At HRDAG, we’re creating an exceptional team that will put our mission into action. We hope you’ll join us.

Job Title: Data Scientist

Salary range: $75,000 – $90,000 (benefits described below)

Location: San Francisco. We’re open to remote work for now, but once conditions improve with the pandemic, we need you to be on site with us a few days a week. 

What we do: The Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) develops statistical techniques to assess and understand mass violence, especially when perpetrated by governments. Our expert testimony has helped to bring dictators to justice in five countries.  Over the past 30 years, our team has developed technology and statistical techniques to take incomplete and inaccurate information from conflict zones and process it to identify reliable, actionable analysis that is relied upon by organizations such as the UN’s Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights and international and domestic war crimes tribunals.  Members of our technical team have testified in domestic and international war crimes trials, built tech and conducted analysis for ten truth commissions, and we’ve supported four UN human rights missions. We currently provide ongoing support to human rights projects in Syria, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States, among other locations.

 In our work in the United States, we have estimated the total number of homicides by police, examined how machine learning used with policing data may amplify racial disparities in police practice, and supported our partners scraping data out of obfuscated public records releases. 

This position will support both US-focused and international projects.

We’re demographers, mathematical statisticians, biostatisticians, political scientists, survey statisticians, and computer scientists. 

Our current team includes a mix of genders, parents and non-parents, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. We believe that teams are strengthened by diverse perspectives, and we welcome candidates of all races, genders, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and national origins to apply, and welcome those with alternative backgrounds and experiences. 

Some examples of what we’ll definitely ask you to do are:

  • Process, clean, and transform data by writing or maintaining data standardization code, mostly in python and R, following our principled data processing framework.
  • Use Unix tools to organize, document, and keep track of digital collections across a variety of formats including CSVs, Excel files, PDFs, images, and unstructured plain text
  • Manage collection of training data for machine learning models: select and format samples for labeling, provide instruction for data labelers, and import and clean labeled data
  • Under supervision of statisticians, write and test statistical analysis and visualizations in R
  • Under supervision of statisticians, write and test machine learning models in python and R
  • Read and organize applicable academic literature, and share news of relevant new methods and tools with the team. Each member of our interdisciplinary team has different areas of expertise, and we deeply value learning from and teaching each other.

 Depending on your skills, experience, and interest, some examples of things we might ask you to do are:

  • Review and apply our data deduplication (i.e., record linkage/entity resolution) framework written in python, R, and julia.
  • Write and run web crawlers and pdf scrapers for data collection, mostly in python and R.
  • Use natural language processing techniques to help partners gather useful information from very large collections of documents.
  • Perform data archeology, recovering data from ancient files in odd formats, in a variety of human and computer languages.
  • Maintain and develop our team’s automated data processing and analysis infrastructure: POSIX-environment command line tools built on bash, make, python, julia, and R.

And we’ll call on you to contribute technical descriptions of HRDAG methods and projects at varying levels of detail for academic publications, blogposts, human rights reports, white papers, grant applications, grant reports, and internal documentation. Automate generation of publications based on data using [R]markdown, LaTeX, and Sweave/knitr. Give technical and non-technical presentations of HRDAG ideas, projects, and findings at conferences and meetings with partners.


  • A personal commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/).
  • Demonstrated skill programming, preferably in Python (pandas, scikit-learn, numpy, TensorFlow, PyTorch) and/or R (the tidyverse, keras, estimation packages), and comfort/willingness to work in unix.
  • Experience with or ability to quickly get up to speed with: bash scripting, gnu make and various command-line utilities, BibTex, SWeave/knitr/Rmd, and git.
  • Ability to turn large, unspecific research questions into smaller, more concrete and manageable tasks that can be accomplished with available data.
  • Ability to collaborate in a team setting, including remote colleagues, as well as individually advance projects.
  • Ability to communicate statistical methods and results to a wide range of audiences in both spoken and written mediums.
  • Willingness to say “no” when analyses or conclusions that cannot be supported by the available data/rigorous methods are suggested.
  • Willingness to travel, sometimes for up to 4 weeks, to places well off the beaten path.
  • If hired, ability to provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

How to apply: Send a cover letter, a CV/resume, and a description, copy of, or link to code you’re proud of to jobs@hrdag.org. Please use open file formats (PDF is fine). The cover letter is in some ways the most important part! Please explain what interests you about the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. We are especially interested to hear comments on our work (available on on this website). Tell us how you would strengthen our team. 

Candidates who advance to the interview stage will be given a small data analysis problem to prepare in advance. Our goal is for this to not be too time consuming, and to provide us insight into how you think about and solve problems.

Full benefits include: 

  • Four weeks paid vacation, accrued paid sick time
  • Health, dental, life insurance, with option for employee paid pet insurance after 30 days
  • 403b retirement plan, with employer contribution/match after 2 years of service
  • Flexible work schedule and remote work option a couple of days a week
  • Up to four months parental leave, with SDI and PFL benefits supplemented with 50% of the employee’s regular salary

There is no formal application deadline, but we are ideally looking for someone to start work in early 2022.

HRDAG is a non-profit project of Community Partners®. Community Partners® is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. In addition, the organization will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

Please keep in touch by signing up for our newsletters and following us on Twitter @hrdag.

Our work has been used by truth commissions, international criminal tribunals, and non-governmental human rights organizations. We have worked with partners on projects on five continents.