Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Senior Data Scientist

Apply now Job no: 499143 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Chicago – 55 East Monroe Street, IL Capability Area: Methodology and Quantitative Social Sciences


NORC at the University of Chicago is seeking an experienced Senior Data Scientist to join the Methodology and Quantitative Social Sciences department. The Methodology and Quantitative Social Sciences department implements state-of-the-art methodologies and develops innovations to deliver reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business and policy decisions for NORC clients. The department provides leadership throughout the project lifecycle on study design, data collection, assessment of data quality, quantitative analysis, and dissemination of results. The Methodological and Quantitative Social Sciences department also conducts its own research and is a leader in designing and implementing rigorous, efficient methods for gathering, evaluating, and analyzing data from primary and secondary sources. The department provides expertise and leads NORC strategy on the use of a broad range of methods and techniques, including research and experimental design, recruitment and retention, instrument design and testing, assessing data quality, evaluating measurement properties of new measures, causal inference methods, machine learning, analysis of clustered data, data visualization and use of novel data sources and technologies to improve data gathering. The department collaborates with the Statistics and Data Science Department on areas of synergy and intersection and with all NORC subject matter departments, in addition to leading its own projects.

As a condition of employment, all NORC employees and contractors – including those working remotely - must be fully vaccinated (as defined by current CDC guidance) against COVID-19.



The Methodology and Quantitative Social Sciences ('Methods') Department provides expertise on state-of-the-art methodologies that lead to insights about our society and inform decision making. Quantitative social scientists and data scientists provide expertise in methods to advance research in areas such as social science, program evaluation, and policy analysis. Examples include causal inference methods applied to data from randomized experiments or gathered from observational sources, natural language processing, network methods, and spatial modeling. Research methodologists provide expertise in existing and emerging data sources of importance for NORC projects; harness novel data sources and technologies to improve data gathering; advance approaches to assess and improve data quality; understand the cognitive processes underlying respondents' reactions to surveys; design instruments for multiple modes; and develop and test novel techniques to enhance recruitment and retention of study participants. The Methods Department collaborates with all NORC subject matter departments and works closely with the Statistics and Data Science Department on areas of synergy and intersection. 

  • Function as a project director or lead data scientist, providing leadership and accountability for all activities on project assignments and managing the activities and quality of work products of other staff
  • Support the development of the strategy and vision for large data analysis projects. Design, develop, adopt, and deploy the platforms, tools, and workflows to enhance the organization’s analytic capabilities, including data collection, acquisition and integration, transformation and cleaning, and algorithms and models
  • Collaborate and provide direction and oversight on data science efforts, including use of new data sources, data tools and workflows, machine learning and analytic methods, processes and workflows, data stewardship, quality assurance, and communication of techniques and results through client memos, reports, and presentations
  • Engage in business development activities, including leading proposals, developing and supporting innovative approaches as well as considerable proposal writing and budgeting
  • Establish strong communication and collaboration with project team members and clients and navigate new developments and potential methodological and operational innovations
  • Able to explain technology, techniques, and approaches to less technical audiences
  • Apply advanced data science solutions, including conducting independent research in areas of expertise and developing new techniques that advance NORC's capabilities and research infrastructure
  • Present results at national scientific and stakeholder meetings and disseminate research findings through peer-reviewed publications, research reports, and presentations
  • Develop and maintain strong cross-departmental and intradepartmental working relationships
  • Supervise and mentor staff on technical and operational tasks, client relations, effective communication, and thought leadership
  • Master’s degree in data science, computer science, computationally focused social science (sociology, economics, psychology, political science, etc.), statistics, or related field is required
  • Minimum of 9 years of relevant experience in positions of increasing responsibility, working with new data sources and large datasets, conducting quantitative modeling and machine learning, and developing other data science techniques
  • Strong understanding of data architecture, cloud computing and advanced data programming skills in statistical packages and database tools such as Python, R, SAS, SQL, Tableau, Hadoop or other platforms
  • Expert knowledge of the principles, processes, and methods of social science research and advanced understanding of data science, quantitative social science analysis, advanced analytic methods, and new data sources (e.g., social media, administrative or sensor data)
  • Demonstrated ability to lead large client projects or tasks, including problem identification and resolution, and to work on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experienced with responding to and winning projects through a competitive bidding process 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, as demonstrated through peer-reviewed publications, presentations to clients and other external audiences, written proposals, and research reports
  • Demonstrated leadership and recognition within the profession
  • Experienced with supervising and mentoring staff
  • Enthusiasm for teamwork and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries

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, our teams have 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 us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.


For over 75 years, NORC has evolved in many ways, moving the needle with research methods, technical applications and groundbreaking research findings. But our tradition of excellence, passion for innovation, and commitment to collegiality have remained constant components of who we are as a brand, and who each of us is as a member of the NORC team. With world-class benefits, a business casual environment, and an emphasis on continuous learning, NORC is a place where people join for the stellar research and analysis work for which we’re known, and stay for the relationships they form with their colleagues who take pride in the impact their work is making on a global scale.


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.


Advertised: Central Daylight Time Applications close:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

Share this:

| More