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Data Science Facilitator Position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted by Hannah Remmert on 11/09/2017 17:13 UTC

Job ad:
Deadline to apply: Nov. 28, 2017

The new Data Science Hub at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) provides a focal point for programs dedicated to research and application of modern techniques to the management, storage, and analysis of complex data sets.

Working Title: Data Science Facilitator
Degree and area of specialization: A Bachelor’s degree is required. A Master’s degree (M.S. or M.A.) or higher in a research focused area of study is preferred. Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree and significant experience (equivalent to a Master’s degree) will also be considered.
Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience: At least two years of experience in a data- and/or compute intensive research area is required.

Qualified candidates will:
-- demonstrate an appreciation for a range of data-intensive research and be experienced in at least one research domain such as life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, or the humanities.
-- have strong oral and written communication skills, with attention to interpersonal relationships and professionalism.
-- have a positive attitude and demonstrate a history of self-motivation
-- demonstrate strong abilties in critical analysis and creative problem solving
-- be able to work independently and as part of a dynamic interdisciplinary team
-- possess a demonstrated interest and prior experience in elevating the work of others
-- possess basic skills with tools for data curation, analysis, and/or visualization, including: scripting languages, databases, visualization software and/or platforms, use of large-scale computing systems, etc.

Ideal candidates will demonstrate experience applying appropriate strategies, tools, and computing technologies to the data science aspects of research problems.

In addition to the core facilitator role, there may be opportunities to specialize in one of a diverse set of areas. Knowledge/experience in one or more of the following areas will be a plus, but is not essential:
-- prior work as a data scientist (or similar position) whether in industry or academic research
-- significant experience and demonstrated interest in education, outreach, mentoring, consulting, community-building and/or formal communication activities
-- contribution to a Software Carpenty or Data Carpentry workshop or other data- or computation-focused training efforts.
-- experience using bioinformatics software tools and technologies
-- experience applying machine learning methods to tackle data challenges

Position Summary: The Data Science Hub at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) provides a focal point for programs dedicated to research and application of modern techniques to the management, storage, and analysis of complex data sets.

The Data Science Hub (DS Hub) is seeking an individual to advance the research activities of faculty members, students, and staff in a broad range of scholarly disciplines that rely on data science methods. The Data Science Facilitator will consult with researchers on campus to recommend appropriate solutions to data science problems impeding their research. The successful candidate will gain a wide range of skills at this job and will have the opportunity to work with experts in a range of research areas and data-centric technologies through Data Science Hub partnerships.

Principal duties:
1. Help campus researchers leverage existing data science resources and expertise networks to accelerate their research efforts.(65%)
Work with UW researchers and affiliates of DS Hub to understand aspects of their research that rely on, or could be aided by, current methodologies for working with research data. Work with researchers to maximize the progress of their research workflows through the use of established and appropriate data science tools. Work with DS Hub experts and other facilitators, including the identification of potential intra- and inter-campus collaborations. Assist in the preparation of grant proposals for projects in which a significant data science component could be a critical element of success. Leverage these experiences to guide DS Hub and its partners toward new solutions and resources that better meet the needs of the campus’s key research challenges. Coordinate with DS Hub faculty contributors to mentor graduate students performing the same facilitation activities.

2. Education and outreach (25%)
Help campus researchers to embrace the tools of modern reproducible research to accelerate and transform their research projects. Identify needs for training in a variety of data science aspects. As part of a team of campus facilitators and IT staff, contribute to the development and implementation of training programs to meet those needs, including co-leadership and instructional contributions to UW-Madison’s growing Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry training efforts. Through these engagements and other Facilitator-designed outreach activities, identify and recruit additional users of DS Hub’s evolving facilitation and data science services.

3. Explore and document solutions to key data science challenges (10%)
The facilitator will document activities to provide data for assessment and critical analysis of DS Hub performance, and will suggest additional developments that would further the goals and mission of the DS Hub. As a result of interactions with researchers, the facilitator will create documents that describe given research problems and propose how to apply existing or new solutions to address them. The successful facilitator will leverage this information to contribute intellectually to the development of novel DS Hub initiatives, technologies and service solutions that address the evolving needs of the campus research community.

Additional Information

This position will work closely with personnel at the Data Science Hub and its on-campus partners, which include but are not limited to: the Advanced Computing Initiative, the Bioinformatics Resource Center, the Biometry program, the Center for High Throughput Computing, the Center for Predictive Computational Phenotyping, the Humanities Research Bridge, Research Data Services, the Social Sciences Computing Cooperative, and many others.