Computational Research Specialist/Analyst

Job description

Computational Research Specialist/Analyst


Job ID: 2020-12009
Type: Full-Time
# of Openings: 1
Category: Research and Laboratory

Princeton University


As the entire United States redraws every state and congressional district over the next two years, the Princeton Gerrymandering Project (PGP) aims to support fair and transparent redistricting during this critical juncture in American democracy. We have pioneered new methods for data collection and map analysis, and are helping to advance legal arguments and redistricting legislation to help reformers in all 50 states. As part of these efforts, the Princeton Gerrymandering Project is recruiting a Computational Research Analyst.

The Computational Research Analyst will work to develop OpenPrecincts, a comprehensive, legislative-quality database of voting precincts across the U.S.; will provide technical analysis to state-level partner organizations; and will participate in outreach to civic organizations to support their use of PGP data within their reform efforts. This position is suitable for someone who is between college and graduate school. More experienced applicants are also welcome.

This is a one-year term position with the probability of extension contingent upon performance and continued funding.


  • Develop OpenPrecincts, a legislative-quality database of electoral precinct data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Compile datasets on a state-by-state basis, combining census data, precinct-level results, and other information using GIS software. Create tools to facilitate data munging.
  • Conduct technical analysis for state and local-level partner organizations that are working on redistricting. Coordinate with reformers and/or litigants in several states.
  • Communicate clearly with political scientists, lawyers, and lay audiences. Make presentations to civic and government organizations to share data and promote collaborations. Assist in the preparation of mainstream media content, professional reports, in-depth analysis, and possible peer-reviewed publications.
  • Cultivate collaborations with Mapbox and other platforms that can contribute to the build-out of OpenPrecincts.
  • Onboard and oversee volunteers to assist with OpenPrecincts. Assist with managing Princeton students who interface with the Princeton Gerrymandering Project to work on senior theses, junior projects, or other research.


This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, statistics, or physics with 2+ years of experience. More experienced applicants are also welcome.

Essential Qualifications include:

  • Strong quantitative and programming background
  • A willingness to learn GIS software and other programs or tools necessary for the project
  • Experience gathering and combining data from many disparate sources
  • An interest in law, government, or democratic reform
  • Ability to balance and work on several projects simultaneously and successfully
  • Strong orientation toward teamwork and collaborative research
Preferred Qualifications include:

  • Background in high-performance computing (C, C++, or a comparable language)
  • Excellent writing and verbal presentation skills
This position is subject to the University's background check policy.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW.





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Job No:
Posted: 11/28/2020
Application Due: 1/14/2021
Work Type: Full Time