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“The Departments of computer science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus invite applications for a 12-month full time position at the rank of Research Associate. The position may be extended by mutual agreement and funding availability. Salary will be negotiated with the fellow and will be commensurate with level of experience and subject to UBC regulations for research associate salaries.


The research associate will be hosted at the PLAI Group at UBC and supervised by Professor Frank Wood. The PLAI Group, led by Professor Wood, conducts research in probabilistic programming and machine learning and its area of application, with ongoing collaborations under projects funded by DARPA, Intel and other organizations. This project will be funded through a collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL), with the aim of developing new methods in inference and normalizing flows, and applying them to problems of interest in high energy physics and cosmology. 

Working directly with Professor Wood, the research associate will collaborate with other researchers at LBL to develop new techniques and apply them to problem of interest. The research associate may also collaborate with students at the PLAI group, and oversee work done by undergraduate and graduate students.

Key Responsibilities

• Collect, prepare and analyze research data; maintain computer database of research data; tabulate and display data for presentation in research conferences and for manuscript preparation; use graphics and statistical software to analyze and present data

• Supervise and mentor other personnel in the laboratory to coordinate research efforts for increased efficiency; participate in training of fellows, residents, students and volunteer workers as needed

• Search pertinent scientific literature as needed, and prepare proposals for research projects

• Assist with ordering and procurement of supplies and equipment and with general maintenance of workspace

• Assist with preparing reports and managing projects, and contribute to the reading group and monthly project meetings

• Contribute to publications based on the research work done with the group, and present results at conferences and lab meetings

Furthermore, the research associate will be expected to engage with graduate students in the departments of Statistics and Computer Science on a regular basis. 


• A Ph.D. in computer science, statistics, Physics or a relevant discipline

• Research record and peer-reviewed publications demonstrating research expertise in the areas of statistics, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence or similar topics congruent with career stage

• Experience with applying data science principles to real-world physical systems or physics-based simulators is an asset

• Past research experience as a post-doctoral fellow is an asset

• Experience managing others and project management is an asset

Application Process

Applications should include:

• A 1-page cover letter

• A 2-page statement of research interests/research proposal outlining ideas for research at UBC and how they connect with their past experiences

• A detailed academic CV including list of publications

• Copy of up to 3 academic publications authored by the candidate

• Contact information (name, e-mail, phone number, and relationship to applicant) for 3 references

Please submit your application through e-mail to with the subject line “Research Associate Application – ML for Physics”.

Application Timeline

Applications will be accepted until 25 April 2022, with an anticipated start date of 1 May 2022 (or later depending on candidate availability).

This posting is for the UBC Vancouver campus in British Columbia, Canada.Please refer to reference number HS-55886 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.All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.About UBC’s Faculty of ScienceUBC Science brings together a community of scholars internationally recognized for its commitment to discovery and innovation—in the lab and in the classroom. Our faculty conduct top-tier research in the life, physical, earth and computational sciences, driving insights into sustainability, biodiversity, human health, nanoscience, new materials, probability, artificial intelligence, exoplanets and more. Ranked among the world’s top 40 universities, UBC’s research prowess in environmental science, math, physics, plant and animal science, computer science, geology, oceanography and biology is consistently rated best in Canada by international and national rankings.”