Hero Image

Project Scientist (Assistant) with the California Institute for Water Resources (AP #23-10)

County Location: Yolo County
Location: UC ANR - Davis

Date Posted: August 1, 2023
Closing Date: September 14, 2023

Job Description: Download

Position Overview

Location Headquarters:   UC ANR, Davis, CA

The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for an Assistant Project Scientist with the California Institute for Water Resources.  UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers, educators and support staff dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and (community) health issues. Research, outreach and education from local Cooperative Extension offices serves all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. Our mission is to bring the University of California’s research, extension and education programs directly to Californians to support:

  • Sustainable, safe, and nutritious food production and delivery
  • Economic success in a global economy
  • A sustainable, healthy, and productive environment
  • Science literacy and youth development

By working and living among those we serve, UC ANR expands the University of California’s reach to engage all people and communities in California, ensuring equal access to the UC system.




The California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR) is a statewide program located within UC ANR. CIWR is based in Davis, CA, and has staff throughout the state of California. CIWR conducts research on sustainable water resources management for urban, environmental, and agricultural systems. CIWR is a member of the National Institutes for Water Resources and serves as a hub of water research in California. CIWR supports water research projects throughout the state, conducts research on urban and water resources management, and runs extension programs for improved irrigation and Climate-Smart Agricultural practices.


Purpose and Clientele:


The Project Scientist will:

  • Conduct research with collaborators in UC ANR and California universities on projects related to an area of expertise within water resources management, water resource systems analysis, or drinking water and wastewater treatment systems planning.
  • Develop and apply environmental and water resources models to support local, regional, and state water planning and design studies.
  • Lead/support data collection and analysis for studies that inform water resources planning activities.
  • Use multidisciplinary and systems approaches to address applied water research questions.
  • Major Duties and Responsibilities:


    Research Development and Implementation (40%):

    • Lead and support applied research in water management by developing of research methods and modeling approaches, providing research oversight, and independently conducting research.
    • Participate in research with collaborators across university faculty, staff, students, and state and regional water agency professionals.
    • Draft written reports of research methods and results to be developed into scientific journal articles and extension publications.

    Data Management and Analysis (20%):

    • Coordinate data collection and entry and ensure quality and accuracy of data.
    • Conduct analyses of datasets and prepare summary statistics, tables and graphs.
    • Independently write and present reports. Assist in preparing and reviewing drafts of papers and posters to ensure accuracy.


    Grant Development and Management (10%):

    • Track and report research-related expenses on grant-funded projects.
    • Prepare summaries and reports for funding agencies.
    • Work with CIWR colleagues and collaborators in UC ANR, UC, and CSU research groups in seeking out opportunities for new funding and developing new projects.


    Writing and Publications (15%):

    • Conduct literature reviews and summarize existing research relevant to projects.
    • Prepare and publish peer-reviewed journal articles.
    • Prepare extension publications to disseminate research results.


    Outreach and Program Support (15%):

    • Coordinate discussions with agencies and communities related to projects.
    • Prepare and conduct presentations.
    • Participate in planning outreach and extension efforts to address research needs.
    • Participate in conferences and workshops.
    • Support development of summary products and annual reports.


    Reporting Relationship: The project scientist serves under the administrative guidance of the University of California Director for the California Institute of Water Resources.

    Qualifications and Skills Required 

    Required Qualifications:

    Education: A minimum of a Ph.D. degree in water resources engineering, environmental engineering, hydrology, environmental science or studies or a related field is required at the time of appointment.

    Additional Requirements

    • Demonstrated research experience through a combination of publications, professional experience in one or more previous positions, utilizing the techniques or methods required by the position and demonstrating technical knowledge.
    • Expertise in principles and methods for water resources management and/or environmental engineering.
    • Strong experience with data collection and analysis methods, such as simulation and optimization, statistical modeling, and scenario analysis.
    • Experience with programming in one or more software languages such as R Studio or Python
    • Experience with interpreting and analyzing environmental laws and regulations.
    • Quantitative and modeling skills in data collection and management, and familiarity with modeling techniques within a discipline of water science and management
    • Ability to work independently and seek guidance when needed, demonstrated through academic research, professional experience, or a combination.
    • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills and presentation skills.
    • Excellent time management and organizational skills to manage multiple projects simultaneously.


      Desired Experience

      • Proficiency in a programming language such as R, Python, or Julia.
      • Demonstrated ability to independently utilize scientific literature, online databases, and other relevant resources to apply to research projects and design of experiments.
      • Prior professional experience in applied water management research.


      Skills Required:   To be successful, a Project Scientist requires skills in the following:


      Technical Competence and Impact

      • Interact with collaborating scientists to achieve project objectives.
      • Collect and analyze data for agency reporting and journal publications. Participate in extension education and outreach activities.


      • Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, interpersonal and information technology communication skills.
      • Skills to communicate and extend technical information to diverse audiences are required.
      • Participation in professional societies and conferences and ability to give presentations at seminars and continuing education functions.


      Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

      • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a team member with others.
      • Able to adapt as circumstances warranted.
      • Promote diversity, equity and inclusion.


      Lifelong Learning

      Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement - both professionally and as a person.


      About UC ANR

      The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across the California. We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. UC ANR administers UC Cooperative Extension UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in the counties throughout the state of California.


      Learn more about

      • UC ANR at https://UCANR.edu
      • California Institute for Water Resources: https://ciwr.ucanr.edu/
      • Our Strategic Initiatives http://ucanr.edu/sites/StrategicInitiatives/
      • Our Public Value statements at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning/UC_ANR_Public_Values/
      • Affirmative Action: Further to the above, all UC ANR academics are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/Affirmative_Action/
      • The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. We encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.
      • Salary & Benefits

        SALARYBeginning salary will be in the Assistant Project Scientist Rank from Step 1 - $71,500 to Step 5 - $86,900 annually.  Step placement in this series is based on experience.  For information regarding the Project Scientist non-represented series salary scales, please refer to  https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2023-24/july-2023-acad-salary-scales/t37-b.pdf   This is a represented position.


        The Assistant Project Scientist position is a definite term appointment.  The position is a one-year renewable term appointment with a merit cycle every two years.  The performance in the position will be evaluated annually.  The position will be extended based on the continued need for the position, performance and availability of funding.


        Benefits: Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and holidays. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/index.html.

        How to Apply

        If interested in this position, please visit: https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #23-10)


        Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by September 14, 2023 (open until filled).


        Recruitment Questions:  Contact Mikyla Perez – email: mikperez@ucanr.edu


        Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at https://siss.ucdavis.edu and the UC ANR Green Card Sponsorship Guidelines & FAQ's for reference.


        University of California Cooperative Extension

        As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time.  Federal, state, or local government 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, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. 

        As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited