Job Announcement
Postdoctoral Scholar in the McKinnon Group


Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar


Open date: October 5, 2022

Next review date: Monday, Nov 7, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Monday, Nov 7, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The McKinnon group at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is seeking to hire a postdoctoral scholar in climate science. The position will be funded by the Packard Foundation, and features considerable flexibility in the research direction. The ideal candidate is self-driven and excited to actively contribute to our research group at the nexus of climate science and statistical methods.

We are particularly interested in candidates who would like to pursue research in the following directions:

  • past and future climatic controls on wildfire
  • dynamical responses to anthropogenic forcing, with a focus on causal factors for extreme events
  • paleo perspectives on extreme events
  • predictability in the climate system
  • emulating and detecting changes in internal variability

The successful candidate will be advised and mentored by Professor Karen McKinnon, and be part of an active, interdisciplinary research group that spans the Departments of Statistics and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. We prefer the position to be in-person, but are open to discussing remote or partially-remote work for domestic applicants. UCLA does not permit remote work from abroad. The position will include support for conference travel (approximately two meetings per year, adjusted as needed) and other professional development.


  • Develop and advance novel research on one of the topics outlined above, or a related topic
  • Publish results in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals, and publish associated open-source code
  • Present results at conferences and seminars
  • Mentor and advise more junior members of the group

Salary, benefits, and appointment length

The starting salary is $70,000, with a 2% increase each subsequent year. The position includes full benefits, including medical, dental, and vision. UCLA postdocs are unionized. The length of the appointment is expected to be three years; the appointment may be extended further if mutually desirable and conditional on funding availability. As per UCLA policy, the initial appointment will be for one year; reappointment for an additional two years is expected assuming satisfactory performance.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

  • PhD in atmospheric sciences, climate sciences, or related field
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency in python (preferred), R, or other open-source data analysis software
  • Ability and desire to pursue research both independently and as part of a team


Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Research Statement – A 1-2 page, single spaced, document stating your relevant background and proposed work in the McKinnon group

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

Only references for shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees must (a) provide proof of receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 Vaccine no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment and provide proof of Full Vaccination no later than eight weeks after their first date of employment; or (b) if applicable, submit a request for Exception or Deferral no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy.


Los Angeles, CA

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