Postdoctoral Fellowship: Data Curation Specialist for the Sciences and Social Sciences

The University of California, Merced, the tenth campus of the University of California System, opened in 2005 to serve the needs of California’s rapidly growing Central Valley by increasing access in a region where university enrollment has been significantly lower than the rest of the state. Over seventy percent of the more than 7,000 undergraduates enrolled at UC Merced are first-generation college students. In keeping with the mission of the University to provide teaching, research, and public service of the highest quality, UC Merced offers research-centered and student-oriented educational opportunities at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels through three academic schools: Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences/Humanities/Arts. As the first American research university of the twenty-first century, the campus and its library have prided itself on being a model of innovation, sustainability, and deep engagement through collaboration.

The UC Merced Library is seeking a creative, self-motivated, and highly collaborative Data Curation Specialist to further expand and establish collaborations with researchers and research support staff across the sciences. The goals of this position include:

  • To bridge the gap between the expressed interests and needs of research faculty for support in curating research data and the existing data curation resources and services offered by the Library;
  • To promote two-way awareness about research data curation: on the one hand, researcher output, practices, and needs; on the other, library resources and services;
  • To provide training and consultation on best practices for data management planning, reproducible science, publication and archiving, and ongoing curation—all with a focus on graduate students and early career researchers;
  • To build data curation capacity; to inform and develop models for ongoing engagement and support.

Under the direction of the Head of Digital Curation and Scholarship, the data curation specialist will be responsible for:

  • Providing consultation to principal investigators and research development staff on creating data management plans as well as improving their ability to create plans that address evolving expectations, requirements, and policies through training, guidance documents, tools, and services.
  • Developing researcher-focused lessons, learning objects, and outreach materials on: data management best practices; documentation of data and workflows; data publication and archiving; ethics and policies.
  • Providing active data management and curation support; working with investigators and/or teams on setting up systems and workflows; utilizing tools and best practices for collection, documentation, processing, and analysis; advising on, reviewing, and assuring quality of assets prior to publication and archiving.
  • Studying, engaging with community activities, and advising on developing trends and requirements to build institutional data curation capacity and improve infrastructure and services.


  • Ph.D. completed within the last five years in a data/computing-intensive science.
  • Practical understanding of the research process and research data lifecycle.
  • Demonstrated data management and/or programming language skills (such as SQL, R, Python, XML, or other data management/analytics languages).
  • Knowledge of the publication process, familiarity with repositories and web tools.
  • Excellent organizational and documentation skills; superior writing and editing skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills: demonstrated experience in instruction and delivering effective presentations, especially to diverse audiences.
  • Commitment to learning new skills and ongoing professional development.


  • Experience with grants, publishing, and knowledge of research policies.
  • Experience creating visual and multimedia learning objects; knowledge of effective teaching strategies and evaluating learning outcomes.
  • Working knowledge of the technical implementation of software systems; data models and/or databases for research projects; collaboration tools; repositories and APIs.
  • Excellent skills in project management; experience coordinating and promoting programs and/or services.

Salary & Benefits

Salary is based on the University of California Postdoctoral Scholar Salary Scale and commensurate with experience. The University of California offers a comprehensive benefits package to postdoctoral scholars.

About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration and professional development. With bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design, and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.

In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project will nearly double the physical capacity of the campus by 2020, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. UC Merced is also building the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building in the heart of Merced.