Bullard Research Fellow (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Job description

Bullard Research Fellow (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Austin, TX
Open Date:
May 22, 2019

The School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin announces the creation of the Bullard Research Fellows program, and invites applications for up to five new full-time post-doctoral research positions to start on August 19, 2019, or January 13, 2020, depending on applicant availability and completion of doctoral studies. The salary for successful candidates will be $54,000 per year, plus a standard package of benefits. These are 12-month positions that can be renewed for a second year contingent upon performance.

We are seeking applicants with active research plans in the following areas:

  • Postion 1: Archives and memory institutions. Areas of particular interest include digital curation, archives, recordkeeping, archival infrastructures and systems, computer history, and cultural heritage informatics. Faculty in this area able to serve as mentors include Ciaran Trace and Patricia Galloway. 5% of this Bullard post-doctoral fellow’s time will be devoted to working with the Professor Fred Mason Bullard archives (http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/about/history/faculty-through-time-in-memoriam/fred-mason-bullard/ and https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/03226/cah-03226.html).
  • Position 2: Searching as learning, designing search user interfaces, building and experimenting with learning-centric search systems, creativity support search systems, search experience and behavior, and interactive information retrieval. This position will be mentored by Soo Young Rieh.
  • Position 3: Impacts of emerging technologies and social informatics. A portion of the successful candidate’s time will be spent working on projects related to blockchain technologies in multiple sectors including healthcare and the arts. This position will be mentored by Eric T. Meyer.
  • Position 4: We are seeking up to two applicants with active research plans aligned with interests and research of current iSchool faculty in one of the following areas:
    • (A) Health information interaction. This position will provide an opportunity for a post-doc to shape this research are A portion of the successful candidate’s time will be spent working on behavioral studies of consumers’ and healthcare professionals’ interaction with health information. Some studies will be conducted in our state-of-the-art Information eXperience (IX) lab. Position 4a will be co-mentored by Jacek Gwizdka, Yan Zhang, Bo Xie, and Andrew Dillon.
    • (B) Accessibility and technology. A portion of a successful candidate’s time will be spent working on projects related to accessibility and inclusivity in the design and implementation of information systems as well as information literacy education. Position 4b will be mentored primarily by Danna Gurari with support from Kenneth R. Fleischmann.
    • (C) Social justice especially as it relates to indigenous cultural heritage. A portion of a successful candidate’s time will be spent on post-custodial approaches to organizing and providing access to digital records documenting the Indian boarding school experience. Position 4c will be mentored by Loriene Roy.
    • (D) Music performance and community health informatics. A portion of a successful candidate’s time will be spent on developing and measuring the impact of health literacy initiatives on musicians’ health. Position 4d will be mentored by Loriene Roy.
    • (E) Critical data and/or algorithm studies, broadly conceived. A portion of a successful candidate’s time will be spent working on projects related to the ethical, legal, and political dimensions of artificial intelligence, including topics such as algorithmic fairness, accountability, and transparency; trust in human-technology partnerships; and human autonomy in the age of big data. Position 4e will be mentored by Kenneth R. Fleischmann and would likely also collaborate with iSchool faculty such as Amelia Acker, Ciaran Trace, and Matt Lease. This postdoc would also have the opportunity to participate in and collaborate with the Good Systems Grand Challenge Initiative (https://bridgingbarriers.utexas.edu/good-systems/), a moonshot cross-campus research initiative involving faculty, staff, and students within and beyond the iSchool.
    • (F) Deception and false representation in science and the arts. This can include unethical practices in scholarly and artistic communities, from data manipulation to forgery. Position 4f will be mentored by Andrew Dillon.
    • (G) Neuro-Information Science. This position will provide an opportunity for a post-doc to shape this emerging research area. The successful candidate will focus on using neuro-physiological evidence to deepen understanding of human-information interaction. Experimental studies will be conducted in our state-of-the-art Information eXperience (IX) lab. Position 4g will be mentored by Jacek Gwizdka.

The Bullard Research Fellows program is designed to allow exceptionally promising young scholars the time to develop their own research while collaborating with leading established scholars and researchers. It is designed to accelerate careers, and to maximize the ability of Bullard Research Fellows to build independent research trajectories. To accomplish this, a portion of each fellow’s time will be reserved for their own independent research and publication efforts, including publishing results from their dissertation.

Additionally, all Bullard Research Fellows will work with a mentor or mentors on research projects in the areas listed above, all of which are either already active or are collecting data in anticipation of funding. All have significant publication opportunities planned.

These post-doctoral positions do not include any obligation to teach; however, successful applicants who wish to enhance their teaching record will be able to teach up to one course annually as part of their normal workload; this may be done either as a co-lecturer with a faculty member, or as an independent lecturer. All post-docs will be given opportunities for guest lecturing and will be expected to give public seminars.

