The Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) at The University of Oklahoma (OU) is seeking a Research Associate to assist a Senior Scientist with projects at the intersection of three disciplines: social sciences, adult and higher education, and mesoscale severe weather. The position involves (1) assisting with two grant-funded social science research projects, and, (2) helping run our undergraduate research internship program.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the research we see this as an excellent opportunity for an individual from either of two groups: 1) someone with a Master’s Degree in meteorology/atmospheric sciences who is interested in learning social science research methods, or, 2) someone with a Master’s Degree in a social science who is interested in the intersection of social sciences with severe weather. The successful applicant will receive training and supervision from a senior scientist to develop skills to bridge these two areas of study.

The two grant-funded research projects involve examining how experimental severe weather forecast information might be used by Emergency Management and other local officials. The first project examines how Emergency Managers react to and use severe weather hazard information when weather forecasters have either an added experimental forecast product, mapped vulnerability information, or both. The second more broadly investigates how timing aspects of NWS decision support are provided to Emergency Managers and other public officials and how that information impacts local decision-making. The incumbent will help manage these two research projects as part of their position (see tasks in the “Key Responsibilities” section below). Specific responsibilities in the research projects are identified below.

The incumbent will also assist with running the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program (REU). This program brings undergraduate students from across the U.S. to Norman, Oklahoma, to conduct weather-related research projects under the mentorship of scientists from across the university, state, and federal organizations on OU’s Research Campus.

Key Responsibilities

  • Assist in recruiting participants for social science research studies
  • Assist in conducting in-depth interviews with weather forecasters, emergency managers, and other local officials
  • Conduct talk-aloud procedures with testbed participants
  • Assist with analysis of social science research data
  • Assist in running an undergraduate research internship program

Perform related duties as assigned. Normal working hours are expected except during occasional field or testbed research, recruitment, or conference travel.


  • Qualitative social science research skills: observation, empathy, professional communication, qualitative analysis techniques (can be learned on the job)
  • Office skills: typing for note taking; organization; attention to detail; experience with typical word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software such as Microsoft Office and/or Google’s Online Suite
  • Ability to manage tasks across multiple projects
  • Verbal and written scientific communication

Personal attributes

  • Interest in working on multi-disciplinary research
  • Experience working in a team environment
  • Ability to be self-motivated to complete tasks independently
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Willingness to learn and grow
  • Strong values of diversity, equity, and inclusion


M.S. in atmospheric science, geography, sociology, psychology, adult and higher education, or other related field, and 0­–2 years of experience.

Desirable Certifications

CITI Social Behavioral Training Certificate

This appointment is grant-funded; continuing employment is predicated on obtaining future grants. Benefits are provided through the University of Oklahoma ( CAPS is located in the National Weather Center building on OU’s Research Campus in Norman, Oklahoma.

The University of Oklahoma is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all persons who participate in University programs and activities, can work and learn together in an atmosphere free from all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation.

We will begin reviewing applications by January 7, 2020.

To apply, please forward:

1) a cover letter that explains a) your interest in the position, b) relevant experience, and c) a discussion of your values of diversity, equity, and inclusion,
2) a resume or CV, and
3) a list and contact information for three references to:

Dr. Daphne LaDue, Senior Research Scientist
Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms
The University of Oklahoma
120 David L Boren Blvd., Suite 2500
Norman, Oklahoma 73072
ATTN: Research Associate in Social Science