Research Associate - Data Science Specialist

Salary depends on experience
Posted on 06/29/18
Cambridge, MA
Salary depends on experience
Posted on 06/29/18

The Data Science Specialist (DSS) at the IQSS Data Science Services is responsible for providing research consulting services, programming services, software training and technology services to researchers, including faculty, post-docs, visiting scholars, graduate and undergraduate students. Specifically, the DSS will help researchers form their research problems, select suitable statistical methods, solve analytical problems, employ appropriate data management procedures and practices, develop code, and select appropriate software packages and computing platforms. The DSS will also assist with general security and IRB compliance. The DSS will develop training materials on a variety of research technologies including but not limited to statistical software packages, qualitative data analysis software, project management tools, etc. The DSS will use these materials in individual and small-group training sessions as appropriate. The DSS will contribute to promoting the consulting and training services offered by Data Science Services.

*NOTE: This is a half-time (0.5 FTE) position. Research Appointments are made annually with continuation based on performance and available funding.

The Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) is an interfaculty initiative that helps social scientists leverage advances in computing technology, quantitative methodology, and behavioral research – toward the goal of understanding and solving some of the greatest problems that affect human societies. The IQSS approach includes: providing an environment (physical space, events, services) that encourages scholars to convene and collaborate; developing powerful (and broadly useful) statistical, computational, and analytical infrastructure and tools; building bridges between the many different scientific communities concerned with real world problems; removing impediments to discovery by providing exceptional administrative services; and supporting and showcasing innovative ideas through the creation of scientific programs.

Data Science Services is one of the leading research support units at Harvard. The team offers consulting on publication research issues that fall broadly in the following categories: (i) data analysis and programming, (ii) organization, secure storage, and sharing of data, (iii) research project planning. The team also offers training in the use of both established software packages and emerging tools. More information about the team is available at

Basic Qualifications

  • PhD in a field of social science
  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Python
  • Experience developing training materials and delivering (software) training in academic or research settings

Additional Qualifications

  • Ability to write Python code for automated collection of content from sources such as websites and (web-facing) databases, automated retrieval of content from files (of various formats such as xml, json, pdf), processing and analysis of large volumes of data is strongly desired
  • A background in text analysis and/or machine learning in Python is a plus
  • Working understanding of pandas, statsmodels, numpy, scipy is a plus
  • Ability to work with the Unix shell, and understanding of cluster and cloud computing

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