Data Scientist

Job description

Illinois: Chicago

13760 Urban Crime Labs

About the Unit
The U.S. has the highest rate of homicide among any developed nation in the world. The U.S. also has by far the highest rate of incarceration among any high-income nation, with over 2.2 million people currently incarcerated nationwide. Both of these problems disproportionately affect our most economically disadvantaged and socially marginalized communities. Taken together, all levels of government in the U.S. spend well over $200 billion per year on the criminal justice system (including police, courts, and corrections). Yet we have made little long-term progress on these problems. The homicide rate in America today is about the same as it was in 1950, or even 1900. This stands in stark contrast to the enormous progress the U.S. has made toward reducing mortality rates from almost every other leading cause of death. One key reason we have not made more progress on these problems is a striking lack of rigorous evidence about what actually works, for whom, and why. The University of Chicago Crime Lab aims to change this by doing the most rigorous research possible in close collaboration with city government and non-profits. Using randomized controlled trials, insights from behavioral economics, and predictive analytics, the Crime Lab partners with government agencies and frontline practitioners to help cities identify, design, and test the policies and programs with the greatest potential to reduce crime, improve education, and maximize the social good per dollar spent. The Crime Lab is part of the University of Chicago's Urban Labs, a set of highly synergistic labs focused on undertaking inquiry and having impact on five essential dimensions of urban life: crime, education, health, poverty, and energy & environment. For more information about the Crime and Education Lab and the Urban Labs, please visit

Job Information

Job Summary:

The University of Chicago Crime Lab team is seeking a data scientist to work on our portfolio of projects applying machine learning to public policy, particularly in the area of improving policing and police-community relations. We're seeking a smart, motivated, and detail-oriented person to work on all parts of a project – all the way from cleaning and structuring raw data to developing predictive models and evaluating them in a randomized control trial.

The position offers the opportunity to work directly with leading researchers at the University of Chicago and policy-makers on a project that will have immediate real-world impact. You will collaborate closely with PhD-level computer science and economics researchers, as well as top-notch research managers and Crime Lab leadership. This position is particularly well-suited for candidates who may be interested in pursuing a PhD in the future or for data scientists who want to transition from industry to public policy research.


  • Contributes to the design and implementation of an efficient and reproducible data processing pipeline.
  • Builds and rigorously evaluates statistical models using best practices of machine learning and statistical inference.
  • Prepares project memos, summaries, presentations, reports, and other work products for dissemination targeting both policymakers, academic researchers, and other stakeholders, as needed.

  • Advanced knowledge of computer science techniques.
  • Strong interpersonal skills required.
  • Strong initiative and a resourceful approach to problem solving and learning required.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced environment required.
  • Sound critical thinking skills required.
  • Strong attention to detail with superb analytical and organization skills required.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present data in a simple and straightforward way for non-technical audiences required.

Additional Requirements

  • Bachelor's or master's degree in computer science, statistics, data science, economics or a closely related field required

Technical Knowledge or Skills:
  • Proficiency with statistical data analysis and machine learning using Python or R is required. The ability to work in both is preferred.

Required Documents:
  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • A sample of data work, such as a final report for a class project, link to a GitHub repo, or blog post.

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualification

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

To learn more about the university click here





Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 3/23/2018
Application Due: 5/22/2018
Work Type: