PRODIGY - Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ocean Observation, Analysis and Prediction

02 Mar 2023
01 May 2023
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Pacific Rim Ocean Data Mobilization and Technology (PRODIGY)

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ocean Observation, Analysis and Prediction

Applications are invited for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship (PDF) using advanced ocean observing technology, numerical modelling and data science to study oceanographic and/or geophysical processes.


The Pacific Rim Ocean Data Mobilization and Technology (PRODIGY) training program bridges the fields of oceanography, geophysics, computer science and statistics to support state-of-the-art ocean observation, prediction and knowledge mobilization. We seek a dynamic individual to contribute to this program through inter-disciplinary research, teaching, mentoring and stakeholder engagement. Applicants with a range of backgrounds and interests in ocean observations, modelling and/or data science are encouraged to apply.

Successful candidates will be expected to conduct primary research in one or more areas of ocean data acquisition, analysis and modelling, working under the co-supervision of at least two faculty researchers from different disciplines (e.g. oceanography and computer science). Research topics of interest include, but are not limited to: ocean mixing, biogeochemical cycles; geophysical processes along oceanic plate boundaries, use of autonomous ocean sensors; development of numerical models and statistical methods for ocean data analysis and forecasting. Candidates will also be expected to contribute to in-class teaching and annual summer schools, and to engage with non-academic partners in government, industry and the NGO sector. Research and teaching activities will support a bi-lateral collaboration between Canada and Chile, through the Millennium Institute of Oceanography.

Project Goals:

PRODIGY aims to foster research and training across four key facets of the ocean data life cycle:

  1. development, deployment and validation of new ocean sensors
  2. data science, interactive visualization and visual analytics
  3. cross-platform data integration and assimilation into models and prediction systems
  4. knowledge transfer of data-rich research to key stakeholders

Project Team:

The PRODIGY program brings together a dynamic, interdisciplinary group of Canadian, American and Chilean scientists spanning oceanography, geophysics, engineering, computer science and statistics. Project leaders are based at the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria and the
University of Waterloo, with academic collaborators at the Millennium Institute of Oceanography (Concepci├│n, Chile), the University of Washington, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Additional non-academic collaborators come from government, industry and NGO sectors. Our team has access to state-of-the-art research equipment and infrastructure, including the Canadian Pacific Robotic Ocean Observing Facility (C-PROOF), the Marine Environmental Research Infrastructure for Data Integration and Application Network (MERIDIAN) and the National Facility for Seismic Imaging (NFSI). These scientific resources, combined with the broad interdisciplinary knowledge base of our team, will create an immersive, cross-cultural training environment. Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to contact one or more of the project Principle Investigators (see below) prior to submitting a formal application. Position Responsibilities:
  1. Deploy advanced ocean observing technology and/or develop advanced data analysis, visualization and modelling tools to study critical oceanographic and/or marine geophysical processes.
  2. Publish primary research in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, and present results at international conferences.
  3. Participate in teaching and mentoring activities with graduate and undergraduate students.
  4. Help facilitate professional development activities, including seminars and workshops.
  5. Interact with non-academic partners in government, industry and/or the NGO sector to facilitate the use of ocean observing technology and data products to address societally-relevant challenges


  1. An interest in applying data-driven observational and/or modelling approaches to important ocean-related research
  2. A PhD in ocean sciences, marine geophysics, data science, statistics, computer science or a related field.
  3. Experience working with large observational datasets and/or advanced data analysis methods and numerical models
  4. Willingness to work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary group of scientists with expertise in ocean sciences, geophysics, statistics and computer science
  5. Capacity to lead projects with collaborators and ability to complete projects in a timely manner
  6. Excellent communication skills


Fellows will gain unique interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in emerging ocean observing technology and data science, bridging fundamental and applied research from ocean technology and sustainable resource exploration, to seismic hazards and climate forecasting. Program participants will also have opportunities for professional development, including training in scientific communication, project management and stakeholder engagement. Partnership with the Millennium Institute of Oceanography will provide cross-cultural training experience, and access to comparative ocean study sites across the eastern Pacific Rim.

Additional Details:

The position will be officially based at either the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria or the University of Waterloo, with opportunities to travel between these locations for collaborative work. Opportunities also exist for research exchanges with our partners in the United States and Chile, including participation in a summer school program in central Patagonia. This is a limited term, two-year PDF position paid at a rate of $60,000 CAD per year plus mandatory employment-related benefits. Additional research funds will be provided by the project co-supervisors.

Application Procedures:

To apply please submit the following by email to 1) a cover letter, outlining special areas of research interest, relevant teaching and research experience and proposed fit within PRODIGY; 2) a current CV; 3) the names of at least two references; and 4) sample research publications. Review of applications will begin immediately, and the position will remain open until filled, with a preferred start date of Sept. 1, 2022.

PRODIGY Team Members:

University of British Columbia, Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences

Dr. Susan Allen:
Dr. Michael Bostock:
Dr. Lindsey Heagy:
Dr. Philippe Tortell:
Dr. Stephanie Waterman:

University of British Columbia, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Raymond Ng:

University of British Columbia, Department of Statistics

Dr. Matias Salibian-Barrera:

University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Dr. Roberta Hamme:
Dr. Jody Klymak:

University of Victoria, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Charles Perin:

University of Waterloo, Department of Systems Design Engineering

Dr. Andrea Scott:

This posting is for the UBC Vancouver campus in British Columbia, Canada.

Please refer to reference number NC-56296 during correspondence about this position.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

About UBC
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC's entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

Postdoctoral Fellows at UBC Vancouver
UBC is home to over 900 postdocs spanning all faculties and units across two campuses and a variety of affiliated hospitals, research centres, and sites, providing unparalleled opportunities to learn, discover and contribute in one's own way. UBC's Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) is committed to supporting the lives and career aspirations of our Postdocs, with the goal of enriching their experience at UBC and preparing them for the future. In addition to providing support and advocacy for all postdocs, the PDFO is dedicated to providing professional development opportunities that foster the development of soft skills needed in today's professional environments, helping them secure future careers in their chosen fields.

About Vancouver
Vancouver is a dynamic, cosmopolitan and progressive city, consistently ranked as one of the top cities to live in the world. Canada's third largest city has it all: sea, parks, mountains, beaches, and four seasons per year, including beautiful summers and mild, wet winters with snow in the mountains. It's the perfect backdrop to your academic research.

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