Jobs | 03.30.18

Now Hiring: Data Engineer

For questions, email [email protected]

Data & Society Research Institute is seeking a Data Engineer with a background in information studies, computer science, data science, and/or computational social science to join the Media Manipulation Initiative. You’ll be part of an interdisciplinary team, providing technical and analytic support for project related activities and will report to the project’s Research Initiative Manager. This is a one-year full-time position with the possibility of renewal.

The Media Manipulation Initiative (MMI) examines how different groups use the participatory culture of the internet to turn the strengths of a free society into vulnerabilities, ultimately threatening expressive freedoms and civil rights. Efforts to exploit technical, social, economic, and institutional configurations of media can catalyze social change, sow dissent, and challenge the stability of social institutions. Broadly, this initiative takes a sociotechnical approach to understanding the social, political, and economic incentives to game information systems, websites, platforms, and search engines—especially in cases where the attackers intend to destabilize democratic, social, and economic institutions.

Responsibilities will include some combination of the following based on skill-set:

  • Creatively engage with researchers to show how data-centric methodologies can complement qualitative expertise.
  • Monitor, collect, parse, and analyze text and other data from online communities using APIs and custom code.
  • Create structured datasets from unstructured data.
  • Evaluate and recommend usage of existing third-party data collection and analysis tools.
  • Conduct primary and secondary materials research.
  • Communicate findings to members of the MMI team and other technical and non-technical collaborators.
  • Research and co-author short and long public-facing articles and research briefs.
  • Provide support for media manipulation events, workshops, and convenings.
  • Collaborate with other research organizations as directed by the Research Lead.

Depending on the candidate’s level of experience, we would also prefer these skills:

  • Capacity to build, in consultation with others, an interactive online platform for researchers in the field of media manipulation.

Qualities of job candidate:

  • You are really into data/metadata and are interested in the historical contextualization of data to make it actionable.
  • You are capable of monitoring, acquiring, aggregating, and analyzing multiple streams of fast-moving data across numerous platforms and explaining this content to other researchers, knowing when to include or omit details.
  • You preferably have a working knowledge of software engineering concepts and DevOps and a background in information studies, computer science, data science, and/or computational social science.
  • You have knowledge of at least one statistical analysis package or program (R, Python, SAS, SPSS and/or Stata) and can visualize data to convey meaning in both complex and simple ways.
  • You are looking for a team in which you can grow and strengthen research and communication skills, while taking deep dives on specific topics. You pay attention to detail, but always keep an eye on the big picture.
  • You are collaborative and interested in exploring how quantitative and qualitative methods can complement and augment each other.
  • You are committed to social change and the practical applications of research.
  • You bring a unique and self-reflexive perspective to analyzing phenomena and ideas in the world.
  • Because this research project deals with extremist groups, the materials you will encounter during your research are very disturbing and will include violent text, images, and video. Content can be explicit, sexist, racist, or pornographic. You must be able to communicate with your manager when you need to be reassigned to other research. We will provide self-care trainings led by Equality Labs.


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree preferred, but not required.
  • 2-3 years of experience preferred.

Practical considerations:

  • This is not a remote position; you must work full time from the Data & Society office in the Flatiron section of New York City.
  • Annual salary is commensurate on experience, and you will be offered a generous benefits package, paid time off, and a budget for travel and projects. Additionally, we are able to provide relocation assistance if necessary.
  • You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas.

To apply, please submit the following to [email protected]:

  • Two-page cover letter describing relevant background, experience with collaborative research projects, and your interest in the Media Manipulation Initiative.
  • Your Curriculum Vitae or resume.
  • Submit up to 5 project samples (GitHub account with projects or portfolio are acceptable) and describe your role in the project.
  • Names, affiliations, and contact information for three professional references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning April 15, 2018, and the position should be considered open until filled.
  • Please contact [email protected] with any questions about the position; inquiries will not be held against your eligibility as a candidate.

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