Funded PhD and Postdoc positions at the University of Delaware

The Gao Lab in Geospatial Data Science and Human Dimensions of Global Change at the University of Delaware invites applications for PhD and Postdoc positions. We are a growing interdisciplinary team led by Dr. Jing Gao currently consisting of four graduate students and two undergraduate interns. Our work spans three research directions as listed below. We look for self-motivated researchers in any of these directions or their intersections. The positions come with competitive funding packages and a wide range of collaboration opportunities within and beyond the university.

  • Spatiotemporal modeling of socioeconomic processes (e.g. mapping population characteristics)
  • Data-driven investigations of socio-environmental dynamics (e.g. interactions between climate change and global urbanization)
  • Machine learning tool development for geospatial data analytics (e.g. uncertainty quantification)

Ideal candidates have a solid background in quantitative and computational methods (e.g., spatial analysis and modeling, geo-computation, machine learning, statistics), excellent written and verbal communication skills, and strong work ethics. Prior research experience in geography, earth system science, environmental science, or interdisciplinary teamwork are highly valued.

For PhD students, funding can take the form of research assistantship (RA), teaching assistantship (TA), or fellowship. Depending on research focus, students can be housed in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences (for PhD in Geography, or PhD in Climatology), the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (for PhD in Environmental Engineering), or the Department of Computer and Information Sciences (for PhD in Computer Science). Co-advising is possible and often encouraged for multidisciplinary students. Applicants should indicate their interests to Dr. Jing Gao ( before applying, by emailing a CV, unofficial transcripts, and a short research statement connecting existing experiences and skillsets with future plans, which will be reviewed as they arrive. For starting in Fall 2021, priority consideration for admission and funding will be given to applications received by January 5, 2021, and shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a virtual interview before January 12, 2021. Here are instructions on the formal application process. The different programs can have different requirements.

For postdoc fellows, the position is initially being recruited for one year with the possibility to extend pending on satisfactory performance and funding availability. The formal start date for 2021 is negotiable, while applicants should have received their PhD in related fields before formally starting. To apply, email Dr. Jing Gao ( a CV, a research plan, contact information for three references, and a cover letter highlighting demonstrated abilities for conducting and publishing the proposed work. Review will be done on a rolling basis, while the first round will take place on January 5, 2021, and shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a virtual interview before January 12, 2021.

The University of Delaware is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, underrepresented minorities, and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The University of Delaware is a very high research activity (R1) university and ranks among the top 100 universities in federal R&D support for science and engineering.

Newark, Delaware is a quiet college town on the mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. within 2 hours of travel to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.