Careers at Virginia Tech

Postdoctoral Associate on Convergence Research

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Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: College of Engineering
Department: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Location: Manassas, Virginia
Categories: Engineering, Research / Scientific

Job Description

The Virginia Tech Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory in Manassas Virginia seeks a highly motivated and collaborative researcher with expertise in the “science of team science” and/or “transdisciplinary research.” The postdoctoral associate will contribute to the study of convergence research processes and outcomes on a National Science Foundation Growing Convergence Research (NSF-GCR) project on inland freshwater salinization. With the Occoquan Reservoir in Northern Virginia as its test bed, this NSF GCR project aims to understand the various sources of freshwater salinization and catalyze stakeholder-driven management strategies to address freshwater salinization. The project brings together faculty and students from four universities and nearly 40 stakeholders representing a broad range of societal sectors, perspectives, and expertise in freshwater salinization (

This position is an initial two-year postdoctoral appointment. The salary is $70,000 per year, with a start date of February 1, 2023. PhD must be awarded no more than two years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of three years eligibility remaining.

The postdoctoral associate will be based in the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Lab (OWML) in Manassas, VA during Year 1 and the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, VA during Year 2. The postdoctoral associate will be expected to occasionally travel between the two locations (Manassas and Arlington, about 26 miles). Occasional travel for attending professional conferences is required.

With the guidance of their faculty mentor, the postdoctoral associate will work on the following research activities.
(1) Designing and implementing strategies and tools to facilitate knowledge integration.
(2) Planning and executing studies to evaluate the effectiveness of various convergence research approaches on team processes and outcomes.
(3) Evaluating the integrative and intellectual qualities of the products generated in this research.
(4) Presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on facilitating and evaluating convergence research.

With mentorship, the postdoctoral associate will lead the design of research, data collection and analysis, and manuscript writing on the aforementioned research topics. The postdoctoral associate will help support coordination and collaboration between institutions and researchers and facilitate team meetings to encourage cross-disciplinary communication. The postdoctoral associate will have the chance to mentor masters and PhD students, attend lab meetings, and participate in field data collection and in a two-week undergraduate hands-on field bootcamp. The postdoctoral associate will receive guidance and training in the preparation of manuscripts for scientific journals, presentations for conferences, and proposal writing.

Required Qualifications

(1) Ph.D. in a relevant Social Science discipline (e.g., Psychology, Public Policy, Political Science, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, Organization Studies, Economics, or related disciplines); PhD must be awarded no more than two years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of three years eligibility remaining.
(2) Expertise in the study of scientific collaborations (also known as the “science of team science”, “inter- and transdisciplinary research”, “convergence research”).
(3) Publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentations at scientific conferences about science of team science related topics.

Preferred Qualifications

(1) Expertise and experience in facilitating cross-disciplinary scientific teams.
(2) Experience with collaborative research.
(3) Evaluation expertise.
(4) Knowledge of Common Pool Resource Theory.

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Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Shalini Misra at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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