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Postdoctoral Research Associate: Climate & Enteric Diseases

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

The Environmental Institute (EI) at the University of Virginia (UVA) is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join its Climate Fellows Postdoc Program. The selected candidate will work with an interdisciplinary team of faculty mentors and researchers to realize the goals of a project aimed at using geospatial modeling for predicting enteric infectious disease risk in changing climates.

In this project, an interdisciplinary team, including epidemiologists, climatologists, bioinformaticians, and hydrologists, will expand the Planetary Child Health and Enterics Observatory (Plan-EO), an initiative which seeks to provide an evidence base for geographically targeted interventions, such as vaccines, against enteric infectious diseases (EIDs). Using a big data approach and advanced geostatistical analyses with global Earth Observation climate datasets, the team aims to produce generalizable estimates of the geographical distribution of EIDs and their associations with environmental drivers. The project involves developing an interactive online dashboard for result dissemination and convening an international research consortium.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will contribute to understanding the impact of hydrometeorological and ecological factors on distinct pathways of EID transmission in the context of increasing childhood illness in low- and middle-income countries due to climate change.

Eligibility and Selection Process

General Expectations

  • Applicants must have received or will receive their doctoral degree by the beginning of their appointment; we prefer candidates who have received their degree within five years prior to the start of the appointment.

  • There is no citizenship requirement. UVA will help sponsor candidate visas covering the duration of the postdoc.

  • The successful Postdoctoral Research Associate will be appointed for one year with the possibility of second year funding, contingent on the successful completion of a first-year performance review.

  • Applicants seeking to be considered for the Postdoctoral Research Associate role for this project will be evaluated on three main criteria:

1. the strength of their research.

2. their ability to collaborate across disciplines; and

3. their commitment to diversifying perspectives and voices in finding equitable solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation.

Project-Specific Competencies:

The successful candidate must demonstrate the following research skills and competencies.

  • Significant bioinformatic and/or data science skills and experience.

  • Familiarity with (or willingness and demonstrated ability to quickly learn) machine learning, agent-based, and/or Bayesian statistical and spatial modelling approaches.

  • Experience working with dataframes and visualizing data.

  • Excellent organizational, communication, and leadership skills.

  • Must share the PI’s passion and vision for the project objectives and for using data to advance the public good and be prepared to take considerable ownership over the pathogen risk modelling aspects of the initiative.

  • Familiarity with project team communication software such as Slack and Asana.

  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of Spanish an asset.

Climate Fellows Postdoctoral Model:

Once selected, the Postdoctoral Research Associate will join a cohort of other Climate Fellows Program postdocs at UVA and will receive professional training, technical support, and computational infrastructure tailored to their project, for two (2) years. The postdoc will receive direct mentoring from at least two UVA faculty members in different disciplines to help them build cross-disciplinary fluency in support of their own research. They will join a network of faculty members from 30 departments in 12 schools across UVA focused on producing research and providing training that is both great and good at the intersection of climate change and human well-being. 

Starting salary: $65,000/year

Research Funds: $5,000/year

We partner with the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, UVA’s Career Center, and staff across the university to provide career development and extracurricular opportunities to student and postdoctoral faculty. 

About the Institute:

The UVA Environmental Institute is the hub of interdisciplinary environmental research at the university. We provide seed funding, research experiences, and training to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students from the university’s 12 schools. With a focus on impactful research, the Institute and its collaborators are committed to our mission to support interdisciplinary research and training that is both great and good at the intersection of climate change and human well-being, while ensuring that the full spectrum of human attributes, perspectives, identities, backgrounds, and disciplines is represented and making an explicit effort to diversify voices in finding equitable solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation.

The University of Virginia is rated as one of the top three public universities in the nation and in the top 30 among all universities, public and private. Charlottesville is frequently cited as one of the best cities in which to live and work. The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

To Apply:

External Applicants: Apply online, and search for ‘R0055863.’ Complete an application online and attach the following: 

  • CV/Resumé 

  • Cover Letter, describing your research interest and how it aligns with the project.