Each post-doctoral fellow will have access to up to $5,000 annually for research expenses and travel to professional conferences and research opportunities. A laptop computer will also be provided for the duration of the fellowship.

For all of the above positions, we only seek candidates with excellent research and leadership abilities and a commitment to contributing to the UT Austin iSchool and the field of information more broadly while accelerating their career.


On the start date of the position, candidates must hold a doctoral degree. That degree must be in a field relevant to their area of research and will normally have been awarded no more than three years prior to their start date. Exceptions to the three year limit will be considered on a case-by-case basis, particularly for candidates who have taken positions outside academia and wish to return to academic research. Candidates must articulate clearly in their application materials what independent project they propose to work on during their fellowship in addition to their time working on iSchool faculty projects.

About the University of Texas at Austin iSchool

The UT Austin iSchool is a premier research and education leader in the field of information, changing the future by engaging the present and preserving the past. The iSchool is committed to making a difference in the lives of all people by enabling and supporting the organization and experience of information in ways that make the world a better and fairer place. We are changing how people interact with information and technology, and the ways that we protect and preserve our collective memories. At the iSchool we are discovering new and vital knowledge about information, educating the next generation of leaders in the information professions, developing new scholars who will advance knowledge, improving society through service and collaboration, and applying human-centered values to all of our work. For more information about the iSchool, see https://www.ischool.utexas.edu.

The UT Austin iSchool is a founding member of the international iSchools caucus (https://ischools.org/), and has a long history of interdisciplinary scholarship and research focused on the human, social, cultural, and technical aspects of information. Our program is consistently ranked among the top programs in information internationally. We are a stand-alone school with strong connections across the university and with other institutions nationally and internationally; we are particularly interested in applicants who will further strengthen and extend our collaborative network. We offer master’s and doctoral degree programs, dual master’s degree programs with various disciplines, an integrated bachelor’s in computer science/master’s in information studies, and an undergraduate minor. Our Master of Science degree in Identity Management and Security is offered jointly with the UT Center for Identity. For more details on our current degree offerings, see https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/programs.

UT Austin is one of the world’s leading research universities, with an internationally distinguished faculty. UT Austin embraces interdisciplinary research, and is the home to more the 200 dedicated research units and centers. For more information on UT Austin, see https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/about/about_ut_austin.

About Austin

Austin is a city bursting with entrepreneurial spirit, a commitment to personal freedom, and a passion for discovery. Austin has a vibrant, internationally renowned music, film, and art scene, along with a thriving economy that leads the way in the technology, engineering, and health care sectors. It is a city with natural beauty in abundance, with a glittering lake that runs through the center of the city, year-round sunshine, and a location in the picturesque Hill Country of central Texas. Austin is a creative center that attracts the best and the brightest from around the world. Often referred to as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin hosts major annual events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest (SXSW), which includes Film, Music, and Interactive Festivals. Austin serves as the corporate headquarters for Fortune 500 companies such as Dell, Whole Foods, and ABM Industries, plus successful tech start-ups such as Aspyr, Hoover’s, and RetailMeNot. Austin also hosts research and development offices for major technology-oriented companies such as Amazon, AMD, Apple, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Freescale, Google, IBM, Indeed.com, Intel, Oracle, Samsung, and Texas Instruments, who have established major operations in Austin to draw from the highly skilled talent the university produces. Savills World Research ranks Austin #1 in the Savills Tech Cities Index. U.S. News and World Report rated Austin #1 in its Best Places to Live list for the last 3 consecutive years. Expedia ranks Austin #1 in its 21 super cool US cities list. More information on Austin can be found at https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/about/about_austin.

Application Instructions:

Applications will be accepted until each available position is filled. We will begin to review applications and interview candidates starting on June 17, 2019.

These post-doctoral positions are for academics in the early stages of their career who demonstrate exceptional potential as a scholar and researcher. Applicants should either have completed a doctoral degree, or be able to convincingly demonstrate that they will complete the degree before they intend to start this post-doctoral fellowship (e.g. by documenting a scheduled viva/final defense). Required materials:

  • Current CV,
  • a cover letter of approximately 2-4 pages (1,000 – 2,000 words). Required elements of your cover letter include:
    • which position you are applying for (e.g. position 2 or position 4b);
    • whether you are available and prefer to start on August 19, 2019, or January 13, 2020;
    • a clear articulation of your fit with the UT Austin iSchool, addressing how your expertise overlaps with, enhances, or expands upon the research area indicated for your position of interest.
  • a research statement that includes a description of the focus of your planned independent research and publications during the fellowship, what sort of resources would you need to do that work, and an explanation of how the research builds on and goes beyond work you have already done.
  • one sample of your writing, preferably a pre- or post-print of a first-authored publication, an
  • names and contact details of 4 references (who we may contact at any stage in the hiring process unless candidate indicates otherwise).




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Job No:
Posted: 5/24/2019
Application Due: 7/23/2019
Work Type: