Research Analyst Data Science

Job description

Illinois: Chicago

13763 Urban Poverty Lab

About the Unit
Concentrated poverty remains an endemic feature of American cities. Residents of low-income communities suffer higher rates of crime victimization and greater exposure to environmental contaminants. Their children experience worse schooling outcomes and limited access to healthy food. Many struggle with irregular employment and unstable housing. The path to social mobility is foreclosed by limited opportunities to gain new skills, and limited availability of affordable financial products. While social enterprises work hard to address these challenges with innovative solutions, policymakers and practitioners struggle to make sustained progress due to a lack of evidence about what works. We launched the University of Chicago Poverty Lab in 2015 to test innovative approaches to addressing the intersecting challenges faced by low-income residents of our cities. We bring the best science and “big data” analysis possible to bear on the problem of policy design, leveraging government administrative data to guide local policy and to generate high-quality evidence about what works. We believe that carrying out this work in very close collaboration with policymakers helps keep us focused on the most important real-world problems, and increases the chances that our findings translate into real-world impact. Program areas currently include college access, workforce development, housing/homelessness, and financial stability.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The University of Chicago Poverty Lab is seeking a Research Analyst with strong research, methodological, and programming skills to support social policy research projects. The Research Analysts will have the opportunity to apply tools and approaches from methodologies in both traditional econometrics and modern data science to original projects impacting youth services, financial empowerment, and workforce development. In addition to supporting field-based randomized controlled trials, the Research Analyst will contribute to a growing practice of advanced analytical solutions to provide data-driven technical assistance to governmental and non-profit partners.

The successful candidate will have experience in applying a variety of statistical modeling approaches to large datasets in real-world settings. From project inception to delivery, the Research Analyst will contribute to all facets of data collection & cleaning, model development, and implementation. This position requires an individual who is able to work as a part of small research teams running multiple projects concurrently. The position offers the opportunity to work directly with leading social policy researchers at the University of Chicago and local city agency staff, as well as a team of administrative staff, project managers, and student research assistants from the Chicago office.


  • Works with partners to identify analytical approaches to solve specific research questions
  • Holds primary responsibility for data management and analysis of experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations.
  • Cleans, merges, and matches data, and runs sampling and randomization across multiple projects
  • Prepares results of models for memos, spreadsheets, and presentations targeting both policymakers and academic researchers
  • Assists with literature reviews and drafting papers
  • Assists in writing grant proposals, preparing IRB proposals, and obtaining other research permits
  • Other duties as assigned

  • Strong interest in social policy required
  • Strong background in applied statistics & modeling required
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills required
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines required
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail required
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member required
  • Ability to work discretely with sensitive and confidential data required

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience or Certifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in economics, sociology, public policy or other relevant social/mathematical science field required
  • Coursework in econometrics and/or mathematical statistics required
  • Master's degree preferred

  • A minimum of one year of relevant research experience required. Experience gained in school counts towards requirement
  • Experience working with large and complex datasets strongly preferred
  • Proficiency with one or more languages such as R, Stata, Python, or SAS preferred
  • Experience with relational databases a plus
  • Experience working on field experiments preferred
  • Experience working with GIS and UNIX servers preferred
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials preferred

Required Documents:
  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Writing sample
  • Unofficial Transcripts

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 Qualifications

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: 12/22/2018
Application Due: 2/20/2019
Work Type: