Jobs at NetSI

Open Rank Research Scientists - Epidemic Modeling (MOBS)

October 12, 2023
Network Science Institute
Boston, MA


The Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Sociotechnical Systems (MOBS Lab), led by Professor Alessandro Vespignani, is hiring research scientists of all levels to join a community of interdisciplinary faculty, researchers, and graduate students. Positions will range from early career to senior level roles, to include ranks of: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Associate Research Scientist, Senior Research Scientist, and Principal Research Scientist.  Successful candidates will become a core member of the Network Science Institute, as well as have an affiliation with an academic department commensurate with background and expertise.

The MOBS Lab’s research is aimed at developing innovative mathematical models and computational tools to better characterize, understand, and anticipate large-scale complex networks and systems.


Researchers will be integrated into the vibrant intellectual community of the Institute, including ample opportunities for scientific collaborations, grant proposals, graduate student training/ advising, workshops, etc. The individuals filling these positions will also be expected to actively participate in the Institute community by organizing and attending scientific talks, workshops, conferences, and engaging with our distinctive PhD program in Network Science by working with doctoral trainees.

Researchers will work on projects that target the construction, calibration, and validation of disease-specific models contributing to actionable forecasts and scenario analyses, alongside the development of behavioral data collection tools for use during public health emergencies. Researchers are expected to provide input to methodological and algorithmic approaches for the characterization of infectious diseases and develop research questions related to the main challenges of the project.  

Senior and Principal Research Scientists are expected to contribute to existing research programs, as well as develop independent projects, collaborations, and funding opportunities. They will be expected to gradually forge their way to research independence, moving from full support to a salary primarily funded through external awards over the course of 3 years.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Assist with initiating, executing, and completing research projects.
  • Develop, refine, and validate models of infectious disease dynamics to support public health partners.
  • Integrate epidemiological and behavioral data into infectious disease transmission models.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary team members and project leaders.
  • Prepare and write research papers, presentations, and grant proposals.


PhD in physics, complex systems, network science, or related field required by appointment start date. The candidate must have significant computational and applied statistical skills that can be applied to the modeling and forecasting the spread of infectious diseases. They must be able to handle, process, and analyze large datasets of epidemic indicators, such as data from surveillance of cases, cellular phone, mobility patterns. Candidates from a wide range of academic backgrounds and disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills, attention to detail, as well as training in research methodology and quantitative data analysis, are essential to a successful candidate. Experience with writing proposals and project management experience are a plus.  Ability to communicate and coordinate with multiple senior researchers from different fields; ability to undertake substantially full-time research or scholarship; work under the supervision of a senior scholar.

Experienced candidates, who will be considered for more senior positions, must demonstrate progressively more responsible experience and ability to plan and execute research; independent research work evidenced by publications, inventions, or equivalent efforts; supervisory, budgetary, and general administrative skills.

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