Associate Director Data Labs Pew Research


Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research in the areas of U.S. politics and policy views; media and journalism; internet and technology; science and society; religion and public life; Hispanic trends; global attitudes and U.S. social and demographic trends. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Center’s work is carried out by a staff of about 170.

Position Description

The Associate Director for Data Labs helps oversee the research on a team which produces innovative work based upon newly available data sources and methodologies. The Data Labs team contributes to our ongoing research in our key areas: politics; religion; journalism; science; technology; social trends; global attitudes; and race and ethnicity.

At Pew Research Center, the Associate Director is an accomplished professional with skills in research design, computational social science, and people and project management. The Associate Director has a prominent public profile in the world of data science and leads other researchers in conceiving, analyzing, and reporting findings for Pew Research Center. The Associate Director also acts as a prominent speaker to audiences for this work, including the press and policy makers.  The Associate Director participates actively in cross-center research and organizational activities, working with members of other teams on a regular basis – sometimes leading multi-disciplinary teams, and sometimes supporting leaders of teams from other parts of the Center.

Candidates should be excellent communicators, helping translate complex methodological decisions for less technical audiences and conveying the costs and benefits of different approaches. This position also requires both people and project management skills, including setting objectives, allocating resources and staff time, research planning and executing on deadline. It requires excellent writing skills and sound editorial judgment in the interpretation and description of research findings, as the organization’s reputation for impartiality and straightforward explanation is grounded in a consistent editorial style and institutional voice.  The Associate Director reports to the Director, Data Labs.

Primary Responsibilities

1. Research Design and Methodological Oversight

The Associate Director is expected to provide project design oversight and methodological and analytic support to Data Labs projects and advise on appropriate methods and designs for new and ongoing research initiatives.
They will support the Center’s long-term strategic goals through regular experimentation and exploration of new machine learning and computational social science methods. They will also assist in the planning of the annual and long-term Data Labs research agenda, identify research priorities, and help develop annual and multi-year team goals and objectives.
This person should be prepared to identify opportunities for cross-team collaborative research, including the use of mixed methods and data sources.

2. Management and Project Planning

The Associate Director will assist in directing the work of the Data Labs team, delegating appropriate responsibilities, mentoring team members and providing for their professional development.
They will work to align methods, analysis and reporting schedules of various projects to achieve maximum impact, and facilitate communication between senior management, managing directors and teams assigned to specific projects.

3. Writing, Editing, and Dissemination

The Associate Director will help oversee the analysis, writing and editing of Data Labs research reports and related products.
They will participate in the dissemination of information based on Data Labs research through presentations, media interviews, blog posts, and other activities coordinated with the communications and publication departments.
They will serve as a recognized expert on computational social science research both internally and externally.


  • Expertise in computational social science
  • Graduate-level research design experience is strongly preferred
  • Minimum 5-10 years’ experience in data science, social science research, or related field

Knowledge and Skill Requirements

Proficiency in R and Python and common libraries (e.g. pandas, scikit-learn, ggplot)
Should be generally familiar with, able to discuss, and know or be willing to learn most of the following tools, methods, or concepts: web APIs, web scraping, regular expressions, relational databases, survey sampling, inter-rater reliability, stemming/lemmatization, TF-IDF, named entity recognition, Mechanical Turk, support vector machines, ensemble methods, computer vision, regularization, dimensionality reduction, clustering, Git, Docker

We encourage you to apply even if you meet some, but not all, of the requirements listed.

FLSA Status: Exempt
Application Procedure

Applicants should apply electronically and include a resume, and cover letter by following this link

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