Northeastern University

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Urban Affairs

School for Public Policy and Urban Affairs

About the Opportunity:

The College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) is a leader in the Experiential Liberal Arts. The College is strongly committed to fostering excellence through diversity and enthusiastically welcomes applications from members of groups underrepresented in higher education administration.

The College’s schools, departments, and programs—with disciplines ranging from economics and history to English, urban affairs, international affairs, and American Sign Language Interpreting—form an interdisciplinary environment with global perspectives and a culture of inclusion. Our faculty connects liberal arts education with the challenges of our time, fostering ethical reasoning and critical thought with attention to the enduring significance of history, literature, and culture. Strategic Areas of Focus for the College’s education and research throughout its global network are (1) Resilience, Sustainability, Health, and Equity, (2) Cultural Transformations, Governance, and Globalization, and (3) Network Science, Computational Social Science, Digital Humanities, and Information Ethics.


Join the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) at Northeastern University! BARI advances civically-engaged research that uses data to advance social, economic, and environmental justice in collaboration with local communities. In collaboration with the Human Dynamics Lab (HDL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, BARI is seeking to add a post-doctoral researcher to the team to help lead and manage research projects centered on the use of cellphone-generated mobility data to better understand inequities in segregation, climate resilience, and economic development across communities. A major product will be the construction of an outward-facing infrastructure that makes the resultant measures accessible to public officials, community leaders, and other non-data scientists. The position, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, will be a core member of BARI’s multigenerational research team, which consists of faculty, postdocs, PhD, Masters, and undergraduate students and is led by Director Dan O’Brien, and will have co-affiliations with the other partners.

Areas of activity will include, but will not be limited to: designing, conducting, proposing, and disseminating results from original research projects; developing publicly-available civic technologies and data products from cellphone-generated mobility data that are accessible and meaningful to non-data scientists, including researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and community leaders, published in part through BARI’s Boston Data Portal and HDL’s Atlas of Inequality; interfacing with research partners, most notably an advisory board of Boston-based stakeholders and international experts helping to shape the work; helping to manage and mentor graduate and undergraduate students working on the project; and contributing to the development of grant proposals to support future research.

Appointment will be for one year with the possibility of extension, contingent on available funds.


  • Must have a Ph.D. or equivalent; be able to undertake full-time research or scholarship; work under the supervision of a senior scholar.
  • Qualified applicants must have a Ph.D. degree in urban studies, planning, network science, public policy, computer science, or a related field; others will be considered based on individual fit with BARI’s research mission.
  • Experience and comfort with interdisciplinarity are strongly recommended as is an interest in civic technology and data.
  • Must possess strong analytical skills and relevant modeling experience (e.g., geographical information systems, big data, statistics) as demonstrated by prior coursework, dissertation, and publication record.
  • Fluency with R, Python, and geographical information software (GIS) is required.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills are recommended.

Documents to Submit:

Resume and Cover letter.

Link to Apply:

CSSH has long been committed to creating a culture of inclusion for our students, faculty, and staff. Diversity and inclusion, as well as questions of race, racism, and anti-racism, are part of all our programs, all our research centers, and our three areas of strategic focus—and are always works in progress. At the same time, we focus on how modes of constructing social hierarchies, including race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and others, intersect with one another.

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