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Data Scientist



Stanford, CA, USA
63,000 – 112,000 USD per year
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Data Scientist (GeoMatch)

Stanford University is seeking to hire a full-time Data Scientist to join the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) to work on its GeoMatch research portfolio. Situated within IPL, the GeoMatch team partners with governments to study and implement an algorithm-based matching tool to connect asylum seekers, refugees, and immigrants to locations within a host country where they are most likely to thrive. The tool is currently being piloted by one European resettlement agency, and additional pilots are scheduled to launch in Europe and the United States in 2023. This global research initiative combines high-quality academic research with elements of a social impact tech startup: product design, strategic partnerships, and advances in artificial intelligence.

About the Lab

The Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) at Stanford University generates rigorous evidence and drives policy innovation that helps improve the lives of refugees, immigrants, and the communities in which they live. By producing new research and translating it into creative solutions, we seek to improve the lives of these newcomers and strengthen the communities receiving them. We engage with community-based organizations as well as local, state, national, and international governmental agencies to test the effectiveness of current policies, as well as design new programs and tools with the potential to ultimately affect the lives of millions of migrants. Our talented team of faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students is creating an innovative research model that combines the quality and rigor of an academic unit with the efficiency and innovation of a civic-tech lab. To learn more about GeoMatch and IPL, visit our website:

About the position

We are looking for a full-time Data Scientist to provide analytical expertise to the GeoMatch research program. This position will report to the Director of GeoMatch and work closely with the GeoMatch research team of staff and faculty. The Data Scientist will co-develop and implement machine learning models and algorithms used by our partners as part of their resettlement processes. The Data Scientist will also be responsible for creating, managing, and updating datasets assuring that the data quality, processing, and analysis meet rigorous replication standards. In collaboration with other team members, the Data Scientist will develop research designs, conduct/interpret analyses, and explore new and creative data collection and analytical methods. This role will also have the opportunity to oversee the work of postdocs and graduate students.

We are looking for candidates who have the ability and experience to meet the technical requirements of the position and who are enthusiastic about using their skills to build and test a tool with real-world impacts. The Data Scientist will also have the opportunity to co-author papers that report on the results of the implementations of the algorithm-based matching tool, as well as work with an array of affiliated faculty from top institutions.

IPL is a hybrid (on-campus and remote), highly-collaborative team work environment. Candidates who are available to work in-person are preferred, but we are open to full-time remote candidates based anywhere in the US for this role.

This is a 100% FTE, one-year, fixed-term position with the possibility of renewal depending on funding and performance.

Core Duties:

  • Maintain and optimize machine learning models and algorithms, while exploring and evaluating the performance of alternative ML methods and models as needed
  • Lead code organization, harmonization, and centralization efforts to ensure the algorithmic matching tool can be used efficiently across multiple contexts and projects
  • Work closely with other GeoMatch team members (Data Scientist, Software Engineer, and Faculty) to adapt the code used for data wrangling, machine learning, and optimization to specific contexts based on the needs of external partners
  • Conduct statistical analyses to measure the projected or actual performance of the algorithmic matching tool in various country contexts
  • Write and maintain codebooks for country-specific datasets and contexts
  • Clean, merge, and process raw data from government and non-profit partners
  • Respond to descriptive and exploratory questions from faculty or partners
  • Create complex tables and figures for internal analyses and external presentations
  • Other duties may also be assigned

Additionally, to be successful in this position you will bring:

  • Bachelor's degree and three years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience. An advanced degree (Master’s or PhD) is highly desired.
  • Experience in a quantitative discipline such as economics, finance, statistics, political science, computer science, operations, or engineering.
  • Mastery of R.
  • Experience implementing machine learning methods and mathematical optimization.
  • Commitment to and alignment with GeoMatch research goals and IPL’s mission.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage work across many different projects simultaneously, learn skills quickly and efficiently, work well within collaborative and cross-functional team settings, and be highly accountable to deadlines and partner needs.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with the ability to clearly convey information to both technical and non-technical partner organizations.

Desired Qualifications:

  • PhD or advanced degree in a relevant area (e.g., statistics, economics, operations research, computer science) or 5+ years of relevant work experience in data analysis, machine learning implementation, and operations research
  • Experience with Python, SQL/database management systems
  • Experience working with a large and complex code base
  • Experience using version control tools, such as GitHub, to collaborate on projects
  • Experience in social science research, causal inference methods, or applying statistical tools to address policy problems
  • Knowledge of immigration policy and related academic literature
  • Experience creating data visualizations for internal project stakeholders and broad public audiences
  • Demonstrated experience managing a wide range of projects and collaborating across various groups and people

We recognize that the job description may not exactly match your qualifications. If you think you may be a good fit, we encourage you to apply.

How to Apply

We invite you to apply for this position by clicking on the “Apply for Job” button. To be considered, please submit a cover letter and resume along with your online application. Your one-page cover letter should briefly describe your background and interest in IPL and the GeoMatch research program, your experience doing data science work in collaborative environments, and your motivation for joining a team using data science for social impact. Optional: We also welcome attachments showcasing work samples and portfolios of past projects.

This role is open to candidates anywhere in the United States. Stanford University has five Regional Pay Structures. The compensation for this position will be based on the location of the successful candidate. The expected pay range for this position is $63,000.00 to $112,000.00 per annum. Stanford University provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location, and external market pay for comparable jobs.

Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classifications and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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