Post-Doctoral Fellowship with The Design Lab and the Center for Wireless & Population Health Systems


The Design Lab and the Center for Wireless & Population Health Systems at the University of California, San Diego are seeking applicants for a 2-year (min) full-time postdoctoral fellowship.  This position will work at the intersection between academia and industry advancing methods in human-centered design and agile science as related to a variety of domains such as digital health, behavior change, behavioral economics, smart cities, open governance, urban design, and the role of design within entrepreneurship, organizations, and communities.  In particular, this person will provide support in design and related methods as they relate to local, national, and international partners who seek out robust human-centered design support, complemented with agile and rigorous iterative evaluation.


Who are we looking for?

Creative people who are interested in the intersection of academia, industry (private/public) and design practitioners. We want people to spearhead and execute work in the following models of interaction:

  • Coordinate research efforts with groups that would be interested in paying us for services (e.g., HCD, support on experimental designs, and/or support agile science methods and processes);
  • Help identify and execute design challenges posed by civic leaders and industry partners that can be incorporated into design-oriented classes across the campus.
  • Provide partner consultations (e.g., 1-2 day workshop).
  • Engage in the planning and coordination of larger scale initiatives/public/private partnerships.
  • Advance new methods and processes in design and agile science via research and curricula.
  • Develop a new model(s) for partnerships between academia, industry, and design practitioners.

The fellow must have evidence of excellent writing and communication skills. This includes demonstrated ability to organize, interpret, evaluate, and present research findings in a variety of formats, including research manuscripts, grant proposals, external manuscripts, and oral presentations. Advanced training in research design and methods is required along with interest in learning new skills. For this particular position, we are looking for candidates with a strong background in human-centered design (e.g. human computer interaction, user-experience design, user-centered design, design thinking, service design, design strategy, etc.) and, ideally, also behavioral science with interest in learning new research methods and processes.


Design Lab (designlab.ucsd.edu)

Led by Dr. Don Norman, the Design Lab is a multidisciplinary organization focused on developing high visibility, high impact programs in human-centered design. We are located on the UC San Diego campus which gives us freedom to move seamlessly across all the departments, schools, and divisions of the university such as Art and Humanities, Medicine, Global Policy and Strategy, Engineering, Management, and Social Science. Our major focus is design as a way of thinking, of focusing how people interact with complex systems and technology, and ensuring that we solve the right problem, the root issues that define the true needs of the people and groups that we serve. Critical to our work is community partnerships with companies, governmental agencies, civic entities, and community organizations, such  as Adobe, Amgen, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Google, IBM, the National Science Foundation, Toyota ITC,  the Port of San Diego, SAP,  Viasat, ResMed, and several  state and city governments in California to name a few.


The Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems (cwphs.ucsd.edu)

The CWPHS is directed by Dr. Eric Hekler. It is located in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology’s Qualcomm Institute (http://www.calit2.net), an internationally renowned multidisciplinary institute housing scientists and researchers from across the UCSD campus. Dr. Hekler brings to the group a focus on advancing research methods and processes for creating more useful and usable digital health behavior change interventions (http://www.agilescience.org).

The mission of the center is to foster research, training, services, and policies that simultaneously advance both individual and population health through an agile, ethical, systems-driven process. Core areas of emphasis for advancing this mission include personal data (e.g., control systems engineering, system identification, n-of-1 trials, just-in-time adaptive interventions, wearables, self-experimentation, patient/citizen-led science), advancing research methods and processes (e.g., agile science, improvements in the ethical conduct of research, validation of wearable devices), and policy-advocacy (e.g., advancing driver safety, ethical conduct of research, and built environment advocacy work). We are also interested in research that has the potential to impact multiple domains (e.g., individual and population health and, if interested, climate change/environmental sustainability as linked to active transport), and that has the potential to bridge between academia to industry to increase impact.


How do I apply? 

Send your résumé or CV, a one-page essay, and the email addresses of three references to designlab@ucsd.edu.  The essay should tell us how you can contribute to this specific project, what excites you, what impact you aspire to, and what you hope to accomplish while a Design Fellow.


When should apply?

Applicants received by Monday March 5, 2018 will receive full consideration and the position will remain open until filled.


How much does the position pay?

The University classifies this as a Postdoctoral position. Pay is competitive and commensurate with experience.


When does the position start?

The starting date can be immediate or as soon as you are available.


Will foreign applicants be considered?  



UC San Diego is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and welcomes all qualified applicants. Applicants will receive fair and impartial consideration without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic data, or other legally protected status.

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