Faculty position 'Data Science for Sustainable Development' at University of Michigan


University of Michigan


Friday, January 19, 2018

Start Date

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The new School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan is seeking applications for a full-time, nine-month, tenure-track open rank faculty position in the field of Data Science for Sustainable Development.

We seek candidates whose work focuses on: (i) addressing key development challenges and questions around sustainable development goals, policies, interventions and social processes, and their impact on sustainability outcomes, (ii) using cutting edge analytical tools to generate new understanding of the processes leading to sustainability transitions. The successful candidate’s research will investigate sustainability and development through an examination of issues related but not limited to health / poverty / environment / resources / infrastructure/ and/or renewable energy. Candidates will have the ability to develop new data platforms and applications that enhance the visibility of SEAS as the place to conduct such research and to be trained in this field, and (iii) combining an interest in data science, broadly defined and including statistical, econometric, spatial, simulation (e.g. ABM), and/or network analyses with the ability to train SEAS students for careers in the sustainable development field by offering courses in data science and causal inference applied to sustainable development-related subjects. Candidates from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in in economics, public policy, applied and agricultural economics, sociology, political science, geography, remote sensing, ecology, statistics, or a closely related field. Those at the assistant level must also have a strong record of scholarly publication, evidence of teaching potential in a multidisciplinary setting, as well as other activities demonstrating a potential for and/or trajectory towards national and international recognition. Those at the associate or professor level are expected to have demonstrated teaching experience in a multidisciplinary setting, and a publication record and activities that reflect accomplishments as a nationally and internationally recognized scholar. Importantly, we are seeking candidates who have a demonstrated history of using their research to help solve real-world sustainability problems. Therefore, candidates should have some evidence of engaging stakeholders in their work, and evidence of collaboration across disciplinary boundaries to develop implementable solutions to sustainability challenges. 

This position is part of a suite of six new faculty hires at SEAS including: data science for sustainable development; energy systems; geovisualization; hydrology; water policy, politics and planning; and spatial systems/coupled natural and human systems.

SEAS's goal is to contribute to the protection of the Earth's resources and address global sustainability challenges at the intersection of environment and society through research, teaching, and civic engagement. The faculty of the School is diverse, with natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, and designers working together in an integrative setting. Set within a major research university, SEAS leads interdisciplinary research, education, and engagement on sustainability and catalyzes cross-campus collaboration at the University of Michigan. The School focuses on key cross-cutting sustainability themes, including climate and energy; water; food, land use, and agriculture; conservation and restoration; and cities, the built environment, and mobility.

The School offers a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment and a professional M.S. degree in six fields of study: conservation ecology; environmental informatics; sustainable systems; environmental policy and planning; behavior, education and communication; and environmental justice. The School also offers a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.). The student body includes over 350 M.S./M.L.A. and 60 doctoral students. SEAS also participates in multiple cross-campus degree programs, including an undergraduate Program in the Environment, dual degrees with the Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning, Business, Engineering, Law, Public Health and Public Policy, and offers several graduate certificate programs. Additional information about the School can be found at www.seas.umich.edu.

All SEAS faculty are expected to: 1) develop an internationally recognized research program that addresses a pressing sustainability challenge; 2)    attract external funding; 3) support SEAS's teaching programs at graduate and undergraduate levels, including mentoring and supervising doctoral and master's students; and 4) contribute to the stewardship of the School, the University and relevant professions through service, collaboration, and engagement with real-world stakeholders.  

Review of applications will begin January 19, 2018, and we strongly encourage applications by this date. Review will continue until the position is filled, but SEAS hopes to appoint a faculty member to this position to begin in Fall 2018.

To apply, candidates should submit: (1) a one-page cover letter; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) a one-page statement on how the candidate has and continues to contribute to diversity efforts and (4) names of potential letter writers for senior candidates. Assistant Professor candidates should also submit: (1) copies of 2-3 important publications, (2) three letters of recommendation and (3) teaching and research statements. All materials should be uploaded as a single PDF fileInquiries about the position can be addressed to search-staff-2018@umich.edu

Contact Name

Arun Agrawal

Contact Email