IT Research Support Specialist

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

35390 Harris Sch Pub Policy

About the Unit
Why policy? For a better world. Why Harris Public Policy? Because when it comes to better policymaking, evidence matters. We work at the frontiers of data collection and analysis, using the latest technology and social science methods to design policies that work for society. We conduct rigorous inquiry in an environment of innovation and risk taking. We collaborate across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, adopting new methodologies to drive better solutions. We engage with our city, our world, and our leaders every day to evaluate and test our ideas. And we lead with our passion for driving social change, knowing that passion alone does not equal impact. This is Harris Public Policy: Social impact, down to a science.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The IT Research Support Specialist will assist faculty, research assistants and PhD students with the use of technology in instruction and research, including but not limited to large data manipulation and management, complex statistical analysis and modeling, data mining and other research methodologies. Work with faculty to apply advanced analytical techniques to extract, manipulate, and analyze large volumes of financial, economic and marketing data.


  • Consults with faculty on technology requests to support research and teaching.
  • Assists faculty members with large data manipulation, complex statistical applications, programming, analysis and modeling.
  • Consults with faculty, research assistants and PhD students on grid/cluster computing, including optimizing and parallelizing code and leveraging GPU resources.
  • Serves as a single point of contact for all faculty research technology requests and engage other IT resources to assist as needed.
  • Consults with faculty on requests for research data. Researches data options from multiple sources to support faculty teaching and research.
  • Partners with other University of Chicago campus teams, including the Research Computing Center, Computation Institute.
  • Maintain a database of datasets used by researchers primarily at the Harris School, those publicly available or at other University institutions that might be useful to the Harris community of researchers.
  • Maintain a Harris Amazon Web Services account including provisioning environments for researchers to conduct their work.

Additional Requirements

Education and Experience:
  • Master's degree required.
  • At least five years of professional job-related work experience required.

Technical Knowledge and Skills:
  • Expert level knowledge and at least three years of experience with of statistical programming, data querying and manipulation data within statistical software packages such as Stata, R, SAS, Matlab or other comparable tool is required.
  • Experience with grid/cluster computing and familiarity with how to optimize code to run in parallel environments, including those that leverage GPUs is preferred.
  • Expert level knowledge of the extraction, transformation, loading and manipulation of large data and databases (e.g. multi-terabyte files) is required.
  • Knowledge of or familiarity with scripting languages such as Python, Perl, Unix Shell and PowerShell or other comparable programming skills is required.
  • Experience working in AWS, specifically with EC2, S3, RDS and Lambda is preferred.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment with strong attention to detail and accuracy is required.
  • Proven ability to work independently as well as on a team is required.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills are required.
  • Superior quantitative abilities, logical reasoning and analytical skills required along with a high level of attention to detail are required.
  • Effective at working and communicating with both faculty and Information Technology staff is required.
  • Familiarity with SQL and/or other methods of accessing data in relational databases, such as Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server preferred.
  • Ability to use Microsoft Excel, SQL and Tableau programming skills for data mining and to supplement and enhance data analyses is preferred.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of Hadoop technologies including HDFS, JobTracker, MapReduce, Hive, Pig, Yarn and Mahout preferred.
  • Experience working as a research assistant or data analyst in the finance, economics or marketing industries or the social sciences is preferred.
  • Experience transforming and connecting isolated data files and databases into shared data assets that can easily be accessed and used by many researchers are preferred.

Required Documents:
  • Resume,
  • Cover Letter, and
  • References

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.

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Job No:
Posted: 7/7/2018
Application Due: 8/23/2018
Work Type: