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Data Scientist

Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
Commensurate with qualifications
Date posted
Nov 10, 2023

Data Scientist

Job ID: 48588
Location: Evanston, Illinois

Department: NUL Academic Innovation
Salary/Grade: ITS/80

Job Summary:
Northwestern University Libraries invites applications for a forward-thinking data scientist to help build its new Academic Innovation Work Group. With a focus on interdisciplinary research, including the humanities and social sciences, the successful candidate will work with researchers to understand the computational and analytical needs required to investigate the research questions underlying potential projects, to scope external and internal project opportunities, and to apply current computational and/or machine learning techniques to a range of topics and data types. In addition, they will instruct students and researchers on best practices in data science and digital scholarship in both formal and informal settings. Initially, this position will focus efforts on completing a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which applies machine learning techniques to understand contemporary film and literature and its relationship to the Anthropocene era. In this position, you will:

  • Collaborate directly with faculty in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning research across all disciplines.
  • Be responsible for collecting and cleaning data to create computational models that will enable research teams to perform both exploratory and confirmatory data analysis on qualitative data sets.
  • Develop and deliver training for non-technical faculty, students and staff on machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Participate in teams of researchers on interdisciplinary projects focusing on machine learning and human-centered artificial intelligence adapted to large qualitative and historical datasets.
  • Publish results of research projects in relevant peer-reviewed venues.
  • Hire and lead graduate students with data science knowledge in project-specific machine learning and application development research tasks.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • We value continual learning, problem solving, and sharing our diverse backgrounds and skills with each other and researchers.

The ideal candidate should have a strong track record in exploratory data analysis and data visualization in the digital humanities, digital scholarship, and/or computational social sciences, as well as a publication record of projects related to human-centered AI and machine learning. Additionally, they should possess experience working with both proprietary and open-source applications, databases, and infrastructure, including cloud-based systems. Advanced level experience and/or training are also preferred qualifications for this position.

The role will collaborate with members within the Libraries (IT, Repositories and Digital Curation, and Research Services) as well as NUIT Research Computing and Data Services (RCDS) to provide support for data services, resources, and training. The ideal candidate will look for opportunities to innovate and expand the computational and data services provided to Northwestern researchers. These researchers are from a diverse group requiring a focus on inter-disciplinary methods and applications. To continue to remain atop of these fields it is crucial to prioritize continual learning, problem solving, and collaboration throughout the University.

Please Note: This position is in a bargaining unit represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 73. The minimum starting salary for this position is $87,000 annually. Offers will be based on candidate experience and education, as well as equity within Northwestern University. This position is eligible for some remote work.

*Note: Not all aspects of the job are covered by this job description.

Job Description
Specific Responsibilities:

  • AI / ML Analysis: Perform computational analysis of qualitative data using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques in interdisciplinary research projects.
  • Research Pipeline: Collaborate with faculty researchers on data acquisition and structuring, model analysis and fine-tuning, and validation and testing of model outputs.
  • Interdisciplinary Team Science: Work within a “team science” framework with collaborators from multiple disciplines spanning both technical and non-technical fields.
  • Data Visualization: Develop human-interpretable data visualization interfaces to assist non-technical collaborators in interpreting models.
  • Academic Outputs: Contribute to research publications and grant-related activities.
  • Deliver Data Science Training: Develop and teach technical workshops on data science, computational methods, and data visualization techniques for researchers from all disciplines across the university.
  • Support Service Operations: Perform organizational, planning, and logistical tasks required to ensure the efficient operation of data science services, such as organizing workshops and ensuring consultation requests are fulfilled. May serve as a liaison between humanities/social science scholars and technical specialists.
  • Student Mentorship: Mentor undergraduate and graduate students working with project teams.
  • Documentation: Write both technical and non-technical documentation of projects, code, and consultations.
  • Broad Collaboration: Collaborate with Research Computing and Data Services colleagues, school/college partners, other IT groups, the library, and other university data science groups to provide integrated support for the research computing and data needs of Northwestern researchers.


  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a Bachelor's degree in a related field; or appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • 4 or more years combined work experience and/or post-baccalaureate education in a related field. Additionally, experience conducting research projects involving computational methods applied to either qualitative (principally text and/or image) data, and as a part of an interdisciplinary team is essential.
  • A track record of peer reviewed publications in interdisciplinary, digital humanities, information science, or social science venues.
  • Knowledge of Python related to text processing, clustering, classification, analysis, and visualization using machine learning strategies at a sufficient level to fulfill job responsibilities, particularly the successful execution of academic research projects and teaching others.
  • Demonstrated experience with two or more additional computer programs, languages, or skills beyond Python, such as JavaScript or R.
  • Experience using a range of techniques and technologies to clean, analyze, and model complex or messy text and image data in a variety of formats and from multiple academic disciplines.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to build relationships and effectively communicate with a wide range of people from both technical and non-technical audiences across the Northwestern community.
  • Experience developing and delivering high-quality general instructional material to a variety of learners on complex subjects such as AI, Machine Learning, and data visualization.


  • Experience working in a higher education library setting.
  • Experience working with academic stakeholders from the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
  • Graduate degree in digital humanities or computational social sciences.

Please apply online at

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