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Postdoctoral Fellow in Geospatial Data Analysis Platform Development
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Date Posted 04/10/2021
Admin-Computing-Database Administration
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Title Postdoctoral Fellow in Geospatial Data Analysis Platform Development
School Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Department/Area Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA)/IQSS at Harvard
Position Description

Research Objective
This project is to conduct research on the design and development of an online platform for geospatial data management, analysis and visualization. The platform is the core infrastructure for case-based study and training. Since 2019, the project (and the resulting platform) has evolved from China Data Lab to Spatial Data Lab, a joint initiative between Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis, China Data Institute and Future Data Lab. The project’s objective is to enable researchers to share their spatial data with others online, conduct spatial data analysis with GIS and statistics tools on the cloud, and develop workflow-based data driven study cases. The platform also supports training programs on spatiotemporal data analysis for economic, social, public health, urban planning and other research subjects.

Position Duties
Project Management (40%)
• Identify new scientific initiatives and investigative opportunities
• Design, manage, and conduct Lab projects related to GIS and spatial data analysis
• Analyze and summarize research data and synthesize conclusions
• Build and maintain infrastructure as needed to support center operations
• Coordinate the creation and delivery of online spatial data services
• Develop grant proposals for external funding support

Development (40%)
• Coordinate the spatial data development
• Develop the online tools for data management and analysis
• Develop workflow-based case studies for data analysis
• Develop brochures, information packages, and online resources for users.

Training (20%)
• Offer research training programs for students and researchers
• Provide support for the research team members

Position affiliation
The position is sponsored by the NSF Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) Program in the Spatiotemporal Innovation Center at the Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) of Harvard University. The candidate will have space assigned at the CGA and attend group meetings and related activities with other research sites and collaborating sponsors. The appointment is for one year with possibility of renewal based on satisfactory performance and continued availability of funding.

Basic Qualifications

Doctoral degree in geographic information science or a related field.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have obtained your Ph.D. in the past 12 months you must be able to provide a certificate of completion from the degree-granting institution OR a letter from the institute’s registrar stating all requirements for the degree have been successfully completed and should verify the date the degree has been or will be conferred. No exceptions.

Additional Qualifications

Experience with Python, R, and SQL. Strong understanding of geospatial data structure and database standards. Knowledgeable in spatial analysis methodologies and at least one major application field. Proficient with common GIS and statistical software. Hands-on experience with web-based platform development (Java, HTML5, JavaScript and CSS). Experience with workflow tools (KNIME), PostGIS, GeoNode, Django, GeoServer, OpenLayers, ExtJS, GeoNetwork, GDAL and jQuery are strongly preferred. Chinese language skill is a plus.

Must have superior technical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to function as a contributing team member. Must have strong documentation and communication skills. Must be able to collaborate effectively with researchers across organizational structures and across knowledge domains.

Incumbent will work remotely based on Harvard University’s COVID-19 response policy until CGA/IQSS on-campus operations resume. Work must be performed within the US. Individuals located in the US working outside of MA must acknowledge to Harvard in writing that after the interim pandemic policy ends, the employee must relocate to MA and their campus work location.

Employees will have federal and MA state taxes withheld.

J-1 Research Scholar visa sponsorship may be available in limited circumstances to individuals already in the US on a visa, depending on their specific immigration status.

Special Instructions


PLEASE DO NOT APPLY ONLINE. To apply, send curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and names and contact information for three references to Wendy Guan ( Research papers (up to three) are welcome but optional. Review of applications will begin immediately and end when the position is filled.

Only applicants who follow these instructions will be considered.

Contact Information

Wendy Guan

Contact Email
Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.

Minimum Number of References Required
Maximum Number of References Allowed

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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