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Data Scientist

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Posting Information

Position Information

Position Type Permanent Staff (EHRA NF)
Department School of Media and Journalism-350100
Working Title Data Scientist
Appointment Type EHRA Non-Faculty
Position Posting Category Information Technology
Salary Range dependent on qualifications
Full Time/Part Time? Full-Time Permanent
Hours per Week 40
Vacancy ID NF0002690
Position ID 20023870
Posting Open Date 09/01/2017
Application Deadline
Open Until Filled Yes
Proposed Start Date 10/23/2017
Position Summary

The School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seeks a data scientist to work with students, faculty and industry in the Reese News Lab. This is a full-time, 12-month non-faculty position that is funded by a three-year grant from the Knight Foundation.

This is an exciting opportunity to apply data analysis skills to media innovation and the challenge of getting the right information to the right people at the right time — especially information that citizens need to hold powerful people accountable and better understand the complex world we all share.

He/she needs to be able to communicate their findings, orally and visually, and know how to integrate multiple systems and data sets and be able to link and mash up distinctive data sets to discover new insights. This often requires connecting different types of data sets in different forms as well as being able to work with potentially incomplete data sources and cleaning data sets to be able to use them.

He/she needs to be able to program, preferably in different programming languages such as Python, R, or SQL.

In addition, they need to be familiar with disciplines such as:

• Natural Language Processing: the interactions between computers and humans;
• Machine learning: using computers to improve as well as develop algorithms;
• Conceptual modelling: to be able to share and articulate modelling;
• Statistical analysis: to understand and work around possible limitations in models;
• Predictive modelling: most of the big data problems are towards being able to predict future outcomes; and
• Hypothesis testing: being able to develop hypothesis and test them with careful experiments.

Educational Requirements

MS in computer science, applied mathematics, or other quantitative/computational discipline. Or a BS plus three years of professional experience in a related field.

Qualifications and Experience

- Data engineering experience, including SQL and manipulating large structured or unstructured datasets for analysis.
- Communicating complex data analysis to lay audiences.
- Along with strong written and verbal communication skills, big data scientists should have the ability to:
- Work in a fast-paced multidisciplinary environment.
- Collect public data by scraping websites and using APIs.
- Negotiate with local, state and federal officials for access to public datasets.
- Clean dirty data, especially names and addresses, and ensuring that the limitations of the data are well understand by all stakeholders.
- Perform exploratory data analysis with tools such as Python, R, and QGIS.
- Create predictive models.
- Perform natural language processing tasks, especially named entity recognition.
- Store and query data with SQL and big data frameworks.
- Provide data to students and faculty who will visualize it using tools such as D3.
- Build a data sharing pipeline to make public data useful for various audiences
- Work autonomously.
- Preferred, but not required: teaching, training or mentoring experience.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Special Instructions
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Department Contact Information

Department Contact Name and Title Debra McLaughlin, HR Consultant
Department Contact Telephone or Email
Office of Human Resources Contact Information

If you experience any problems accessing the system or have questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Human Resources at (919) 843-2300 or send an email to
Please note: The Office of Human Resources will not be able to provide specific updates regarding position or application status.

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae / Resume
Optional Documents

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Please select the response below that describes your level of education that best or mostly closely satisfies the education requirements for this position.
    • Bachelor’s degree in required discipline(s) listed or related field
    • Bachelor's degree in any field/discipline
    • Master's degree or Doctorate degree in required discipline(s) listed or related field
    • Master's degree or Doctorate degree in any field/discipline
    • None of the above