Assistant Professor of Data Science - Neuroscience Grand Challenge at University of Virginia

Posted in Other 12 days ago.

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Job Description:

The University of Virginia (UVA) School of Data Science seeks applicants for two tenure-track faculty positions at the Assistant professor level focused on computational data science and related methodologies for neuroscientific data types. These positions are expected to commence in the UVA Fall Term in August 2023.

The modern neurosciences now acquire data at unprecedented rates. However, the sheer mass of data often obtained exceeds the ability of individual investigators to wrangle, process, analyze, integrate, and interpret that data. Data from across spatial and temporal scales related to the brain (from synapses, to cells, to systems, to syndromes, to societies) necessitates novel computational modeling methods, advanced statistical approaches, time series, spatial mapping techniques, etc., in order to make further progress in understanding the brain in health and in disease. Brain changes at each of these scales of measurement present themselves across the lifespan, posing unique data science challenges for the characterization of departures from healthy brain development and aging. How such data may be efficiently processed, analyzed, modeled, interpreted, and shared is an area of active interest in the brain sciences community.

To this end, UVA is undertaking a major interdisciplinary effort to pioneer life-changing advances in neuroscience while simultaneously mapping the workings of the human brain. As one of UVA's ambitious Grand Challenge Research Initiatives, a new pan-University neuroscience initiative will help scientists better understand perplexing conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Autism, as well as how the brain functions over a lifespan. The Grand Challenge in neuroscience's initial studies will involve the deployment of multiple advanced technologies to gather rich collections of data seeking to better understand the brain's overall circuitry and development.

The UVA School of Data Science - UVA's 12th school was the first school of data science in the US and founded in 2019 with the largest gift in the university's history. It position the University as a global leader in efforts to improve society through teaching and research based on the powerful, emerging field of data science and with a mantra of a "School without Walls" it builds upon a foundation set in place at UVA by the Data Science Institute (DSI), a pan-University institute established in 2013 that grants graduate degrees. The School of Data Science is developing new undergraduate, doctoral, and certificate programs, helping to meet soaring demand for qualified data science professionals in a field that plays a key role in the global information-based economy which includes biomedicine.

The UVA School of Data Science has a vested interest in the brain as a highly unique example of biomedicine where data science approaches are sorely needed. Thus, given UVA's commitments under its Grand Challenges Initiative, the UVA School of Data Science is actively seeking strong faculty candidates who will excel in brain data analytics research, teaching, and service including but not limited to the following areas:

1. The Development of Novel and Efficient Computational Algorithms for Brain Data Analytics: This includes highly optimized machine learning approaches, Bayesian statistics, operations research, statistics on sparse matrices, time series, multivariate analyses, and network theory for data neuroscience data types and data sets at various scales of magnitude. This may include data from animal models of neurological disease or from human samples, from small to population level sample sizes.

2. Open Data/Source Software and Tool Development: Software development, user-experience, workflow management, dynamic resource allocation and job scheduling, applications using HPC and hybrid cloud architectures, visualization of results, and the use of natural language processing in workflow design applied to neuroscience data types. This might also include data and workflow quality control approaches. Additional focus would include open science policies in neuroscience, data sharing, FAIRness, best practices for neuroscience results reporting, study pre-registration, etc.

3. Methods of Integration of Data across Spatial and Temporal Neural Scales: Developing computational methods which seek to identify quantifiable relationships across spatial and temporal neural scales. This may include relating neurogenomic, proteomic, electrophysiological, phenomic, and microbiomic data types to those obtained using human neuroimaging methods, obtained across the human lifespan.

Candidates must have earned or be on track to earn a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Data Science, Computational Neurosciences, Informatics, Quantitative Psychology, or a closely-related field (e.g. one employing human neuroimaging, genomics, etc). Demonstrable programming skills in Python, R, Matlab, C/C++, Julia, Ruby, or other major software development platforms will be expected. Candidates must have a record, appropriate to their rank, of excellence in research in applications of data science such as those above to problems in appropriate domain(s). A demonstrated commitment to teaching excellence is required. Evidence of an explicit commitment and activities promoting diversity and advancing understanding and outcomes for underrepresented groups is essential.

Appointments will be made 100% in the School of Data Science, with the potential for courtesy appointments, as appropriate, in various UVA Schools and Departments, are all possibilities. Duties will include conducting primary research, teaching, mentoring and advising students, and service to the school and university. In addition to their home unit(s), the new faculty members are strongly encouraged to foster collaborations with faculty and students in the other 9 schools.

These hires will have full access to the UVA advanced computing infrastructure, virtual and distributed computing, and AWS/Azure cloud resources. This means these hires will have the infrastructure for success from the time they arrive. More broadly these hires will become part of a distinctive UVA Brain Institute community who, under the UVA Grand Challenges Initiative, will have considerable needs for computation, data analytics, workflow system design, and data stewardship. This community provides the ability to leverage activities in data science across all the schools and this new cluster will both benefit from this community and contribute to it.


Please visit UVA job board, and search for "R0042934"

Complete an application online and attach:

* Full academic CV

* Cover letter

* Contact information for 3 references

* Research statement, including a commitment to open science

* Teaching statement (including a summary of course evaluations where applicable)

* Diversity statement (provide examples of experience and/or describe plans to make meaningful contributions)

*** To receive full consideration applicants should submit all of the above documents ***

Please note that multiple documents can be uploaded in the box or you can combine them into one PDF.

Review of applicants will begin January 9, 2023 and the positions will remain open until filled.

For questions about this position please contact Professor John Van Horn at

For questions about the application process please contact Rhiannon O'Coin, Senior Recruiter at

The selected candidate will be required to complete a background check at time of offer per University Policy.

The University of Virginia assists UVA faculty spouses and partners seeking employment in the Charlottesville area. To learn more about these services, please see

COVID Vaccination Requirement and Guidelines

Please visit the UVA COVID-19 Job Requirements and Guidelines webpage prior to applying for current information regarding vaccination requirements and guidelines for employment at UVA.

The University of Virginia, i
ncluding the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician's Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.

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