  • Personal Statement (highly encouraged, but not required): use this statement to reflect on your academic and research trajectory; you may include a description of how your experiences relating to race, ethnicity, gender, or any other kind of identity marker have shaped your ability to contribute to the University of Virginia.

  • Contact information for three (3) references (name, email, telephone, and address). 

Internal UVA Applicants: Please apply through your Workday Home page, search “Find Jobs.” 

Application Timeline:

  • Application Opens: December 18, 2023

  • Early application reviews will begin on January 20, 2023

For questions about the position, please contact Henry Boachi, Program Manager, at 

For questions regarding the application process, please contact Jessica Speth, Academic Recruiter, at 

The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.


In 1819, the University of Virginia established a new model for intellectual exchange and cross-disciplinary collaboration in higher education. Two hundred years later, as a major research institution, we continue to challenge conventions, lead with ingenuity and advance knowledge for the common good.

What began as an innovative idea has become one of the nation’s leading public research universities, with over 21,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UVA also has over 3,000 full-time faculty offering more than 400 degrees.

Each of the University’s eleven schools has its own distinctive mission, working together to garner consistently high rankings—including #2 Best Value Public College (Princeton Review, 2016), #3 Public University in the Nation (U.S. News & World Report, 2016), and #3 Best Value Among Public Colleges (Kiplinger’s, 2016).  

As we invest in and strengthen our research capabilities, UVA seeks new faculty ready to uncover new insights, rewrite old rules and collaborate on intellectual discoveries.


As an R1 institution, the University’s research centers, consortia and laboratories are on the leading edge of discovery and technology, offering collaborative spaces for students and faculty to solve global problems.

Our professors are recognized members of major national scholarly and professional organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Our faculty’s engagement in interdisciplinary research is being facilitated by new research institutes specializing in everything from big data to brain functioning, and by cluster hires across schools.


UVA is also home to a nationally renowned academic medical center and the UVA Health System, which serves a three-part mission to treat patients, conduct translational research and train medical practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines.

Established as the nation’s 10th medical school in 1825, the institution has since grown to include a 612-bed hospital and a Level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers, a Children’s Hospital, and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia.

The UVA Medical Center is consistently ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by the U.S. News & World Report magazine and has been named among the top 25 percent in seven specialties.


The vast majority of UVA students come from the top 10% of their high school class, as well as from all 50 states, over 142 countries and a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite their diversity, all UVA students share a love of learning and a drive to achieve.

One of the reasons students choose Virginia is our unique residential culture. At UVA, the community of students, faculty and staff personifies the Jeffersonian idea that living and learning are connected. The Academical Village was constructed to support a unique residential experience, with faculty living in the Pavilions, students occupying Lawn rooms and the world-famous Rotunda at its heart. The University’s residential culture continues to support this experience today—strengthened by students, faculty and staff rich in backgrounds, ideas and perspectives. Our unique culture is also paying dividends in innovation:  UVA’s faculty have generated more than 130 patents since 2010.

Perhaps most importantly, faculty come to UVA knowing that instruction is as important as research, and they pride themselves on their many teaching awards.  Our best professors look for ways to encourage, mentor and develop tomorrow’s leaders inside and outside the classroom.


Living in Charlottesville you’ll find sophisticated restaurants, world-renowned wineries and breweries, cosmopolitan arts and music, friendly urban and suburban neighborhoods and a Piedmont landscape that has lured adventurous souls for centuries.  No wonder the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research named Charlottesville the “happiest city in America” in 2014.

In addition to UVA and its health system, several major employers have facilities in Charlottesville, including State Farm, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Department of Defense, GE and others.  Charlottesville is also becoming a center for innovative start-up businesses.  The University also actively helps spouses and partners of faculty members build their networks and pursue employment opportunities with a wide variety of area employers. 

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, qualified individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and may be entitled to reasonable accommodations to assist in their pursuit of employment at the University. This includes assistance in completing the online job application as well as reasonable accommodations during the interview process. Please contact the UHR Service Center: 434.982.0123 to request assistance.

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