CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow for Geospatial Data Curation and Preservation

New York University’s Division of Libraries, in partnership with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), is offering a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geospatial Data Curation and Preservation. Working within the NYU Libraries and NYU-IT Data Services department, the Fellow will engage with NYU Libraries’ Data Services team to plan, document, and execute a large-scale, collaborative collection and preservation strategy for open and at-risk public geospatial data.

The Fellow will build upon an already-existing infrastructure for data collection, metadata creation, and remediation, and will extend existing tooling and documentation to grow NYU Libraries’ approach to collecting geospatial data, pairing it with documentation, bolstering existing metadata within NYU and beyond, and facilitating data access for the larger research community. Partnering with existing data rescue efforts, particularly within the realm of New York City Open Data and the Metadata for All project, the Fellow will collect, curate, and process data for discovery and re-use. Though not a requirement, the ideal candidate will have experience with GIS software and / or quantitative data and will have integrated data into research and analysis. During the fellowship, the Fellow will work closely with faculty and students at NYU as well as with Data Services colleagues and subject domain specialists in the Libraries to identify and pursue collection needs in many areas.

The CLIR/New York University Postdoctoral Fellowship in for Geospatial Data Curation provides an opportunity to contribute to initiatives within the community of open-source geospatial data discovery, especially GeoBlacklight. The Fellow will be asked to participate in community software development sprints, assess current collection infrastructure needs, and potentially develop refined approaches to improving NYU’s existing metadata creation and management workflows. Furthermore, the position will involve outreach to, and collaboration with, existing digital scholarship projects throughout the campus and will offer opportunities to teach various workshops and lead data rescue events.

Through fellowships such as this, CLIR seeks to raise awareness and build capacity for sound data management practice throughout the academy. Opportunities to lead, engage, or collaborate in workshops, seminars, presentations, and publications will be strongly encouraged and supported. The Fellow will be expected to spend around 20% of their time in ongoing research within a field of study compatible with the faculty/researcher partnership. The Fellow will also participate in the activities sponsored by CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship program, and will be eligible to participate in the professional engagement and scholarly community building activities sponsored by the NYU Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, as well as similar activities sponsored by NYU’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Roles & Responsibilities

Reporting to the Head of Specialized Research Services and Social Sciences, the Postdoctoral Fellow will advance NYU’s data curation strategy for geospatial and tabular data and will actively build the Libraries’ geospatial data holdings. Specific areas of responsibility for the Postdoctoral Fellow and related tasks include:

  • Help to develop and refine a sustainable accessioning and processing strategy for geospatial data
  • Explore and assess data curation at peer universities and present a memorandum on best practices in research data management to staff at the Libraries
  • Analyze the Spatial Data Repository curation workflow; make recommendations for alterations, sustainability, and lessons learned; and publish or present the outcomes both locally and nationally
  • Structure collection development and data curation projects and work to integrate them into the larger matrix of collecting born-digital objects within NYU Libraries
  • Engage with NYU campus, regional, and national communities with an interest in projects or materials within the scope of this fellowship



  • Ph.D. completed within the last five years or before beginning the fellowship in a Social Sciences or Humanities field
  • Practical understanding of existing strategies and efforts to curate geospatial data
  • Experience or familiarity with using data as part of teaching or research
  • Strong organizational and documentation skills
  • Willingness to participate in teaching and training initiatives related to the fellowship


  • Excellent skills in project management, workflow design and management, teaching and outreach, communication and collaboration with faculty members
  • Experience designing and implementing data models and/or databases for scholarly projects
  • Experience coordinating and promoting programs and/or services
  • Working knowledge of various content management systems
  • Working knowledge of technical implementation of servers, software systems, etc. for the purposes of database setup and delivery
  • Working knowledge of basic tools, languages, and strategies for manipulating data files and metadata documents. These could include Ruby, Python, OpenRefine, or bash scripts


Appointments are for two years, beginning in September 2019. Fellows are appointed as “Assistant Curator/Faculty Fellow” and receive salary; an annual housing allowance; and professional development support. The University also provides a benefits package, including medical and dental coverage.

About NYU and NYU Libraries

At the Division of Libraries, we are proud of our organizational culture and we are committed to building and sustaining a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization that supports a sense of belonging for the staff and communities we serve. For more about our values, see

NYU is the nation’s largest private university, with more than 40,000 students attending 18 schools and colleges. Students come from every state in the union and from 133 foreign countries. The faculty totals over 3,100 full-time members whose research and teaching encompass nearly all fields of human endeavor. NYU has established itself as the first global network university, with a comprehensive liberal arts campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai – the first to be operated abroad by a major U.S. research university – and other sites for study and research in Accra, Ghana; Berlin, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Florence, Italy; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; Prague, the Czech Republic; Shanghai, China; and Tel Aviv, Israel, among other locations.

Libraries at New York University serve the school’s students and faculty and contain more than 5 million volumes. The Libraries supports NYU’s vision to become the first true Global Network University by collaborating and providing services to our 11 global academic centers and “portal campuses” in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.   New York University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the OCLC Research Library Partnership, and the HathiTrust. The Libraries participates in a variety of consortia and collaborates closely with Columbia University Libraries and the New York Public Library through the Manhattan Research Library Consortium.