Research Associate

Charlottesville, VA
Oct 03, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Working Title: Research Associate

Position Type: Professional Research Staff

Department: Department of Psychology

Location: Charlottesville

Posting Date: 07-05-2017

Posting Summary:
The Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia is seeking applicants for a Research Associate (postdoctoral) position in the field of quantitative methods. The position will involve working on a project lead by Professor Hudson Golino focusing on the development of new techniques to assess the dimensionality of multivariate data. The goal of the research project is to investigate how traditional techniques, such as parallel analysis, minimum average partial procedure, among others, compare to a new method termed Exploratory Graph Analysis (EGA). This technique combines Gaussian Graphical Model, estimated via graphical LASSO, and an algorithm to detect communities in undirected weighted graphs to estimate the number of dimensions underlying a given dataset. A R package to apply the EGA technique is under development. One important question that remains open relates to the appropriateness of the community-detection algorithms for undirected weighted graphs in detecting clusters in psychological networks. There are several community-detection algorithms, but few studies investigate their accuracy. So, beyond investigating how EGA performs under different conditions, such as sample sizes, number of response category per item, correlation between factors and so on, the research will compare the accuracy of different community-detection algorithms to detect clusters when the true model underlying the data comes from a latent variable model. The principal job of the Research Associate will be to design and implement simulation studies to address the research goals. The incumbent will be involved in all aspects of the research, but with an emphasis on data analysis and preparation of manuscripts for leading peer-reviewed journals. The Research Associate will have the opportunity to co-author papers that report on the results of the studies. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in any field closely related to quantitative methods by the position start date and demonstrate a strong research background with excellent data analysis skills in at least one of the following fields: exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, network modeling and machine learning/data mining. Experience with dimensionality assessment is desired. Preference will be given to individuals who have prior experience with R programming.

This is a one-year appointment. However, appointments may be renewed for up to two additional one-year appointment contingent upon available funding and satisfactory performance.

To apply, candidates must complete a candidate profile through Jobs@UVa (hhtps:// and electronically attach the following: cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the contact information for three professional references; search on posting number 0621144.

Review of applications will begin July 15, 2017; however, the position will remain open until filled. The start date will be negotiated, but the Research Associate is expected to start no later than October 1st.

Questions regarding the position and application process should be directed to Michelle Atwell at

The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to making a final offer of employment.

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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