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5 Dec 2017

Full-Time Data Scientist in the Institute for Economics and Peace

Institute for Economics and Peace – Posted by Institute for Economics and Peace Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Job Description

Institute for Economics and Peace


The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) is a non-profit research organisation dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress.

Rated in 2014 and 2015 as one of the world’s most impactful think tanks with a budget under $5 million and a think tank to watch by the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tank Index, the Institute is looking to expand its research team.


IEP achieves its goals by developing new conceptual frameworks to define peacefulness; providing metrics for measurement; uncovering the relationship between peace, business and prosperity, and by promoting a better understanding of the cultural, economic and political factors that drive peacefulness. The research outputs of the Institute have been featured in leading media internationally, from the New York Times, the Guardian, FoxNews, the Economist, Huffington Post, Washington Post, CNN, and BBC and are widely cited by intergovernmental organisations and in academia.


Current and previous partners and consulting clients include numerous leading organisations internationally including the United Nations Development Programme, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Economist Intelligence Unit, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Club de Madrid, and the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Institute is a non-partisan and not-for-profit organisation with offices in Sydney, the Hague, Mexico City and New York. The Data Analysis/Scientist would join a research team composed of eight other dedicated research staff.


This exciting opportunity is for a Data Scientist offering the successful candidate hands-on experience to practically apply data science to research in better measuring and understanding the cause of peace and conflict throughout the world. It is an ideal position for recent graduates in a bachelors/masters of computer/data science or related degree.


Data Scientist Role


The Data Scientist will have a track record of database administration, programming and applied quantitative research in an academic, entrepreneurial or commercial capacity. S/he will be able to offer technical support such as data formatting, storage design and implementation, and automated process scripts for a team of researchers.  S/he will be able to offer personal support and training to a team of researchers. S/he will also be able to conduct data analysis to contribute to the team’s new and ground-breaking thinking on frameworks for creating more peaceful societies. S/he will have project experience, an ability to work both independently and within a team.


The role will involve updating existing databases and designing new databases to support tasks for IEP’s growing research team. Additional projects will be offered dependant on the skills and interests of the applicant. Specific research projects will be on a diverse range of topics, for example including; Understanding the macroeconomic consequences of conflict and peace; developing models of fragility and resilience, identifying causal factors of peace; case study generation on positive business practices to facilitate peace; investigating principles of index design; generating new methods of measuring direct violence; using systems approach to understanding peace, investigating measures of social cohesion and how they relate to violence.


The Data Scientist will contribute research on a wide range of topics related to the Global Peace Index, economics, development studies and peace and conflict studies. Ideal candidates will have recently completed a degree in IT, computer science or software engineering. Additional or double degrees would be advantageous. They will also have a deep interest in peace and development issues, be open-minded to multidisciplinary approaches in the social sciences and be well-travelled.


Duties and Responsibilities


  • Collect, assemble, and maintain datasets for quantitative peace and conflict research using R and MySQL.
  • Collect and analyse information from a wide variety of sources; monitor relevant material from conferences and seminars, government and intergovernmental documents, academic journals, institutional databases, relevant civil society organisations and NGOs.
  • Be able to offer technical support and training to a research team of varying skill levels.
  • Provide data management, code validation and version control to small teams working on a variety of projects.
  • Visualise data in interesting and efficient ways.
  • Contribute to conceptual research on how to measure and quantify the factors that create more peaceful societies.
  • Work on a broad range of quantitative oriented consulting work and other leading inter-governmental organisations related to development studies, peace and conflict and economics.
  • Analyse data to develop new conceptual frameworks to generate evidence that can influence policy.
  • Attend and present at international conferences and seminars as required.


Required Skills and Background

  1. The ideal candidate will have between 2 to 5 years experience and have a bachelor/masters degree in IT, computer science or software engineering.
  2. Advanced knowledge and practical experience with R
  3. Will be able to use Excel for basic statistical analysis
  4. Will be able to design and manage SQL databases.
  5. Experience with version control online tools (Github, Subversion, etc).
  6. Knowledge of good software development practices (documentation, version control etc)
  7. Knowledge of a range of operating systems (Linux, CentOS, Windows, etc)
  8. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, be able to undertake assignments with minimal supervision and effectively work in teams.
  9. Ability to produce clear descriptive analysis of empirical research and quantitative data.


Desirable Skills and Experience

  1. Experience in building dashboards in Excel, Tableau, Online tools, etc.
  2. Experience in handling “big data”.
  3. Experience in cloud computing/data management (Amazon RDS, AWS, etc).
  4. Web design experience (HTML/PHP). Data visualisation experience is highly desirable (D3, Tableau, etc).
  5. Experience in conducting applied quantitative research methods in an academic, commercial or entrepreneurial capacity.
  6. Good knowledge of open source tools for software/web site development.
  7. Additional studies/degrees in economics, mathematics, statistics, business or humanities would be highly advantageous.
  8. Experience working with or knowledge of governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on peace economics, peace and conflict studies, and international development issues an advantage.


Desired personal qualities


  • Excellent attention to detail and fast learner.
  • Ability to meet multiple deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Ability to work well under pressure with discretion and judgment.
  • Deeply committed and interested in peace research.
  • Ability to work well with others.



Location: The IEP headquarters is based in St. Leonards, Sydney.
Hours: This is a full time position.

Remuneration: Total remuneration package commensurate with experience.


How to Apply

Applications to:  CV and cover letter addressing the selection criteria and desired personal qualities to Janine Lynch on [email protected] Deadline for applications: 31 December, 2017 Website:,

Job Categories: Other. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: Less than $100,000.

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