*** This position has been filled and is no longer open. ***

The eScience Institute at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle seeks a qualitative researcher of data-intensive technologies and practices for a postdoctoral research associate position, starting in Autumn of 2019. The hired candidate will work with Research Scientist Anissa Tanweer at the eScience Institute, in collaboration with Associate Professor of Human-Centered Design and Engineering David Ribes and Assistant Professor of Information Megan Finn, both also at the University of Washington. The postdoc is a full-time position available for one year.

Review of applicants will begin immediately and the position will remain open until filled.


  • PhD awarded by anticipated start date (September-December 2019) in fields such as science and technology studies, information studies, communication, history, anthropology, media studies, geography or related disciplines.
  • Commitment to collaborating on research and publications.
  • Excitement about working on a multidisciplinary team.
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills.
  • Outstanding qualitative (e.g. ethnographic, interview, oral history, or archival) research skills.
  • Strong publication record.
  • Familiarity with the cultural, organizational, or ethical dimensions of data-intensive technologies and practices.


  • Experience conducting and analyzing interviews a plus.
  • Familiarity with sociotechnical theory and perspectives beneficial.
  • Experience organizing seminars, workshops, programs, or other events appreciated.

Job Description:

The successful candidate will join the multi-disciplinary Data Science Studies community at the University of Washington and contribute to ongoing research on the practice and culture of data science. The position has been designed as a training opportunity for a recent graduate entering the job market, and as such offers a balance of carefully-scoped supervised research activities, networking opportunities with scholars at UW and beyond, and ample time to produce publications based on previous doctoral work:

1) One aspect of the position will involve conducting follow-up interviews and analysis with established research participants in an ongoing ethnographic study of data science practice and culture. The project is concerned with the social and technical challenges associated with adopting, integrating, and sustaining data-intensive technologies; emergent organizational arrangements accompanying the uptake of data science approaches; and sense-making around ethical issues implicated in data-intensive methods and systems. The postdoc’s interview study will complement five years of ethnographic fieldwork examining cross-sector collaboration in “Data Science for Social Good” programs.

2) A second aspect of the position will involve participation in activities of the Data Science Studies community on campus. This includes organizing the campus visits of invited speakers for the Data Then and Now seminar series.  The postdoc will also be involved in other Data Science Studies activities, which may include discussion groups, workshops, special interest group meetings, etc.

3) The third aspect of the position involves working on the postdoc’s own research and publications. The ideal candidate’s scholarship will be broadly relevant to the interests of the position’s supervisors and the Data Science Studies community, as there will be plenty of opportunities to engage on works-in-progress.

About us:

The location of the position is in Seattle, WA. The postdoc will be part of the research community centered around the eScience Institute at the University of Washington, which holds numerous seminars and training activities on data-intensive methods, fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, supports cohorts of graduate students and postdocs from a wide range of data-intensive fields, and houses the Data Science Studies Special Interest Group. The postdoc will be co-advised by David Ribes of Human-Centered Design and Engineering and Megan Finn of the Information School, and will have access to the activities and intellectual communities in those units, including the Data Ecologies (deLAB) run by David Ribes and the DataLab with which Megan Finn is a member.

The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of excellence in education, research, and outreach. Our employees not only enjoy outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty.


The position comes with a base salary of US$65,000, plus benefits and $4,000 in travel money that may be used for relocation expenses (taxable income) or for conference travel (non-taxable). Additional sources of money will be available for professional development expenses on a discretionary basis.

To apply:

Interested applicants should send a single pdf document to Anissa Tanweer <tanweer@uw.edu>, David Ribes <dribes@uw.edu>, and Megan Finn <megfinn@uw.edu>. This document should include:

  • 1-2 page letter of interest that clearly articulates how the candidate’s interests and expertise align with each of the three activities outlined in the job description
  • CV
  • Writing sample
  • Names and contact information of three references


The University of Washington and the International Union, Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, Local 4121 (UAW 4121) currently are negotiating their first collective bargaining agreement for Postdoctoral Scholars. Employees in this title are represented by UAW 4121 and will be subject to the applicable collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information and updates on the bargaining process, please visit https://hr.uw.edu/labor/unions/uaw/postdoc-negotiationupdates.

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information. For more information, see https://ap.washington.edu/eoaa/equal-opportunity-and-accommodation-statements.