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Data Scientist (Office of Technology and Data Science)

Urban Institute

Urban Institute

IT, Data Science
Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2024

About Urban Institute:

At the Urban Institute (Urban), we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. As a nonprofit focusing on social and economic policy, our researchers and policy entrepreneurs open minds, shape decisions, and identify transformative solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.

Our Mission

To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.

Our Values

Collaboration, Equity, Inclusivity, Independence, and Integrity. For more information on the Urban Institute, please visit https://www.urban.org.

Data scientists at the Urban Institute serve as the bridge between cutting-edge technology and evidence-based policymaking, and work closely with the research programming and DevOps technology teams within the Office of Technology and Data Science. The team works with researchers to improve access to data, analytics tools, and innovative research methods. They also use and advise on such tools as machine learning, natural language processing, web scraping, big data platforms, and data visualization techniques and their application to relevant public policy issues.

The Opportunity:

The Urban Institute’s Data Science team is hiring a Data Scientist to work with researchers across the Urban Institute and our change-maker partners to apply data science tools and techniques to generate new evidence, data, and analytic tools that inform public policy. The Data Scientist will bring their creativity and technical skill to help develop innovative research methods, compelling data features, and rigorous analyses that are used by policymakers and practitioners to make evidence-based policy and decisions across policy domains.

What You’ll Do:

  • Contribute to research that harnesses technology, data science, and statistical methods to answer practical social and economic policy topics.

  • Build, maintain, and modify systems and processes to collect, analyze, and combine multiple sources of data in novel ways.

  • Analyze data in R and/or Python programming languages using techniques and platforms such as natural language processing, big data, machine learning, and cloud computing technology.

  • Work with both technology and research staff.

  • Apply and implement research principles and goals into code.

  • Effectively communicate results back to research staff and contribute to papers, blogs, visualizations, and other dissemination materials.

  • Debug and solve programming problems.

  • Take initiative to suggest improvements or innovations to methods or processes.

Who You Are:

Successful candidates will have:

  • A Masters or a Bachelors in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Public Policy, Data Science or a related field.

  • At least 2 years of experience in a professional or academic environment with R or Python programming languages (code samples will be requested). Experience with R and Python programming languages preferred.

  • Experience applying data science methods and tools. Examples include but are not limited to text analysis, big data platforms, machine learning, web scraping, or cloud computing technology.

  • Experience working with geospatial data is preferred but not required.

  • Experience with version control such as Git and GitHub.

  • Willingness to learn and adapt to changes in work assignments, deadlines, and team environment.

  • Ability to communicate clearly and respectfully to technical and non-technical staff of differing backgrounds and experience.

  • Ability to apply and implement research principals and goals into code.

  • Interest in domestic economic and social policy issues.

  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage competing deadlines.

  • Ability to quickly learn and apply new technical skills.

What You’ll Experience:

No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people.

The target salary range for this position is $65,600 - $86.070. Salary offered is commensurate with experience and considers internal equity. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Salaries are just one component of Urban Institute’s total compensation package. Urban is committed to supporting our staff’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being through a robust benefits package for yourself, eligible dependents, and domestic partners. It includes generous paid time off, including nine federal holidays, medical (including prescription), dental and vision insurance, and transit benefits. Urban is unique in that we offer 403(b) retirement plan participation immediately after you’re hired and a generous employer contribution after six months of service and 500 hours, with immediate vesting. You’ll also have access to a health advocate, personal finance coaching, an Employee Assistance Program, and educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

The Urban Institute is an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law. The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you have a physical and/or mental disability and are interested in applying for employment and need special accommodations to use our website to apply for a position, please contact Human Resources at humanresources@urban.org. Reasonable accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.