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The FAST study is looking to hire a postdoctoral researcher beginning in Fall of 2019. This project measures and models social networks and social influence on health behavior among students in four diverse middle schools. In its second year (of six years), the project involves 5 faculty (including network researchers James Kitts, Mark Pachucki, and Krista Gile), 2 postdocs, 3-4 graduate RAs, and a team of undergrad assistants and staff. The postdoc will benefit from affiliating with the Computational Social Science Institute, currently 81 faculty from 27 departments in 9 colleges at UMass.

This postdoc’s participation involves two primary thrusts: First, the postdoc will work with a team in statistical modeling of network dynamics and social influence on health behavior, using data on 7 different kinds of relationships over 12 time points, derived from surveys and administrative records.  Second, the postdoc will work with a team to develop software to conduct computational experiments, allowing researchers to explore virtual health interventions based on the models and data analysis above.

Required qualifications include advanced skills and experience in statistical analysis of network data in R (e.g., temporal exponential family random graph modeling and stochastic actor oriented modeling). Desirable qualifications include general programming skills (e.g. C, Python); deep knowledge of social network and social influence theory; experience in agent-based modeling; availability to work on the project long term (at least 2 years). Qualified applicants from any disciplinary background will be considered, but research experience in the social and behavioral sciences is strongly desired.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. 

Interested candidates should send the PI ([log in to unmask]) a CV and cover letter summarizing relevant training and research experiences, scope of availability, and the names of 3 references.



James A. Kitts

Professor of Sociology

Director, Computational Social Science Institute

University of Massachusetts

200 Hicks Way

Amherst, MA 01003-9277


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