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Research Data Scientist (PhD required)


Job description

Swayable is a data science platform that models public attitudes and opinions, and measures the impact of stories, including messages and ads. Clients include high-profile progressive political campaigns, advocacy organizations, and brands. We launched in 2018 out of Y Combinator, and are backed by top Silicon Valley and New York investors.


Swayable is looking for an Experimental Data Scientist to work with our small but growing team to work in two main areas:

1: Leading meta-studies and writing up findings in presentation decks. Swayable now has the largest dataset in existence of randomized controlled trial (RCT) content tests of advocacy and political content in the United States. Many fascinating and consequential insights are buried in this trove of data. Working closely with our CEO, CTO and other colleagues, your job will be to answer questions by finding new, efficient ways to analyze this data, presenting interim findings and observations, and crafting finished storylines for external presentation.

2: Advance our experimental methodology and products. Collaborating with the Swayable engineering team, you will develop new data science features and deploy them to our cloud-based platform.

All analysis is done in Python, so to be successful you will need to have experience writing clean, collaborator-friendly code in that language.


Illustrative meta-study questions include: "do positive ads work better than negative ads?", "for whom?", "is it more effective to talk about issues or civic responsibility when the goal is to get more people to vote?", "what are the most predictive ways to segment the audience?". With lower-level supporting problems being: "how can I best identify and combine the right 100 datasets together that are relevant to this question?", "what is the best way to process this raw survey data to let us see if there is a pattern here?", "how can I search through multiple variables to find ones that are most predictive?", "are there processed or combined versions of these variables we should look at?".


If your reaction to these charts is "this is the kind of thing I'm passionate about" and "I can do that easily", then we should talk. If your reaction is "I can do better than that" then you're likely to be who we need:


  • PhD (or ABD / in-progress PhD) in a field of natural sciences that required you to develop new analytical approaches to make original discoveries
  • Demonstrated ability to write Python code (including using numpy, scipy, and pandas) to solve data science problems and create beautiful, compelling data visualizations
  • A solid understanding of statistical and machine learning concepts
  • You understand how to do science, and what it means to take a scientific approach to problems, solutions, evidence, data and communications
  • You've been apprenticed in the practical context of simplifying and communicating results for presentation to an external audience - ideally through co-authoring original peer-reviewed journal articles and presentations at specialist and generalist conferences, as well as teaching
  • You are a strong communicator who has built presentation decks before.


  • You have a passion for great interactive data visualization and strong aesthetic judgement

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About this role

Apply before

April 20th, 2021

Job posted on

December 4th, 2020

Job type

Full Time

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About the company

Swayable is a global research platform that measures how effectively media content changes opinions. Our clients are dramatically increasing the impact of the stories they tell on the world's most impo...
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