State Policy Network

Institute for Justice

Research Data Scientist

  • Type: Full-Time
  • Discipline: Policy
  • Location: 901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22203
  • Application Deadline: July 17, 2020


Do you want to use your data analytics skills to advance individual rights? The Institute for Justice, the national law firm for liberty, is seeking an entrepreneurial data scientist with one to three years of experience to join its Strategic Research (SR) team at its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, as our Research Data Scientist.

On the SR team, the Research Data Scientist plays a critical role by finding solutions to complex data problems, enabling our team to undertake more sophisticated research with large, often previously untapped data and new analytical tools. The Research Data Scientist works closely with team members to identify data needs and opportunities; find, design, clean, and organize data, including with custom solutions; determine project design; and present results to internal and external audiences. IJ encourages entrepreneurship, and this role offers opportunities for creative problem-solving and professional growth.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Designing and building databases, data collection systems, data analytics, and other strategies that optimize our research team’s efficiency and quality
  • Proposing solutions and strategies to novel project challenges, including appropriate database use and project design
  • Extracting data from various sources, including websites and PDFs
  • Using GIS software for data analysis and visualization
  • Updating and maintaining existing SQL-based databases
  • Collecting and organizing large datasets for research projects
  • Acquiring data from primary or secondary data sources
  • Organizing and storing those data in databases/data systems; this will include large structured and unstructured datasets and variables
  • Undertaking preprocessing of structured and unstructured data; processing, cleaning, and verifying the integrity of data used for analysis
  • Making datasets accessible to teammates by, for example, creating user frontends
  • Identifying relevant data sources to mine for projects
  • Serving as a resource to team members and other IJ colleagues
  • Developing clear understanding of IJ’s mission and the research team’s work in order to identify research opportunities
  • Clearly communicating internally (including with non-experts) about data challenges, solutions, and opportunities
  • Helping translate complex data into insights our team can use
  • Providing accurate time estimates and delivering high-quality work on time to keep large projects on track
  • Presenting data, analysis, and findings to external audiences
  • Applying data visualization techniques
  • Describing research methods in publications, including reports, journal articles and possible affidavits in court
  • Coordinating with web designers to present data online

Required  Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in data science or a related field and 1-3 years’ professional experience OR a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences and 3-5 years’ professional experience in data science
  • Proficiency in SQL, data visualization tools, GIS, Python
  • Experience with managing and analyzing large data sets, including noticing and correcting discrepancies to ensure accuracy
  • Great communications and collaboration skills, as well as ability to work independently
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines
  • A drive to learn and master new technologies and techniques
  • A passion for IJ’s mission

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated applied statistics training and/or skills, such as calculating distributions, performing statistical testing, conducting regression analysis, etc.
  • Facility with statistical programs like R, Stata or SPSS
  • Ability to develop web-ready visualization (e.g. D3 JS library)
  • Ability to write clear, compelling prose

More about the Institute for Justice’s SR Team

IJ’s Strategic Research team creates social science and policy research, but our studies don’t just sit on a library shelf collecting dust. We put our research to work by combining it with IJ’s unique brand of cutting-edge litigation, award-winning communications and top-notch activism and legislative outreach. Our studies have been cited by the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as leading news outlets nationwide. Our work has helped certify a victorious class action lawsuit against Philadelphia’s civil forfeiture machine, ensure the return of cash wrongfully seized by the IRS, roll back needless occupational licensing, dismantle speech-squelching campaign finance laws, and protect programs that empower parents to choose the best schools for their children.  The Research Data Scientist can expect to use their analytical and visualization skills to support all of these efforts. Past data science work has been used both in the court of law and the court of public opinion.

How to apply

Compensation is commensurate with experience, and IJ offers superior benefits including medical, dental, vision and life insurance, retirement benefits and generous paid leave.

Please click here to submit a resume, a cover letter following the instructions given, and a writing sample.

No phone calls, please.

Institute for Justice
Arlington, VA