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Postdoctoral Research Associate

Apply now Job no: 508682
Position Type: Staff
Location: Boston Main Campus
Categories: College of Social Sciences and Humanities

About Northeastern:

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. Our world-renowned experiential approach empowers our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create impact far beyond the confines of discipline, degree, and campus.

Our locations—in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; Vancouver; and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant—are nodes in our growing global university system. Through this network, we expand opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focused research.

Northeastern’s comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs— in a variety of on-campus and online formats—lead to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Among these, we offer more than 195 multi-discipline majors and degrees designed to prepare students for purposeful lives and careers.


About the Opportunity:

The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) at Northeastern University, co-directed by Prof. Dan O’Brien, is seeking to add a post-doctoral researcher to the team to help lead and manage research projects at the intersection of urban science, modern digital data (i.e., administrative records, social media posts, sensor readings), and public policy and practice. A major area of interest will be the study of crime in communities, but work could also include projects on public health, housing, education, transportation, or local economics, especially regarding how these systems are impacted by and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific additional projects will be determined according to the skills and interests of the selected candidate.


Areas of activity will include, but will not be limited to: designing, conducting, proposing, and disseminating results from original research projects; planning, executing, and managing the ingestion, manipulation, documentation, and analysis of digital data from various sources, to be stored and published through BARI’s Boston Data Portal; contributing to the development of grant proposals to support future research; coordinating with research partners, including university centers, faculty, public agencies, and private corporations; helping to manage and mentor graduate and undergraduate students working with BARI, particularly within the context of major projects. Depending on start date the funding for this position will run until summer of 2023 with the possibility of extension. Candidates should indicate their preferred start date in their cover letter. A January 2022 start date is preferred, but later start dates in the spring and summer of 2022 are also possible.




Qualified applicants must have a PhD degree in sociology, criminology, geography, urban studies, planning, public policy, political science, environmental psychology, or a related field; others will be considered based on individual fit with BARI’s research mission. Experience and comfort with interdiciplinarity strongly recommended. Must possess strong analytical skills and relevant modeling experience (e.g. mapping, statistics, systems dynamics, agent based modeling) as demonstrated by prior coursework, dissertation, and publication record. Fluency with R and geographical information software (GIS) required; experience with Python a plus. Strong communication and interpersonal skills recommended.

Preferred Qualifications:



Salary Grade:


Additional Information:

Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, and writing sample, as well as the names of three references.

Please address inquiries about the position to Professor Dan O’Brien at Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

The College of Social Sciences and Humanities is a leader in the Experiential Liberal Arts. Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a dynamic and highly selective urban research university in the center of Boston. Grounded in its signature co-op program, Northeastern provides unprecedented global experiential learning opportunities. The College is strongly committed to fostering excellence through diversity and enthusiastically welcomes nominations and applications from members of groups underrepresented in academia.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff.  Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. 

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other  characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

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