Research Scientist

Charlottesville, VA
Metascience
Full-time
The Center for Open Science (COS) is undertaking a project (to be announced) to automate and validate methods for assessing credibility of research claims in the social-behavioral sciences.  COS will (1) create a large, enriched dataset of claims and evidence, (2) advance the efficiency and scalability of gathering that data, and (3) conduct replications and reproductions of a sample of the claims to test the accuracy of confidence scores generated by partners.  The project is expected to run from January 2019 to December 2021.

Three Research Scientists will be responsible for selecting eligible social-behavioral science studies from the sampling frame, vetting and coding claims for eligibility for reproduction or replication, coding datasets, gathering materials for studies, developing study preregistrations, managing a portfolio of partner individuals and teams conducting replication (new data) or reproduction (same data) studies, and rigorously documenting the process to maximize reproducibility. Collectively the three research scientists will manage the process and deliver at least 200 written reports of results from replication and reproduction studies in 15 months, and then repeat the process for the second phase.  This work requires continuous communication and management of many research teams, substantial expertise in research methodology and reproducible practices, and comfort with rapidly learning and managing many research projects on a wide variety of topics across social-behavioral sciences.

The Research Scientists will report to the Program Manager and be supported by two Project Coordinators and staff with specialized skills (reproducibility trainer and statistician).  Teams will operate in COS’s agile scrum management process with highly defined tasks and deliverables to track progress. Two week sprints with daily scrums will identify risks and bottlenecks early in project execution for intervention and correction. COS maintains proven infrastructure and methodologies to deliver on highly coordinated projects--technical and operational.  A major task of the project is to facilitate and manage research activities of dozens to hundreds of contributing researchers and laboratories around the world. With extremely high coordination demands and an aggressive timeline, this role requires strong capacity to manage and execute on defined goals on time and with exceptional quality.

Responsibilities

    • Evaluate a diverse body of claims in social-behavioral sciences on methodology and findings
    • Develop protocols and registrations for conducting rigorous reproductions and replications
    • Manage a caseload of replication/reproduction efforts by a distributed network of teams and individuals Managing timelines, deliverables, and project execution for study caseload and direct responsibilities
    • Supporting research objectives that ensure overall project success
    • Implement and manage change when necessary to meet project goals
    • Strong documentation practices for all project activities including code and process to ensure transparency and reproducibility

Competencies

    • Expertise (PhD or equivalent) in one or more social-behavioral science disciplines
    • Very strong research methodology competencies, ideally skills that are transferable across a variety of research applications
    • Ability to understand basic research topics and methodologies across a variety of social-behavioral science domains
    • Demonstrated commitment to transparency, rigor, and reproducibility in research
    • Experience with R, OSF, preregistration, reproducible workflows, replications (new data testing same question) and/or reproductions (reanalysis of same data)-- Highly efficient and task-oriented
    • Attention to detail and very strong documentation and workflow management skills
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills, interpersonal skills, and ability to work independently and in coordination with a team for advancing shared objectives on a very assertive timeline
    • Ability to prioritize, make decisions, problem-solve, and ask for help
Notes:

This position is located at the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, VA.  On-site is highly desired, but remote work will be considered. Start date of early 2019 is unlikely to be flexible.  However, COS will not require that senior graduate student applicants have defended their PhD by the start date. COS is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from members of groups underrepresented in science and technology industries. This is a full-time exempt position. Salary is expected to be in the mid-60s.

Benefits:

COS offers full time employees:

401(k) with employer match. COS offers a matching contribution of 100% up to 3% of pay and another 50% up to 5% of pay (the full match will be 4% if participants elect to defer 5%).

Health, dental, and vision insurance. COS covers 100% of employee premium and 50% of all dependent coverage costs under the base plan

15 days of paid time off in year one

Paid family medical leave. COS offers paid leave for up to three (3) months to all full-time, regular employees to care for their child after birth, after or during the adoption process, or to care for their spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition.

Modern office space and other amenities.

Applying:

Please submit a resume/CV and cover letter explaining your background and interest in the position.  In the cover letter, please describe the domains of social-behavioral science research with which you have some expertise.  Two or more letters of recommendation can be submitted to betsy@cos.io by the recommendation author in support of the application.  Letters should provide insight on the candidate’s possession of competencies listed above and capacity to meet the described responsibilities.  Please instruct letter writers to include the candidate’s name in the subject line of the email. Questions about the position and COS are welcome and can be directed to jobs@cos.io.