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9 Jan 2015

Full-Time Director, Pew Research Center Labs

Pew Research Center : – Posted by matkinson Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Job Description

Position Description

Pew Research Center is looking for a Director to lead the creation of the Pew Research Center Labs.

  • The Labs are envisioned as an integral, and integrated, part of the Center that will provide researchers the intellectual and analytical expertise and support needed to experiment with new data sets and seek out new research methods and opportunities that complement and expand our traditional research agenda.
  • The Director will have the ability to recruit several dedicated Labs staff members from internal and external sources, and the Labs’ structure will include opportunities for existing staff to develop new skills and pursue new ideas.  Over time, methods and practices developed in Labs should become part of the Center’s core work.
  • The Labs Director will serve as an ambassador to the Center’s constituencies – including the general public, journalists, public officials, and academia – by interpreting, explaining and demonstrating the value and potential of the expanding world of big data.

The longer term goal is to expand both the range of questions the Pew Research Center asks and the tools available to provide answers, while maintaining the Center’s reputation as an honest and trusted source of neutral information through transparency, nonpartisanship and methodological clarity.


  • Responsible for the creation and launch of Pew Research Labs
  • Hire external data science-oriented staff, and identify and recruit internal staff to work on Labs projects
  • Identify and gain access to a wide variety of newly emerging forms of data, including establishing partnerships for access to data in private hands
  • Lead the Center generally in its exploration of new forms of data and analysis, and serve as the Center’s ambassador in this domain to the general public and its expert constituencies
  • Develop and maintain standards for research conducted  with new data and methodologies that can and will be publicly available to all researchers


  • The ambition and creativity to build something new, and the demonstrated leadership and communication abilities needed to bring people along
  • A core passion for the mission of an organization that prides itself in providing research information to citizens, journalists and policymakers and is dedicated to the highest principles of accountability
  • Enthusiasm for exploring big questions with data, puzzle solving, and honest communication about the strengths and limitations of data
  • An MS or higher with a strong quantitative focus, as well as an interest in applying these to the social sciences
  • Familiarity with a wide variety of big data tools and approaches, such as computational statistics and/or predictive analytics, experience working with large data sets in relational databases and/or Hadoop, creating reproducible analysis in languages like R and Python, and network analysis
  • An established reputation and base of credibility in the emerging big data community
  • Experience taking a research project from conceptualization through data analysis to completion
  • The ability to work in a highly collaborative environment with researchers from a variety of social science disciplines and with a range of technical experience
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills and a keen understanding of the importance of clear and ongoing communications with staff at all levels

How to Apply

Applicants should send a résumé, cover letter (indicating where you learned of the opening) with salary expectations to [email protected]

Job Categories: Data Scientist / Statistician. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: data-science, director, machine learning, r, research, social networks, and social science. Salaries: More than $100,000.

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