CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Energy Social Science

at University of Michigan (view profile)
Location Ann Arbor, MI
Date Posted December 5, 2019
Category Academic
Job Type Temporary/Term-Limited
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Twitter Handle @UMich


University of Michigan
CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Energy Social Science

Two‐year full time position starting approximately August 2020


The University of Michigan Energy Institute (UMEI), in collaboration with the University of Michigan Library (UM Library) seek a postdoctoral researcher for a two‐year Fellowship to focus on data curation, visualization and analytics in order to perform and support scholarly research in energy social science.


Reporting to the UMEI Director, Professor Anna Stefanopoulou and the UM Library Assistant Director, Engineering Librarian Leena Lalwani, the Fellow will conceptualize, design, and develop an Energy Analytics Data Platform. The Platform will include increasingly deep and diverse information and data generated by a large group of UMEI-affiliated researchers, as well as a digital repository for archiving, updating, and sharing mobility energy, economics, environmental, and climate data in order to facilitate education and research across a variety of disciplines.


Data curation, visualization and analytics can support data collection and data sharing on routes, duty cycles and charging patterns across various socio-economic and spatially diverse environments from urban, suburban, and rural conditions in the quest to explore financial incentives, social acceptance, emissions impacts, policy recommendations, and life-cycle evaluation for scaling up electrification. The Fellow will ensure that the Energy Analytics Data Platform includes visualization capabilities and reflects best practices in data curation.


The Fellow will work with UMEI faculty, students and UM Library professionals to ensure the long‐term sustainability of the developed data platform and analytics. Interactions with industry (automotive manufacturers, fleet operators, utilities, etc), national labs (DOE and DOD), and NGO professionals are expected. Successful candidates will possess initiative and a vision of research and service that fits with the goals of UMEI and UM Library as described below.



Transportation is entering a period of significant transition.  At present, the U.S. transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Given the emergence of battery technology at competitive cost, as well as the urgency of climate change, there is a push to electrify transportation in order to significantly reduce GHG emissions to a goal of net zero by 2050.


UMEI is an interdisciplinary institute confronting the global energy challenge by working to ensure that energy for transportation is reliable, affordable, while limiting environmental and social damages. Faculty affiliates and staff at the UMEI are actively engaged in applied research on battery technology for storage; repurposing for the electric grid; battery economics; electric vehicle projections; and grid hardware and software to enable expansion of renewable energy usage. The UMEI operates a state-of-the-art battery user facility to manufacture and test battery technologies. In parallel a collaborating UM unit, Mcity, offers an automated vehicle testing campus.  Both facilities are open to companies and entrepreneurs globally with a planned significant expansion of a campus-wide, living-laboratory named electrifyM (M stands for Mobility and Michigan).


Given the University’s location at the core of automotive manufacturing and its supply chain, the UMEI and UM Library are well positioned to make a significant contribution to data, information and analysis to support the critical transition to clean mobility energy. This transition involves significant workforce development with collaboration with community colleges for technician training and k-12 education. To this end, UMEI is leading the collection, archiving and visualization of data originating from several battery electric school bus (BEB) programs being conducted in several school districts in the state of Michigan with the goal to quantify the value of electrified bus transportation to all stakeholders and assist teachers in developing educational tools to support new k-12 science curriculum and project-based learning.



  • Conceptualize, design, and develop an Energy Analytics Data Platform at the University of Michigan in partnership with UMEI, library leadership, and IT staff.
  • Establish a digital platform aligned with UM infrastructure that will include information and analytics that focus on the intersection of mobility, economics, energy, behavior, and the environment.
  • Work with UM Library staff to establish resources to inform and contribute to the proceedings of the President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality.
  • Develop a deep understanding of research needs and practices in order to establish a useful data platform that enables research in energy social science.
  • Lead research into energy data curation, best practices, and related areas of scholarship. This may involve original research, outreach and collaboration with similar initiatives, and coordination with a wide range of stakeholders and community members.
  • Grow the UMEI support for faculty affiliates in areas such as projections and trends in clean energy supply for the electric grid and transportation sector.
  • Participate in a culture of open and reproducible research and provide training and consultations on effective techniques for documenting, cataloging, and formatting data for shared use and release to the public.


Required Qualifications

  • PhD (completed, or graduation anticipated by June 2020) in energy or climate science, environmental engineering, or a data-intensive academic field.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including ability to work with interdisciplinary groups and centers and both technical and non‐technical audiences.
  • Understanding of issues and technical challenges related to data management/curation as demonstrated by academic or work experience.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in an innovative, interdisciplinary, and diverse environment.
  • Demonstrated creativity, initiative, and innovative thinking.
  • Strong organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent skills in project management and workflow design.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with large‐scale storage systems, databases, and digital libraries
  • Experience with metadata conventions and standards
  • Ability to lead workshops in data management and curation, reproducible research, open scholarship and other related fields
  • Experience creating, developing or managing research software tools (such as R, Python)


Application: Apply through the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) website:


Applicants in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should contact


Salary and Benefits:

  • The salary is $72,000 per year plus benefits including retirement plan, insurance, and paid time off. There is a tuition benefit plan for college age and younger children.
  • The fellowship also covers education and training expenses including travel for program meetings and a $3,000 per year professional development stipend provided by CLIR.
  • Fellows will receive 20% time for their own personal research.


The Environment

The University of Michigan Energy Institute builds off the legacy of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project (MMPP), launched in 1948 as a tribute to fallen war veterans Michigan by dedicating a living laboratory, campus-wide, interdisciplinary effort to the peaceful uses of atomic energy for the improvement of mankind's existence. The Energy Institute continues the memorial mission for generations to come and expands it by focusing on the development of all forms of clean energy.


Being in the center of substantial mobility assets -- car companies, suppliers, dealers, and wholesale distribution representing the lion’s share of 40% of all Auto-related jobs in the entire US – the Institute has the privilege and responsibility to educate and train this workforce to give them new skills and be part of the future of clean EV and AV mobility. The faculty at the Institute are working in nearly every aspect of the new mobility sector, from battery technology, to data science and analytics, to social issues and behavioral metrics that will accelerate connected EVs.


Last but not least, the Institute is proud to support not only professors and students but also people and communities working toward clean and affordable energy for our future.


The University of Michigan Library shares with the University a mission to support, enhance, and collaborate in the instructional, research, and service activities of the faculty, students, and staff, and contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge. The library is an active participant in the activities and programs of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Center for Library Initiatives, and embraces open sharing of collections and collaborative collection building. One of the world’s largest research libraries, it houses over 15 million volumes in print and electronic format, nearly 600 staff, and $28 million materials budget.


Under the leadership of President Mark Schlissel, the University of Michigan embarked upon a renewed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).  A five-year strategic plan was developed, and several leaders were appointed to ensure that the University achieve its mission. The President has stated clearly that, “The University of Michigan cannot be excellent without being diverse in the broadest sense of that word. We also must ensure that our community allows all individuals an equal opportunity to thrive.”


This past year has been characterized by a sense of energy and growing momentum as 50 units representing our vast community continued implementing their DEI plans that were launched in the first year of the strategic plan. In classrooms, labs, offices, lecture halls, meeting spaces and public settings, Michigan’s students, faculty and staff engaged in initiatives aimed at creating a university in which resources and opportunities for success are inclusive and equitable, and where everyone feels respected and heard.


The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.