity” that includes the following:

  1. Cover letter
  2. 1-2 page Statement of Research
  3. CV/Resume
  4. Letter of support from your current (or intended) supervisor
  5. Contact information for 2 professional references

Updated May 11, 2018.