Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Data Scientist - Center for Excellence in Survey Research

Apply now Job no: 495238 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Bethesda, MD Capability Area: Center for Excellence in Survey Research


NORC at the University of Chicago is seeking a Data Scientist to support a diverse range of research projects in the Center for Excellence in Survey Research Department. At NORC, Data Scientists play a strategic role in supporting our research teams to produce valuable insights for our clients. They work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary teams to help drive innovative solutions. A person in this position will likely be involved in the design and implementation of algorithms, models, and work flows to discover valuable information in large volumes of data from various sources. He/she organizes, harmonizes, and analyzes data sets, uses various technologies to enable data visualization, and creates applications of enduring value to the company’s business.


The Center for Excellence in Survey Research (CESR) assists NORC in remaining a leader in methodological innovations in survey research.

CESR helps identify and share best practices—both internally and externally—across the continuum of research design and implementation at NORC. To accomplish its mission, the Center conducts timely, state-of-the-art statistical and methodological research on sample and survey design and estimation methods, as well as the analysis of data from surveys and information collection activities. The CESR staff partner with colleagues and work on projects housed in every research department at NORC to encourage including the most innovative and industry best practices in our methodologies. External clients benefit from CESR’s team members’ expertise across a range of topics by working directly with CESR or through a multidisciplinary collaboration with NORC’s research departments.


Responsibilities of a person in this position would include but not be limited to: interpreting data from multiple sources; developing programs and scripts for data transformation, integration, or reduction; developing new software or enhancing previously developed in-house applications such as those for data coding; and performing various types of analysis involving multiple data sets. This job also entails engagement in business development and authoring sections of technical proposals


The successful candidate should have at least a Masters' degree in one of the following fields:  math, statistics, computer science, data science, or a social science or public policy related field. 


He/she should have a strong foundation in areas of statistics, mathematics, and computer programming.


Mature fluency in Python programming and familiarity with Linux environments are required along with parallelization technologies for high performance computing.


Preference will be given to those with additional expertise in areas of data mining such as topic modeling, natural language processing, and machine learning. 


Strong skills in problem solving and quantitative/qualitative analysis are required. 


The candidate should be able to organize and prioritize work assignments to meet project needs. 


He/she must have at least five years’ experience in positions of increasing responsibility, preferably working with large datasets and conducting statistical and quantitative modeling, melding analytics with programming, data mining, clustering and segmentation.


Some familiarity with the social science domain is strongly preferred.


The qualified candidate should have strong communication skills with experience in client communications and relationship management; should be able to quickly comprehend requirements and assignments and then explain his/her solutions in both writing and speech.



NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.

NORC conducts research in five main areas: Economics, Markets, and the Workforce; Education, Training, and Learning; Global Development; Health and Well-Being; and Society, Media, and Public Affairs.

We provide comprehensive and integrated services that span the research cycle, and offer solutions that anticipate and address critical needs in research and data science. We approach all work with deep technical expertise, a spirit of collaboration, and a commitment to scientific integrity.  


As one of the oldest not-for-profit, academic research organizations in the United States, and through its affiliation with the University of Chicago, NORC maintains the highest standard of professional excellence and scientific rigor, and is committed to broad dissemination of its findings.


NORC’s subject matter experts and survey professionals develop and employ innovative study designs, research methods, and technical applications to derive meaningful and accurate results.


NORC cultivates an interdisciplinary culture of achievement in which senior investigators from diverse fields and professional backgrounds collaborate with the next generation of researchers in an open, collegial environment.


NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.


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