Research Data Education Specialist

Ames, IA
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Salary: 46,350-76,478
Created: January 12, 2023


Position Title:

Research Data Education Specialist

Job Group:

Professional & Scientific

Required Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of instructional design practices, concepts, and tools.
  • Knowledge of data management and open science theory, practices, or tools that assist with computational reproducibility, data sharing, and data reuse.
  • Basic proficiency with statistical programming packages (e.g., R, Python, Stata) that can be used to wrangle (gather, unify, tidy, transform) and analyze data.
  • Able to clearly communicate complex concepts and build and maintain relationships with members of the ISU research community.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the value of diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.


Job Description:

As a member of the University Library’s Research Data Services (RDS) unit, the Specialist will lead the design and implementation of a data management training program to support students and researchers across the university and research lifecycle. The Specialist will provide crucial support in communicating recommended practices for responsible data management, open science, and public access to research data, such as those expected in response to the White House OSTP Memo on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research.

This position will provide instruction and support for faculty and student research. As part of a highly collaborative team, this position will also be able to leverage existing campus relationships while pursuing new partnerships on and beyond campus. Instruction will occur in a wide variety of formats, including but not limited to online text and video tutorials, consultations, and in-person or virtual workshops. The specialist will support learners and collaborators from across campus with varied levels of experience with data and data management.

As a member of the RDS unit this position will also recruit content for DataShare, ISU’s open access data repository, and assist researchers in preparing data for publication and public access. What this role chooses to specialize in will be in part determined by the needs of the campus as well the specialist's own interests and skills. Applicants are encouraged to explain how their prior work and experiences relate to the qualifications in their application. Once hired, professional development funding is available to develop preferred skills.  

In addition to contributing to RDS unit and the activities of its parent division, Collections and Technical Services, candidates will also be able to shape the use and experience of The Catalyst – a newly remodeled space in Parks Library. The Catalyst provides easy access to expert staff and space for collaboration, exploration, and instruction for digital research and scholarship. 

Iowa State University is a land-grant institution located in Ames, Iowa a town frequently mentioned on “top places to live” lists due to its amenities, affordability, and community. Applicants can learn more at

Individuals from underrepresented identities are strongly encouraged to apply. ISU library values and benefits from diversity, equity and inclusion and incorporates these values in our work. Information on our recent initiatives and environment are available here. We seek candidates who will broaden our lived experiences and perspectives to contribute to our efforts to support patrons and staff of all identities and backgrounds. New hires will be supported by our active mentoring program and through professional development funding to foster success and growth.

Major Duties:

  • Lead the planning, development, and delivery of the University Library’s Research Data Services education and training program alongside other instructors.

  • Curate research data deposited in ISU’s DataShare repository and assist with submission of data to disciplinary repositories.

  • Practice effective communication and analytic skills, including the ability to work well alone, in teams, and with diverse people.

  • Work with stakeholders and collaborators (such as other librarians, lab managers, faculty, etc.) to design and modify materials and lessons to meet specific audience needs, skill levels, and goals.  

  • Create and maintain Open Educational Resources (OER) on supported topics through Libguides and other media to supplement and scale instruction.

  • Contribute significantly to the planning, development, and assessment of the Research Data Services Unit and participate in the activities of the Collection and Technical Services Division.

  • Aid with other unit activities such assisting researchers with preparing data for publication and preservation, outreach, and other duties as assigned.

ISU library values and benefits from diversity, equity, and inclusion and incorporates these values in our work; as such, the successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, public service, and the land-grant mission. Information on our recent initiatives and environment are available here. We seek candidates who will broaden our lived experiences and perspectives and support our patrons and staff of all identities and backgrounds.

The successful candidate will be expected to function in a rapidly changing, team-based environment which will require the use of organizational, problem-solving, and time management skills, and the ability to interact and communicate effectively with library staff and the university community. These skills will aid the candidate in formulating and implementing innovative approaches and solutions to problems and communicating complex ideas to a wide range of audiences. Service to the University and the profession is expected of academic librarians. The library is committed to supporting academic librarians, especially those new to the profession, through mentoring, training, and professional development opportunities to foster success and growth in their work.

ISU Library is a member of the ACRL Diversity Alliance and is committed to creating and sustaining a safe, healthy, and inclusive environment where all individuals can succeed and thrive. All library staff report their DEI efforts on annual evaluations. ISU students, staff, and faculty strive to overcome historical and divisive biases in our society. Library staff must embrace an environment of inclusion that moves beyond simple tolerance to recognizing the richness in individual identities of people, and diverse perspectives.

Level Guidelines

• Individual contributor position with developing professional and/or technical skills working under immediate to general supervision
• Grasps professional-level knowledge and concepts of field while working in a progressive learning mode
• Works on problems and issues of somewhat limited scope
• Follows standard practices and procedures in analyzing situations or data for which answers are available or can be obtained
• Responds to inquiries and issues, escalating to manager or higher level workers as appropriate
• May lead projects of limited scope and complexity
• May provide guidance to students

Appointment Type:


Number of Months Employed Per Year:

12 Month Work Period

Time Type:

Full time

Pay Grade:


Application Instructions:

To apply for this position, please click on “Apply” and complete the Employment Application. Please be prepared to enter or attach the following:

1) Resume/Curriculum Vitae
2) Letter of Application/Cover Letter

If you have questions regarding this application process, please email or call 515-294-4800 or Toll Free: 1-877-477-7485.

Why Choose ISU?
Iowa State University is committed to fostering a workplace of belonging, where diversity is celebrated and equity is a core value. Our Iowa State Employees enjoy comprehensive health and work life benefits, including medical and dental; as well as:
• Retirement benefits including defined benefit and defined contribution plans
• Generous vacation, holiday and sick time and leave plans
• Onsite childcare (Ames, Iowa)
• Life insurance and long-term disability
• Flexible Spending Accounts
• Various voluntary benefits and discounts
• Employee Assistance Program
• Wellbeing program
• This job may also be eligible for flexible work schedules and flexible workplace options that may include flexible working hours and a hybrid working environment.

How to apply


If you have questions about the application process please email or call 515-294-4800 or Toll-Free at 1-877-477-7485. Iowa State University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should email or call (515) 294-4800 or Toll-Free: (877) 477-7485. TTY users are welcome to use the Iowa Relay Service number by dialing 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2942.

Stata R Python Library instruction Higher education Education Data management


Published: Monday, January 16, 2023 20:04 UTC

Last updated: Monday, January 16, 2023 20:04 UTC