NWT LTER Postdoctoral Synthesis Fellow

Boulder, CO
Jun 21, 2017
Position Type
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Niwot Ridge Long-term Ecological Research Program (NWT) is an interdisciplinary research program with the long-term goals of building a predictive understanding of ecological processes in high-elevation mountain ecosystems in the Front Range of Colorado and contributing to broad conceptual advances in ecology. NWT also provides education, outreach, and knowledge to inform alpine resource management and conservation. More than 35 years of research includes decades-long experiments and monitoring designed to understand ecological dynamics and trajectories of change.

We invite proposals from early-career investigators for a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at NWT LTER. Synthesis of long-term data sets, on-going experiments, and model results is an important goal of NWT's LTER program. These syntheses can provide new research findings, derived data sets, and new models that establish future research directions and guide the development of future work at the site. More details about the postdoctoral fellowship are available at: http://niwot.colorado.edu/postdoc/

A key element of successful Postdoctoral Fellowship applications will be the identification of specific research questions and how they will be addressed using NWT LTER data. Please make specific mention of how the proposed research is relevant to NWT VII research activities (hint: this means that you must have read and reference specific parts of the NWT VII proposal, http://niwot.colorado.edu/publications/pub/2016-proposal ). Applications should identify the sources and accessibility of existing data and the theoretical and analytical methods to be used. Prospective Fellows should not propose projects that require extensive collection of new data.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be located at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Applicants should identify a collaborating mentor, who is part of the NWT LTER Program and will function as a project advisor and professional mentor. Applicants should have experience analyzing datasets and some familiarity with contemporary statistical software. They should possess basic computational skills and demonstrated ability in scientific writing. NWT LTER Postdoctoral Synthesis Fellows will be expected to participate fully in the NWT LTER Program, which includes monthly science meetings, the annual meeting, and outreach activities.

Application deadline: Wednesday, January 4, 2017, by 5pm MST.

Selection Criteria. Postdoctoral applications will be evaluated by the following criteria:
  1. Proposed research and activities must support the goals and research activities in the NWT VII grant, particularly activities outlined in the proposal that are not currently supported in other ways or which may not be achieved without additional support.
  2. Explanation of how the proposed research will advance understanding of key ecological processes or concepts. Likelihood of yielding important and publishable research products.
  3. Feasibility of producing meaningful synthetic research within a two-year time frame, including identifying and showing ability to access appropriate data and methods.
  4. Applicant qualifications and experience. Preference will be for applicants who have not worked at NWT before, and have received their PhD from an institution other than CU.
  5. Ability for the Postdoctoral Fellow to start their project between April and July 2017. They must be based in Boulder, Colorado for the duration of the fellowship.

Components of an Application. Include the following (items #1-4) as a single PDF, using single spacing, 12-pt type fonts, and 1-inch margins, in the following order. Applications that do not submit the correct components will not be reviewed. Please attach your application materials to this application in CU Careers, in addition to a cover letter and transcript(s) as required by the university for an application.
  1. Cover Sheet (1 page)
  • Short title
  • Name and contact information
  • Date of PhD defense. If the defense has not yet occurred, applicants need a letter from their graduate advisor or committee member verifying the expected date of completion. Candidates need to complete their PhD by June 1, 2017.
  • Project Summary (1 page)
    • Project summary of 250 words this is appropriate for the public and for posting on NWT website
    • Keywords (up to 5 keywords different from those used in the title.
    • Potential conflicts of interest with members of the NWT Executive Committee
  • Research Proposal (5 pages max, including references)
    • Clear and concise statement of the project goals including specific research questions and how the project will advance understanding of major ecological concepts or processes.
    • Methods to be used for the synthesis project
    • Description of the prospective Fellow's and Collaborating Mentor's respective roles in the project and timeline for the project.
  • Full CV of the Applicant. In your CV, please list your two references and your project mentor(s).

  • Letters of Recommendation & Commitment
    • Please arrange for two references to provide a letter of recommendation regarding your background, ability to carry out the independent research as proposed, ability to interact with a diverse group of scientists, and the promise of this research to advance ecology and ecosystem science.
    • Please also arrange for a letter of commitment from your Collaborating Mentor describing their view of their role and commitment as mentor and collaborator. You can identify more than one mentor, but please identify a primary mentor to write your support letter.
    • These letters should be submitted directly by the recommender or mentor, separately from your application, via email to: niwotridgelter@gmail.com. Please ask your letter writers to title their letter attachment as "NWTPostdoc_last name of applicant_last name of letter writer" All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the application deadline of Wednesday, January 4, 2017, by 5pm MST.

    Proposal Review. A review team composed of the NWT LTER Executive Committee and Information Manager will evaluate the proposals submitted. We will award one fellowship in 2017. Decisions will be made in February 2017, with a start date possibly as early as April 2017.



    PhD degree, must be completed by June 1, 2017


    Applicants should have experience analyzing datasets and some familiarity with contemporary statistical software.

    They should possess basic computational skills and demonstrated ability in scientific writing.

    Special Instructions to Applicants:The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing a safe and productive learning, living and working community. To achieve this goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and an EPLS (Excluded Parties List System) check. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work.

    The University of Colorado is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff in compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to Boulder campus Title IX Coordinator by calling 303-492-2127

    Application Materials Required:Cover Letter, Resume/CV, List of References, Unofficial transcript(s)

    Application Materials Instructions:Applicants must complete the Faculty/University Staff and EEO Data (application) form, and upload the following documents: 1 - Cover Letter; 2 - Curriculum Vitae including contact information of three references; 3 - Unofficial transcript; 4 - Before a hire can be finalized the candidate will need to provide proof of PhD degree: a transcript which shows the date the degree was confirmed, copy of diploma, or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College confirming the degree; however, this is not required at the time of application. This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accrual. Please attach the Proposal as specified in the position description to this application.

    Job Category: Faculty

    Primary Location: Boulder

    Department: B0001 -- Boulder Campus - 10099 - INSTAAR-Inst,Arctic&Alpin Rsch

    Schedule: Full-time

    Posting Date: Oct 13, 2016

    Closing Date: Ongoing

    Posting Contact Name: Katharine Suding

    Posting Contact Email: suding@colorado.edu

    Position Number: 00674619