Job Offer: Data Scientist for Technology, Politics and Society (f/m/d)

Jun 29, 2020

Overview

The Stiftung Neue Verantwortung e.V. (SNV) is a Berlin-based Think Tank that works at the intersection of new and emerging technologies and their societal and political significance. We are hiring a data scientist to build our ”Data Science Unit” from the ground-up. Are you working as a data scientist in a startup, company, or research institute? Would you like to take these skills and apply them to the work of a Non-Profit Think Tank to further the debate around political and societal challenges in the wake of technological change? We are looking for our newest team member who is eager to work together with our experts to produce and publish data analyses on topics such as digital surveillance, influence of social media platforms, or the role of artificial intelligence in domestic and foreign policy. Our long-term goal is to work with you to build our in-house data science capacities and contribute to these debates quantitatively as well as qualitatively. Furthermore, we seek to make these analyses publicly available to not only improve policy making but also to inform the public.

All our publications, events and consultations are offered and designed for not only governmental or political actors, but rather for anyone who is interested and wants to play a role. All our experts work independently from any interest groups or political parties. Our funding scheme represents this independence as well. Read more about the SNV here.

 

More details about your role

Companies have been using data science methods for years to better understand and analyze their own products or market dynamics. Our goal with this new position is to use more advanced, data-driven methods within our Think Tank to shine a light on, and better understand, political and societal developments caused be technological change. In doing so, we can find more informed and holistic answers to current problems. We fear that these methods are too rarely applied in Think Tanks, and we hope to change that.

We want to build up our in-house data science skills and broaden the use of advanced quantitative research methods to complement our projects. We want to use data science to conduct data analyses on on-going political and societal debates, predict trends surrounding emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, and add to such debates in a data-driven way. We want to make our research findings publicly available and free, whereby we offer our insights to governmental, non-governmental, and other experts to support and encourage fact-based, data-driven policy making.

Because the SNV occupies the niche between technology and society, we want to focus on societal challenges from digital technologies and business models: How successful are the steps taken by social media platforms in fighting disinformation? How biased or inaccurate are specific AI applications, and what does this mean for domestic and foreign policy? How active are specific interest groups in swaying international trade deals or foreign affairs? We want to explore potential answers to these questions through analyzing patent data, financial reports, photo archives, and other types of available data that help explain complex problems.

We are looking for a data scientist who demonstrates a wide range of data science methods and the intrinsic motivation and initiative to apply these methods to help identify and “solve” pressing societal and political challenges in the tech realm. Your job will consist of collaboration with the diverse experts at the SNV in order to develop initial research questions, identify any relevant and available data sources, and conduct and publish high-level data analyses to answer these questions. You will also publish your results and regularly discuss your techniques or methods with other experts in government, academia, NGOs or industry.

The SNV is looking for someone to conceptualize, realize, and lead the “Data Science Unit” within the SNV. The project will start with a pilot phase of 9 months to get the program up and running. Project funding is currently being sought and will allow this project to continue for several years with a permanent position.

 

Your responsibilities

  • Through regular and close collaboration with the experts at the SNV, you will develop quantifiable problem analyses and identify the potential data sources to begin to answer these questions
  • You will collect, clean, structure and analyze small or big data
  • You will produce visualizations and descriptions of your research findings to make the results comprehensible and digestible to a wider audience
  • You will build a network of necessary freelancers, data providers, service providers, general contacts or partners to suit your needs and the needs of the SNV
  • You will establish and strategically grow the in-house data science potential and practices of our non-profit Think Tank

 

Your profile

  • You have a degree in mathematics, statistics, information sciences, information economics, physics or engineering. Alternatively, you studied social sciences and have a strong quantitative background and have worked with data science methods during your studies or professionally
  • You have advanced programming experience to transform your analytical know-how into code
  • You have a diverse toolbox of data science methods to employ (e.g. Python/Pandas/scikit-learn/R/Tensorflow, etc.) and you have experience with query languages such as SQL, and pulling data from diverse data sources (e.g. other databases, REST-APIs or even PDFs)
  • Analyzing complex correlations and connections is a strength of yours and you enjoy employing logic for advanced problem-solving
  • You can explain and present your research findings to tech experts and laypeople alike
  • You are extremely interested in digital technologies and their influence on politics, economics, and society
  • You are eager to work in a highly specialized team of experts and are willing to constantly test, question, and re-consider both our working hypotheses and your own through regular interaction and collaboration with us
  • You are keen to apply your skills to highlight certain aspects of debates and contribute to solving societal and political problems
  • You are comfortable working with both German and English data

 

What we offer

  • Flexible and family-friendly working arrangements, both in terms of hours and location
  • A working environment that encourages autonomy and self-initiative: a flat hierarchy, open doors and ears, lots of room for creativity and following your own ideas
  • The opportunity for regular, high-level collaboration with our experts in tech policy
  • The possibility to advance your skills and portfolio
  • Centrally located office space at Potsdamer Platz
  • The possibility to lead a project in a unique, international think tank and learn more about our innovative working methodology

Please send all your application documents in a PDF format (available at: https://www.stiftung-nv.de/en/online-application, be sure to check the specific job for which you are applying). The deadline for applications is July 26th, 2020. Please include a cover letter, a CV without a photo, any relevant certificates or projects you’ve completed, as well as your salary expectations. The position would start on the October 1st, 2020. We cannot cover any travel costs unfortunately; virtual interviews are encouraged and are no disadvantage.

For any questions you may have, feel free to reach out to Silke Zakarneh (personal@stiftung-nv.de).  

Kontakt:
Silke Zakarneh

szakarneh@stiftung-nv.de
Beisheim Center
Berliner Freiheit 2
D-10785 Berlin

T. +49(0)30 81 45 03 78 85
F. +49(0)30 81 45 03 78 97